Visa Extends Retail Dominance w/ iPhones

B.J. Kharrazi : May 22, 2010 7:50 AM : Blog

Source: Eliot Van Buskirk | WIRED

Mobile payment is fast becoming a red-hot sector. A Recent entry is Square, from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, which allows small businesses to accept credit card payments using an iPhone. Meanwhile, eBay’s Paypal allows customers to pay in stores using a simple smartphone app — no chip required.

Now DeviceFidelity has partnered with Visa to provide mobile payments using an iPhone app and a special case with a microSD payment card inside it (photo courtesy of DeviceFidelity).

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Merchants Swipe at Card Processing Fees

B.J. Kharrazi : May 19, 2010 3:49 PM : Blog


Irked merchants are offering discounts to cash customers as a way to avoid paying higher processing fees, even if that means losing out on the same percentage of profit.  Can anyone blame them?  – BJK

Merchants Swipe at Credit Card Processing fees in Los AngelesBOSTON, MA – Some merchants are offering their customers discounts for purchases made with cash to offset the high costs of card fees, reports the Boston Globe.

Diane Chung, co-owner of Gari Japanese Restaurant in Brookline, launched a “Maki Madness” promotion, offering as much as 55 percent off select maki rolls for cash-paying customers (credit and debit card customers pay full price).

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Collect Email Addresses 29 Ways

B.J. Kharrazi : May 17, 2010 1:13 PM : Blog

Source: Janine Popick CEO | VerticalResponse

There are a ton of ways to get people to sign up for your email marketing offers. I’ve put together a list for you to read, so you know all of the ways you can be growing your list.

Picture 21. Put an offer on the back of your business cards to get people to sign up for your newsletter.

2. Tradeshows – Bring a clipboard or sign-up book with you to tradeshows and ask for permission to send email to those who sign up.

3. Include a newsletter sign-up link in your signature of all of your emails.

4. Send an opt-in email to your address book asking them to join your list.

5. Join your local chamber of commerce, email the member list (if it’s opt-in) about your services with a link to sign up to your newsletter.

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Small Business & Facebook Open Graph

B.J. Kharrazi : May 10, 2010 6:44 AM : Blog

Source: Mitchell Harper | Mashable

Facebook has extended their ubiquitous ‘Like’ button beyond its increasingly morphous boundaries to… well everywhere (we just got ours).  Combined with Facebook Open Graph this has implications for all small business owners, but not the least of which are are ecommerce businesses. Mitchell Harper, whose BigCommerce software powers nearly 50,000 website shopping carts explains in Mashable the ways of impact now building, while the video we embedded hears NewsCertified Exchange COO Jim McManus describe this latest convergence, of Web and FB as essentially paradigmatic.   -BJK


5 Ways Facebook’s Open Graph Will Impact E-commerce

Small Business E-commerce FacebookAfter watching Mark Zuckerberg’s recent keynote at the Facebook F8 developers conference, it is clear that Facebook is looking to become the standard in social personalization for everything you do online. And the new social features and direction that they announced will undoubtedly have an impact on the broader world of e-commerce.

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Small Businesses Endure Credit Card Over Limit Fees

B.J. Kharrazi : May 6, 2010 1:03 AM : Blog

Source: John Tozzi | BusinessWeek Small Biz

Credit-card reform doesn’t apply to small business cards, which more companies are relying on as loans have dried up – so its not only rising credit card processing rates that small business owners are enduring – business owners are also struggling with their own business credit card fees.  We will keep an eye on strategies to help weather this predicament.  — BJK


BusinessWeek LogoThe credit card reform Congress passed last year ended “over limit” penalties –- typically $35 fees applied when cardholders charge more than their credit lines allow -– unless customers opt in. At least for consumers –- not so for business credit cards, which the CARD Act does not regulate at all. Now, with two sets of rules, confusion abounds.

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Steps to Small Business Social Media Marketing Success

B.J. Kharrazi : April 29, 2010 8:02 PM : Blog

Source: Pete Gombert | E-Commerce Times

We made a compelling case, previously, that small businesses need to embrace the exploding social media now, or be left behind.  (see Small Biz Social Media Revolution)

Now Pete Gombert at E-Commerce Times adds to the conversation –

There are online conversations happening right now about your industry, if not your specific business and brand. Listen to these conversations and learn about the audiences involved. Choose the best social media channels based on your research, and create your plan accordingly.

The new Main Street exists anywhere thumbs can hit keys or scroll across a touchscreen. So what does your online presence say about what you have to offer those virtually strolling by?

As the use of social media surges and online communities continue to grow, relationships between businesses and customers will continue to evolve dramatically. Customers regularly seek feedback on future purchases from their social circle. Conversations about your brand are readily accessible, and any business can develop a substantial online presence with time and expertise. The emergence of social media has leveled the playing field, and small businesses have unprecedented marketing opportunities within their grasp.

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CyberSource sold to Visa for $2 Billion

B.J. Kharrazi : April 26, 2010 10:03 PM : Blog

Source: ANDREW MARTIN | NY Times | April 21, 2010

(Editor’s note: CyberSource owns Authorize.Net – BJK)

Betting that electronic payments will increasingly replace cash, Visa announced on Wednesday that it would pay $2 billion to buy CyberSource, which facilitates payments for big online merchants.

The acquisition is the largest in Visa’s history and positions the credit card giant to increase its leading position in e-commerce. Currently, more than 40 percent of online payments are routed through Visa’s network.

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New U.S. $100 Bill Unveiled to thwart counterfeiters

B.J. Kharrazi : April 22, 2010 10:46 PM : Blog

Source: Brandon Hill | Daily Tech

It seems like the less they are worth, the better they look!  – BJK


New U.S. $100 Bill Unveiled

by Brandon Hill | Daily Tech Blog

New bill on the top, old bill on the bottom.

Ahhh, the smell of money. Although many people like to carry around plastic in their wallets instead of paper bills, there is still a need to thwart counterfeiters who always try to outsmart the latest security improvements included in U.S. currency.

Today, high ranking members from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the United States Secret Service pulled the wraps off the newest design for the $100 bill, the highest currently available denomination available for U.S. currency.

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