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Emerging Markets in Digital Money Transactions

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In a way, we all have virtual money in our pocket – our debit cards and credit cards. With smart phones, we’ve taken it even further with things like Apple Pay and PayPal. Bank wire transfers are another way to make digital transactions. The fact is, we can make transactions all day long and not touch a dollar bill.

The exchange and transaction of money today is done mainly via:

(1) physical currency in bills and coins
(2) using checks and debit cards
(3) credit cards
(4) digital wallet / payment apps

Apple Pay and Google Pay are among the transaction apps used more and more every day. To compete with these emerging transaction platforms (which don’t necessarily go through banks), some banks are aligning with companies like Zelle ( Banks need transactions to make money, so you’ll see them breaking through the market with new technology of their own.

It’s a good lesson for businesses of all sizes to be aware and adaptable. We don’t know what technology will survive to become “de facto,” and even when something becomes mainstream, you never know when some new technology will pop up to replace it. Even our currency is evolving, as we’ve shared in previous blogs about cryptocurrency and bitcoin technology. It’s been suggested bitcoins are more of an investment option versus a cash stream option in today’s world, but you never know how that concept will change.

Being aware of what is trending in technology and adapting to what’s popular in our culture is important for all of us to succeed.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Cryptocurrency #Cryptocurrencies #Bitcoin #Bitcoins #VirtualMoney #Technology #Currency

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The Technology that Legitimizes Bitcoin Currency

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Bitcoin is probably the most commonly-known cryptocurrency today. Unlike US dollars, bitcoin doesn’t have government regulations or banks to back it up. Instead, it uses peer-to-peer technology to legitimize its credibility in a virtual world. Without government or banks, the fees are kept to a minimum, but bitcoin’s value is volatile if you wish to trade and exchange it for other government-issued currencies. To understand better, you might find it helpful to read our first two blogs on bitcoins and cryptocurrency.

When it comes to our money, a central server prevents fraud and double spending. For cryptocurrency, however, a server doesn’t exist, instead there is a peer network of computers around the world that receive a complete history of all transactions, and thus a balance of every account. Every bitcoin unit is accounted for, and every peer in the network must have matching transactions.

The technology requires what is called bitcoin mining. The transactions must be validated and confirmed, and to do so, bitcoin miners do the calculations and confirm the transactions are valid, afterward adding the information to the database. This information creates what is called a blockchain -- a history of transactions. Bitcoin miners are rewarded with bitcoins if they are the first to calculate the validity of the transaction.

In 2018, the reward for successfully mining a block is 12.5 coins, which is equivalent to about $100,000 depending on the bitcoin trade price!
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Cryptocurrency #Cryptocurrencies #Bitcoin #Bitcoins #VirtualMoney #Technology #Currency

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Cryptocurrency: Are Bitcoins the Wave of the Future?

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Bitcoin is a kind of virtual currency, existing in the digital world. If you read our previous blog comparing bitcoins to gold coins, it’ll help you understand. A bitcoin is a type of “cryptocurrency.” What is cryptocurrency, you ask? Let’s dissect the word.

As you may already know, the word crypto comes from cryptography. Cryptography comes from an ancient Greek word, “kryptos,” which means “hidden” and “secret.” Cryptography is the practice of making plain text and communication unreadable through “encryption” and then reversing it back to plain text through a process called “decryption.”

Cryptocurrency, therefore, is a digital currency where encryption is used to regulate the generation of currency so it doesn’t get out of control. The concept is similar to that of our federal government regulating the amount of dollars it prints.

The most famous cryptocurrency today is bitcoin, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, an elusive figure whom not much is known about today. Bitcoin is digital money that you can buy, store, and transfer without needing a central bank. Instead, computers around the world verify the units of bitcoins in order to prevent double spending.

