A Simple Plan For Investigating Merchants

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Good Merchant Service Provider Statistics have it that seventy percent of all Americans have a credit card. The truth is that with the increase in credit card usage, there is a need to provide credit card processing services, which are responsible for handling all electronic merchant payments. Credit card processing services are also referred to as merchant services. Card processing activities involve the following: obtaining sales information from the seller, receiving permission to authorize the transaction, collection of money from the bank that funds the credit card and sending payments to the merchant. It is a known fact that the market is flooded with card-processing companies and choosing the right one for a business can be hectic. One of the factors that one needs to consider is the fees involved and any additional costs. The truth is that credit card companies can charge processing fees of up to 5% on all earnings. Some companies can still offer the same services and charge a lower percentage. There are also various fees that are involved in card processing, which include: interchange fees, monthly statement fees and minimum monthly fee. It is a known fact that interchange fees are charged for every transaction made and the merchant service company pays it to the bank. The rate paid is influenced by other factors such as: type of card used, the frequency and size of each and the transaction mode. It is surprisingly true that physical transactions at the store attract small fees since the card is present and there is a lower likelihood of fraud. Another unknown fact is that some credit companies also charge monthly statement fees, usually about ten dollars, to cover the expenses of sending statements. Another additional cost is the minimum monthly fee, which is is the amount that processing companies should at least collect from a business. One of the surprising facts is that if this fee is not reached the merchant service provider charges the company the extra amount to arrive at the minimum fee.
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Another variable to consider is the time taken to set up a merchant account. It is important that a business owner knows how long setting up the account and installing the equipment will take so that they can plan accordingly. If it is a technical task, it is important to verify if the merchant company can provide the needed skills.
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Payment types accepted is also another key requirement since customers can various card types such as debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, prepaid cards and electronic benefit transfer cards. It is better to get a merchant service company that accepts all of these methods because it means that the company will not turn away customers due to payment modes. Another thing to factor is the client service experience that a merchant services company give its customers is also another consideration. Businesses that offer 24/7 customer support service and direct help from an account representative are a good choice because they can sort out any issue the company is facing as fast as possible. The truth is that when these issues are factored into choosing a merchants service provider then the business can make a good decision.

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Everything That You Need To Know About Merchant Account Credit Card Processing Services. Even if your business does not accept online payments, it is still important that you get a merchant account credit card processing service, so you could process the credit card payments of your clients. There are plenty of processing services, and it could be difficult to choose one. When applying for a merchant account, most businesses worry about the approval of the processing company. Not all of the processing companies accept merchant account applications. Some processing companies will do an extensive check to the credit reports, and will only offer merchant account service to those businesses that has an outstanding credit. You could have an excellent credit record, and still get disapproved with the merchant account application because of the type of credit card processing service or because of the kind business that you have. The good thing is, there is still a processing company that approves a merchant account regardless of the issues that was mentioned above. Merchant account credit card processing services is for business who has a bad credit record. This services is also open for legal business. This service will allow the business to accept payments, through their website, mail and phone. You also need to know that the merchant account does not have to be yours. There are some companies that will deal with the handling of the payments through their account. But this type of service that is offered by the processing company is more costly than applying for your own merchant account. This type of merchant account is best for that has a very bad credit. Although you will be paying more for this type of merchant account service, this could be the best solution for your company. However, if you really want this service, you just need to find a good processing company that does this type of service at a very affordable price.
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Another issue that business would face is the contract. Most processing companies will ask the business owners to sign a contract, however, there are still some companies that does not require the business owner to sign. In the contract you will see the terms and the fees of the services. You need to know that when there is not contract involved, then you will not be held responsible to the services.
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You need to keep in mind, when you select a processing company you need to determine if you want them to process the payments that are made for your business or if you want to have your own merchant account credit card processing services. The only difference of these services is the price. In order for business owners to protect themselves and even their business they should have a contract with the processing company.

New Technologies For The Corporate World

The business world is both responsible for and the platform for emerging business technologies every day in this fast-paced technological realm.

