Mobile Wallets, where are they?

Mobile Wallet’s, where are they? We are continuing to see new articles and news that we are going to see the disappearance of cash. The indications are this new technology will change the way we manage our money and finances. “Mobile payments and purchasing at the physical point of sale have experienced little adoption in the U.S. marketplace despite abounding innovation in mobile and payments technologies,” according to a report on the mobile-payments industry from Javelin Strategy & Research, a consulting firm in Pleasanton, Calif. The report also indicates that only 9% of U.S. mobile phone owners have made a purchase with a contactless point-of-sale payment in the last year. In 2012, the mobile retail payment total was 20.7 billion, only $400 million, about 2%, came from POS mobile payment. When we begin to take a look at why this is so, the research indicates that is because of the following reasons: Our Phones Aren’t Ready Phone manufacturers are slow to adopt the NFC technology (Near Field Communications), as only 3% of smartphones in the U.S. have this capability, according to the Wall Street Journal. The most significant challenge, as stated by industry experts, is when Apple introduced its “Passbook”, their own solution, on the iPhone 5. Other methods have been introduced, like QR codes, to make the transaction happen on the smartphone. But, there remains no significant advantage in these methods to drive significant adoption. What is the incentive to change? The CEO of Sunrise Equity Partners thinks “A successful mobile payment solution will then need to add value in order to drive consumer adoption.” The advances of “Digital couponing is also extremely important. Imagine grocery shopping and automatically receiving any available coupons without […]

They need a reason, to “follow” or “like”

In the last few years, you may notice that the amount of signs that say “Like us on Facebook”’ or “Follow us on Twitter” are not as common as they had been. The main reason for that is companies who tried, or are still trying, realize that this strategy did not work in getting more people to help grow thier business. We have been seeing a transition of more people using their mobile devices to stay active on their social media, than they did a few years ago. I am not saying that these signs do not work, but they must have a reason, and you have to make it worth their while. I have recently noticed in a local restaurant that I frequent, they have a sign that says, “Get a 10 % discount if you like us on Facebook”, and it went on to say that we will only post every other day and we will include relevant content, not jokes or links to our blog. We will also include weekly discount specials on our food.” This strategy is working for them as they consistently are adding likes to their page. They also let them take advantage of another 10% discount, if they posted that they were there and what they are eating. This is another good example of how to stay engaged with your customers and getting more people to visit to your business. Using signs or posters is an ineffective way to drive customer engagement, get fans and followers. Typically, these people are already your customers and if you are treating them well, ask them to tell their friends about your business. As a reminder, it does not always need to […]

“Hey Locals, Get Social”

If your business is new or you are trying to increase your presence online, one of your keys to success online will be to ensure that you consider your all of your local marketing options, most importantly social media. Many local businesses are already utilizing these great resources that can have an immediate impact on your business. Don’t let the competition get too far ahead. We know that many of you have personal profiles set up, but ensure that you keep them separate from your business as it could confuse potential clients and customers. As you begin to consider your options, social media sites focus on SEO, Search Engine Optimization. This is the backbone of promoting your business on the internet. It typically is low cost when it is added with a website, or doesn’t cost a great deal of money. This will increase your online presence and help you achieve your goal of reaching your community. The advantage of “Local Social” marketing is going to bridge the gap for you online, so you will be saving money on your other promotional activities. Recently, some social media statistics indicated that “social media” sites are the top sites that are visited by people around the world. They also had identified that a portion of these people admitted that they were connected 24 hours a day and typically spend 5-7 hours a day visiting these sites. This is the type of customer that you can reach and wants to learn what you have to offer. This connection in the “social media” universe also identifies your business as keeping up with the latest trends and technologies in the world, and people appreciate that. In today’s economy, typically the […]

Local Marketing tips for Small Businesses

Local marketing for small businesses is very important to their success. Small businesses can thrive on local marketing as it directly targets their loyal and potential customers. Most of the customers these days are either searching for products online or going through product reviews on websites. Local marketing creates visibility and provides credibility to small businesses. Also, local marketing through the internet requires minimum cost and time and can yield maximum results. If you are a small business owner, you should take advantage of these local marketing tips for success. Local Directories: Make sure that you get your business listed in as many major local directories and search engine platforms that you can. A few of the more common search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, YellowPages.com, InsiderPages.com, and Local.com. All of these can drive significant traffic to your website and your store. Get listed on Google+ Local: Google+ Local helps users discover and share places. It provides users with detailed insight into businesses before they go and actually visit them. It also offers user reviews that help consumers decide whether it is worth visiting or not. A local Google+ page for a business includes address, map, reviews, photos, and other useful information that can help your local business. Connect on Social Media: Create a Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus business profile page for your small business to connect with your customers online. It is now very popular to post and tweet special offers, discounts and images to get your customers intrigued and take advantage of powerful online conversations. Start a Business Blog: Blogging is a good way to engage customers and get found online. Update your blog weekly with fresh posts related to your business […]

EMV Migration in the United States

Most of the world has fully migrated or is in the process of migrating to EMV chip technology for debit and credit payments. According to EMVCo, approximately 1.2 billion EMV cards have been issued globally and 18.7 million POS devices accept EMV cards as of Q4 2011. This represents 40.1 percent of the total payment cards in circulation and 71 percent of the POS devices installed globally. Given the prevalence of EMV chip technology in the rest of the world, many have questioned if and when the United States would move to EMV. Some of the U.S. financial institutions started issuing EMV chip cards to their traveling customers; although our country seems to be a long way off from acceptance. All of this changed at the end of 2011 when Visa announced plans to speed up chip migration and adoption of mobile payments in the United States. Visa announced a three-part acceleration plan: 1. Expand the Technology Innovation Program to Merchants in the U.S Effective October 1, 2012, Visa will expand its Technology Innovation Program (TIP) to the U.S. TIP will eliminate the requirement for eligible merchants to annually validate their compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard for any year in which at least 75 percent of the merchant’s Visa transactions originate from chip-enabled terminals. To qualify, terminals must be enabled to support both contact and contactless chip acceptance, including mobile contactless payments based on NFC technology. Contact chip-only or contactless-only terminals will not qualify for the U.S. program. Qualifying merchants must continue to protect sensitive data in their care by ensuring their systems do not store track data, security codes or PINs, and that they continue to adhere to the PCI DSS standards […]

The Growth of the Social Media Generation

The Growth of the Social Media Generation As we are continually reminded, the Internet continues to revolutionize modern life in many ways. Those who adapted to it as it grew, remember different times and ways of communication than many of today’s youth ever will. The most recent generation will grow up never knowing a time without smartphones, Netflix and Wi-Fi. While these digital natives are intimidating and hard to pin down, they will become the key to marketing for years to come. After all, without “the Millennial”, we wouldn’t have the all-encompassing term social media or the need to conduct social media marketing campaigns. Generation “Connected” This is not defined by a date of birth; rather it is an umbrella term for a generation through social media and mobile devices who helped you program your smartphone, is a member of this generation. The main thing that ties this new generation together is the connectedness of its members. There is a developing sense of social influence among Generation “Connected” and those who use tools for social media marketing. The idea of clear, transparent communication and branding is rapidly grown online. Sharing The reason that some people are not impressed by today’s brand of activism is primarily due to the belief that a “click of a button” and a “status update” constitute that people are taking a stand. Although, this habit of sharing what we had for lunch, where we went after dinner, who we saw and what we did are “very powerful habits” to be used in social media campaigns. Once you’ve cultivated a relationship with your customer, many are more likely to share your company’s message and become your brand advocates and powerful “word of […]