The bitcoin market has increased in recent years and is said to be worth the equivalent of a half trillion US dollars. If you're curious, Wikipedia put together a great visual showing where all currency, physical and digital, falls within the bounds of regulated and unregulated status, which we've published above.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Cryptocurrency #Cryptocurrencies #Bitcoin #Bitcoins #VirtualMoney #Technology #Currency

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Bitcoins vs. Real Coins: The Rising Popularity of Virtual Money

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Everything around us is becoming more virtual - virtual reality, virtual communities, virtual secretaries, virtual machines, virtual golf, virtual memory, even virtual currency. You might have heard the term “bitcoin” which is a form of virtual trading currency growing in popularity. Even though some people are making a lot of money with bitcoins, many people are still baffled as to what it is, so in the next few blogs we’ll go over bitcoin technology in more detail.

A bitcoin isn’t the same as your credit card. Your credit card is a means to make a digital transaction of government-regulated currency. A bitcoin is de-regulated virtual currency whose value fluctuates with demand and open-market bidding, similar to the stock market exchange. Think of it like owning a gold coin. The bank can’t put a set value on a gold coin like they do our currency. But it can still be bought, sold or traded for goods or services like cash.

A bitcoin isn’t a digital transaction of real money, it’s literally “virtual money” that can only be used within a virtual framework. Even though Monopoly money is a tangible thing, it still works as a parallel example of money that is only good for buying things within the framework of the Monopoly game. Another good example is when you use virtual money in an online game to purchase things like special powers or avatars.

Bitcoins work like these examples, they’re only bought and sold in a virtual world. But unlike play money, they have real monetary value attached to them. We’ll go deeper in our next blog.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Cryptocurrency #Bitcoins #VirtualMoney #Technology #Currency

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Implement Procedures for your New Privacy Policy

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Updating and publishing your privacy policy, and putting more security measures into place are all necessary things a business should do to protect its customers’ sensitive data. But words without action don’t mean much. And that shiny new privacy policy won’t do much unless we’re holding our employees accountable to follow the security procedures. If you really care about your customers, you must follow through with your promises, and here are some important tips to make that happen:

1) Design a business process for your products and services. Even if the process seems common place, you shouldn’t assume everyone thinks like you do, especially in today’s diverse population. Your values and your common sense may not seem so common to everyone else. Think about what makes the most sense to protect your customers’ data – not only on your computers, but offline as well.

2) Write down the process, which then becomes your ‘employee procedures.’ These new procedures should be published and shared with your staff. Keep them consistent across the board and all departments so there is no confusion. Make sure they are in line with your core values as well.

3) Assign a person to be responsible for the new employee procedures. Policies and procedures on a piece of paper mean nothing until they are carried out. The person you put in charge (maybe it’s you) needs to make sure every employee understands the procedures how you envision it, and quality controls the business process.

4) Test and audit the process. Even with a point person in charge to keep the staff accountable, sometimes there are breaks in the system. That’s just life. Test your process and procedures, announced or unannounced (even better!). When you plan a test, it’s easier to pay attention to where the breaks are, at what point in the process, and make the appropriate fixes.

5) Prepare an emergency protocol. Even if you think you have the perfect procedures and process in place, accidents happen, and hackers are getting smarter. What would you do if your client data gets breached? Have an emergency plan in place and protocol for notifying your customers. Be honest and transparent about the issues, and have a plan to go forward.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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Top Tips for Kicking Off your Online Marketing Program

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1. Establish Your Goals

Before you overwhelm yourself and sign up for every social media platform, start a blog, or build a new website, you need to make some goals for your company. This will help you decide where your company needs to have a presence online and which platforms will help drive your success.

2. Get Online

The best place to start is your website. Even if you don’t think you need a website – you probably do. Once you have a website (or while it’s being built) decide which, if any, social media sites you need to be on. Set up your accounts with bright and clean pictures, add your company’s contact information and anything else you might find important.