Cloud Computing

One of the new technologies that has companies abuzz is what is known as “cloud computing”. This technology involves one digital network serving as the home base for many resources that are accessible from many different media platforms. The cloud server manages the applications through which data is transmitted and also stores the data. Typically, a cloud network member will log into the cloud system through the client server. They then access applications that are housed remotely, complete their tasks, and store their documentation and files to the cloud server.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

There are many benefits to cloud computing. The first is that users can avoid installing costly and time-consuming applications directly onto their computer or mobile computing device. This moves away from the traditional network model that is still used today in most companies. In that model, servers host applications and store data, but individual users of the workgroup at large must each obtain a user license and download the application software they need to utilize. In cloud computing, these applications do not need to be licensed or installed because they are offered on a web-based browser platform.

Another benefit of this is that software does not need to be tirelessly updated to new versions every few months (or weeks, as the case is with some software!) The software applications utilized through the browser base are automatically updated to the latest version and then provided through the cloud server.

Cloud computing and cloud servers provide another benefit. Combining the processing power and memory of all the computers and devices in a cloud network can make difficult and expensive tasks, like “backing up” huge amounts of data and processes, easy.

Small businesses with little to no budgetary funds for technology equipment can really utilize cloud computing to meet their business needs, since something as simple as one smart phone can harness the power of a cloud. All storage and processing is done remotely and applications are able to be accessed through only a simple Internet connection.

Finally, since all data is stored remotely, cloud computing also offers the benefits of eliminating the need for portable storage software, such as thumb drives, CDs, DVDs and jump drives. All applications and documents can be accessed from the cloud server desktop platform, no downloading or file retrieving necessary.

Technology Solutions: Cloud Computing

Economic uncertainty has created the need for swift, responsive and highly secured IT infrastructures that are also environmentally friendly and more business focused. Organizations are struggling to find the competitive edge, turning to the bounty of opportunities technology provides. Cautious to jump at the latest buzz phrases and hyped solutions, many have cautiously investigated recent technology breakthroughs, many of which have one thing in common:redistribution of IT roles. There is no better time than the present to revamp technology strategy focused on hosted solutions. Clouds are gathering…

Cloud computing has emerged as one of the major ways to secure an upper hand in today’s highly competitive market. Minutes of downtime means the loss of vital sales as businesses with prolonged data loss find themselves in a real position of collapsing. Cloud computing changes the traditional corporate data center structure that resides on company premises. Instead, systems are moved to secure outsourced data centers, either in a private or public configuration. Private clouds are dedicated servers used exclusively for a single company, whereas public clouds have multiple companies sharing the same resources. Additional research is therefore essential in deciding which cloud configuration best meets your needs, most importantly regarding legal and privacy requirements.

Technology departments across all industries are met with similar issues including budget cuts, personnel downsize and mounting pressure for technology to prove its worth in answering key business issues. A great deal of IT departments run with a vague, or possibly blind, vision into the future, focusing on day-to-day network upkeep and expending great amounts of money keeping core systems operational. This approach leaves no time for innovation, process improvements or meeting business strategic objectives. Competitive advantage can be gained by moving day-to-day operations out, allowing execution of strategic initiatives.

The diverse and seemingly endless potential of cloud computing make it a very attractive solution to some of today’s most important business issues. Whether it’s upgrading data entry applications, launching new collaboration portals or overhauling demanding e-mail systems, all is possible and occurring today within the cloud. Historically, engineers of all sorts, including database, security, applications and integrations were needed on staff in order to begin new initiatives. Hosted solutions provide all that information without the heavy staffing costs. Building a partnership with a reliable IT solutions provider will deeply impact the success of your initiatives. A good hosting provider will act as a direct extension of your IT department, offering solutions to the business issues you discover in the renewed IT strategic approach. Your success has a direct effect on their success.

E-mail is the number one communication medium used in the 21st century workplace, and it grows more complex on a daily basis. It is an integral workflow component and is an excellent means for automating communication, increasing information flow to customers and employees, without the need to drain employee time sending reports and updates. An increased number of applications have been developed specifically to integrate with the company messaging system, some of which automatically generate bills, and others send out vital project warnings and notifications. Without expertise for each one of its many parts, integration opportunities may be lost, leaving businesses in danger of lost internal and external communication, which translates into poor customer service and decreased profit.