3. Be Consistent (focus on providing value)

Just getting online isn’t enough anymore. You have to be consistent about updating your website and social accounts. Potential customers will look to see if you’re active online, and they can easily tell when a website or social media site is outdated. Focus on providing your followers and customers with valuable information, deals, updates, and pictures frequently.

4. Keep Track

You don’t need to be an analytics wizard to keep track of your data. Most social platforms include reports that are easy to read. Use this to your advantage by creating content similar to your highest performing post, blogs, or page visits.

5. Be Patient

Not getting any customers or followers yet? Be patient. Similar to most things in life – if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Being consistent takes patience and dedication; try testing out new and different ideas to continue offering value to your customers.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #SocialMedia #WebMarketing

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The Importance of Publishing your Privacy Policy

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In my previous blog on June 7, we talked about writing down a privacy policy on how to handle your clients’ sensitive data. We know we need to have privacy protection in place, but why do we need to have it documented? Well, here are five good reasons why:

1) Putting your privacy policy on paper will help you lay out a procedure for protecting your customers’ data. It’s also a good way to review how you’ve been doing it thus far, and what needs to be added or changed.

2) Once you have your main points, you can run through some common scenarios to see if you are missing anything that could jeopardize the data. It’s good practice to review it and practice the protocol as part of your business operation.

3) When your policy is confirmed on paper, share it with your team. Your policy is only as good as your people who have to follow it. And it only works if your guidelines are consistently put into practice.

4) Publishing your privacy policy shows your customers how you plan to keep their data safe and secure. It adds an element of trust.

5) Your privacy policy shows the world you are a trusted company who cares at a time when people have a heightened awareness on the subject of data protection and sharing.

Don’t assume your customers know your procedures for keeping their data secure. Some of the policies you write down may seem like common sense to you, but not necessarily common sense to everyone else. So, write it out, and publish it for you, your staff, and your customers’ knowledge. Everyone will be better off for having strict guidelines to know and follow.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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Why you Need an Online Presence

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Whether you’re traveling, need a specific service, want to try a new restaurant, or need some other type of information – at some point you've had to search for a business online. Scoping out a new company online can sometimes be a greater hassle than we’d like.

Within a few minutes, anyone can conduct an in-depth search of the companies around him or her. Searching for pictures, reviews, and websites can leave either a bad or good first impression on a potential customer.

This means within just a few clicks, your company could attract new customers by simply being online. What are the benefits to your business?

Bigger Audience

The main reason your small business should be online – that’s where your customers are. You may not know who or where they are but trust that they are there. And with a small amount of effort you can put your company’s name in the palm of their hands.

Most people search online the same way they would use a phone book. They use the web to check your store hours, find your phone number, or fill out an online form to contact you. With a little work, you can ensure their first impression of you is a good one.

You can do this by making sure your business information is correctly displayed on multiple channels (i.e. websites, Yelp, Google Business, social media). This will automatically increase your chances of being seen by more people.

Building A Relationship

With the rise of social media, consumers expect to have more two-way contact with businesses online – by developing relationships online with your customers you can help legitimize your brand.

This can be as easy as commenting back to customer comments or as tricky as replying to bad reviews online. The main point here is to reply when possible. Show your customers there is an actual person sitting behind the screen. Give them another way to get in touch with you; it may feel informal or strange, but the relaxed relationship can be very beneficial.


Free or paid – online marketing is a crucial part of doing business in 2018. Setting up your social platforms, updating your website content regularly, and sending email updates are all ways to advertise your business online for free.

Think of your website, your Facebook, and other platforms as your company’s virtual storefronts. Each can have basic information about your business so that no matter how someone finds you they can get the information they need.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Websites #Webhosting #SocialMedia

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Go Above and Beyond SSL Privacy Protection

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If you think you’re protecting your client’s sensitive information by adding Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology to your website, you need to think again. SSL is important, but it’s only one layer of protection in a multi-layered system. First, let’s understand SSL.

If you see a locked key in your browser’s address bar, that means the website you’re visiting has SSL installed. Secure Socket Layer is technology that encrypts sensitive information between a web browser and your company’s server, making your clients feel more comfortable purchasing from you. It makes it less likely a hacker can steal passwords and credit card information. The SSL installed server will send you a key to unlock the encrypted information on your computer or device when you need to retrieve it on your end.

SSL is not only used for websites and online submission forms, but also for email and FTP files. The software for these programs often come with a default SSL setting turned on, which is a nice feature, but not necessarily guaranteed. SSL should be an important part of your company’s online transactions and communication primarily for security reasons. But as a bonus, you may be rewarded with a boost in SEO ranking since Google gives preference to sites that are secure.

SSL sounds like the perfect privacy protection solution. Well, not quite.

SSL only encrypts customer data between the browser on a computer (or device) to your company’s server, so unless you have some way to protect that data once it’s on your company’s computer server, the information is still vulnerable. You need strict policies in place so the sensitive data is still protected once it’s on your server. For example, you want to make sure the data is accessible only on certain computers, and strictly monitor and limit who gets to view and handle the information.

After all, a hacker might have a hard time stealing your customer’s data with encryption technology in place, but anyone with access to your server can easily misuse the sensitive information. Something to seriously consider as privacy concerns and regulations ramp up.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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8 Small Business Trends

8 Small Business Trends
When running your small business, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day-to-day management that you miss some bigger opportunities to help you grow. Let’s discuss some major business trends companies should be aware of in 2018. We’ll divide them into Tech, Management, and Marketing.


1. Personal data security has become an important topic of discussion recently. With the misuse and overwhelming size of personal data that is floating around, it’s not surprising. It may not seem like a small business issue, but if you collect any personal information from your customers – you are responsible for handling it correctly. Making sure your websites are secure with SSL is a good place to start. Read our blog about SSL to learn more.

2. Cashless payment options are popping up almost everywhere we go. Millennials are carrying less cash and instead are relying on electronic forms of payment. The barriers to entry are low and the benefits can far outweigh the extra payment it might cost your business. If you can offer cashless payments – do it!

3. AI and VR (Augmented reality and Virtual reality) have quickly captured the attention of consumers who are eagerly awaiting the prices to drop. It may not be the right time to invest your company’s money, but keep your eyes on AI & VR. They are the next great platforms and getting on-board early could make all the difference.


4. Millennials currently make up more than a third of the workforce and they are rising into management level positions (the oldest being around 35 years of age). Countless studies have been done on the millennial worker – they prefer engaging and responsible companies who value teamwork and open communication. Soon Millennials will be managing Generation Z workers who are just now beginning to enter the workforce.

5. Remote offices are increasing at a rapid pace. Last year, 43% of employees in the US said they spent some time working from home. Not only are more people telecommuting, but they’re able to be more productive by trading in a long commute for more working hours. As more companies recognize this tradeoff, they will attract and retain talent by allowing their employees to work from home at least part time.


6. Micro-influencers have become the new norm for small businesses to reach highly targeted groups of buyers. A micro-influencer is someone with a growing following of people online because they are an expert in some area such as food, lifestyle, wellness and such. You’ll see them on social media with a very engaged following of fans. With 700 million people scrolling through their phones, partnering with the right micro-influencer for your brand could prove a worthy effort.

7. Social shopping will continue to grow with apps like Instagram offering options to tag products on posts. Sync your Facebook shop with your Instagram account and tag your products in any pictures you post for more exposure. Brands using social media to generate new leads and boost sales is a fast-growing trend.

8. Live video content is a great way to build engagement with your audience and capture their attention while they’re online. Make sure to post reminders of when you’ll be going live so your audience can join you in real time. Try writing a general script with major points to make sure you stay on track while talking.
#PSPinc #Blog #ENnews #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #PrivacyPolicy #EU #EuropeanUnion #GDPR #DataProtection #SSL

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