Overwhelmingly, the cloud has been a proven success for replacing traditional business e-mail environments. Software costs, server replacements and constant applications training make it an expensive system to maintain. Again, time spent tending to IT infrastructure takes away from valuable time streamlining old and costly systems. If you don’t become more efficient, your competition will.

One mid-sized organization was faced with a difficult situation. Operating on an aging Microsoft Exchange platform, the mailbox database had grown to its maximum size without the possibility of adding additional message stores. Three servers that were the backbone of the Exchange system were approaching 10 years old and experiencing hardware malfunctions. An expensive investment in hardware and software seemed like the only answer. However, IT management realized the benefits of a Microsoft Exchange hosting solution, and therefore sought out a reputable hosting provider to address their growth issues. After careful planning and execution, local servers were migrated to the outsourced data center, and the results were nothing short of impressive.

Within the first month of the transition, help desk calls dropped by more than 10 percent, and e-mail availability became higher than ever, greatly attributed to the team of systems experts at their disposal. Critical systems updates and maintenance were performed regularly by the new Exchange hosting team, and key performance indicators were actively monitored. Discrepancies were resolved immediately. Such dedication and proactive response time would have been impossible to do with the previous e-mail infrastructure and company IT staff.

Transitioning to the Microsoft Exchange hosted service eliminated the need to purchase brand new servers or invest in the latest software upgrades. No longer will the company be faced with huge, unexpected hardware replacement costs. Instead, the fixed monthly hosting costs help keep the IT budget balanced and funds spent more wisely. Packaged with the Microsoft Exchange hosted solution was an e-compliant archiving system and a leading anti-spam solution; one more way the company saved money.

All the technology endeavors translated into better service for the customer. Now, the business stands strong with a robust, adaptive e-mail system and comprehensive electronic audit trail. The tier four data center where the e-mail service resides has been a welcome addition to the company disaster recovery plan. Capping out the many benefits is the approximately $50,000 saved annually along with lower carbon emissions through retirement of old servers.

As technology leaders and innovators, we must avoid the trap of judging success on traditional measurements, such as network uptime and backup reliability. Instead, creating an IT strategic plan with input from company executives opens our eyes to new possibilities. Technology can be a true business enabler, and cloud computing is one way to yield measurable business results, molding information technology into business technology.

The Importance of Search Engine Updates

Roughly 50 times a week, Google, the most used search engine in the world, updates their search engine algorithms to protect the integrity of the internet and to continue to fight against spam. The latest of their algorithm updates, Penguin, aims to target what Google considers to be “over-optimized” websites, in addition to other core factors.

When Google puts out an update, the scale is massive. Millions upon millions of websites and domains can be impacted. While Google has a very strong success rate in targeting the offenders, oftentimes even highly reputable sites can be negatively impacted.

Every time that Google makes a change to their search engine algorithms, the company and its Search Quality Team will discuss what improvements are being made. Matt Cutts, the head of the Search Quality Team at Google is often cryptic about what new tactics they are using to combat spam, and what has changed specifically with regard to the algorithms.

For example, targeting over-optimized websites aim to target those websites that have abused the system and have rapidly changed their website infrastructure too quickly and too often. Using successful search engine optimization (SEO) practices take time to implement over a given period. Optimizing too fast in a short period of time has proven to be damaging.

These algorithm updates represent the never ending battle against website and internet spam. As much as technology continues to advance and the internet continues to evolve, so too do the processes that govern this infrastructure.

There are many low-quality sites and websites that try to abuse the system in order to gain the most advantageous search engine rankings. Google puts out enough updates each month to combat these practices and further crack down on the practices each time. It is Google’s official stance as the overwhelming market leader in search engine technology that they feel a responsibility to protect the integrity of the internet.

Such proposed legislation has tried to make its way through Congress to continue the battle against low quality websites and domains. While there is virtually no government intervention amongst website rankings and polices and procedures for online search, many have lobbied in Washington for this to change. In fact, discussing copyright infringement and the unlawful stealing of ones thoughts online, such proposal including the famous SOPA and PIPA were introduced to Congress in early 2012, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

The question therefore remains, who will protect the integrity of the internet? Obviously Google plays a significant role in this environment and there seems to be a lack of presence by other competing firms.