Monthly Archives: January 2014

7 Mobile Apps for Small Business Owners

mintapp

There are a lot of smartphone owners out there who just settle for a few apps, like Facebook, Gmail, and The Weather Channel App. Your phone can do so much more! Check out these seven mobile apps that will surely help you and your small business.

Mint

Everyone needs a way to keep track of his or her finances.  Mint makes that easy, and it’s completely free.  They put all your information in one place, so you no longer need to look in one place for your savings, another for your car payments, and so on.  But probably the best part is the budgeting feature. 10 million people use Mint, and it has the same level of security that banks use.  It really is a simple, eye-catching, and very useful app.

Trello

We use Trello as a team at Web Payment Software.  If you’re a fan of Trello for desktops, you’ll be a fan of their mobile app as well.  This app keeps you and/or your team organized by using “cards” with info on them.  As the Trello company says, it’s “like a whiteboard with super powers.”  Users can create tasks, comment, attach files, set due dates, and more.  And it’s completely free.

Cardmunch

This is a simple but cool app for the person who collects a lot of business cards.  Simply take a picture of the business card, and it’ll turn into a LinkedIn connection on your phone.  Pretty neat, right? (And while you’re at it, get the LinkedIn mobile app too!)

Shoeboxed

This app is ideal for the business traveler who hates thinking about receipts.  Similar to Cardmunch, you just take a picture of the receipt and the app takes care of saving it.  You can even run an expense report when you’re all finished.  This app is free.

Flipboard

You’re in a meeting, and all of a sudden everyone starts talking about a popular news story.  You have nothing to chime in because you didn’t hear about it.  Of course, someone will say, “You didn’t hear about that story??!”

If that line sounds all too familiar, you may want to consider reading news on your mobile device.  Flipboard takes news from all different sources, and lets you save your favorite news to your own magazine.  It’s free.

Blue Jeans

Video conferencing is soon to prevail.  It’s inevitable.  There are a lot of apps for video conferencing, and that can make it difficult if each person from each company is using a different app.  Blue Jeans takes these apps and essentially puts them into one, so people on all different apps can join in one conversation.  You can even share content.  And, it’s free.

LogMeIn

This app costs money, and it’s not cheap.  But I’m mentioning it because it’s extremely useful.  It’s $64.99 per year, but can make up for itself that one time you need a really important file you forgot. LogMeIn lets you access your computer from your phone.  It allows you to control your computer just as if you’re sitting in front of it.  And it’s easy to use.

Understanding Transaction Fees

understandingtransactionfees

Chances are you’re very familiar with transaction fees.  The concept is pretty simple.  It’s that extra money you have to pay on top of the cost of your goods.  That extra money that goes to the credit card company.  If only it could be that simple, though. Lets take a deeper look at them.

When you’re buying something from a business, the business has to pay a fee that goes to the credit card company.  It’s usually a flat fee. It may not seem like much, but even if it’s 25 cents on every transaction, it can add up.  That’s often the reason you can’t buy a one-dollar candy bar with a credit card at a gas station.  It just doesn’t make sense for the owner of the gas station.  There’s usually a minimum amount you have to spend.

However, beginning just about one year ago (January 27th, 2013), a settlement agreement with MasterCard and Visa now allows for merchants in certain states to charge an extra fee to customers for using a credit card.  It can only be up to 4 percent though.  And it excludes debit cards. There are actually a number of restrictions, but basically the idea is that the business can cover the fees owed the credit card company.  It’s called a “checkout fee.”  It basically sounds like a win for businesses, right?

Not always.  First off, you can’t just slap on a checkout fee any day you feel like it.  You need to let MasterCard or Visa know you’re doing it 30 days prior to it happening.  Second, you need to let customers know you’re doing it, and it has to be clear.  You absolutely cannot try to hide checkout fees.  And third, checkout fees could shy people away from your store.

If you’re a consumer, you usually won’t have to worry about transaction fees unless you’re doing some traveling abroad.  As if paying for things in a foreign country isn’t enough of a hassle, you may get stuck with a small fee every time you swipe.  That’s why people often find it worth it to get their currency converted over before the trip. If you ever plan to travel abroad, talk to your credit card company and find out what you’ll be charged.

Web Payment Software Client Testimonial

We recently spoke with one of our long time clients, William Yankus of Arias-U.S.  Arias-U.S. is a not-for profit association.  They promote improvement of the insurance and reinsurance arbitration process.  Arias-U.S. has been using Web Payment Software for more than a decade – since 2003 to be precise.  And before that, they used SimplePay, an earlier version of Web Payment Software.

Arias-U.S. uses our payment pages for a variety of things that require money, including annual dues, conferences, seminars, and an ethics training course.

With their online ethics training course application, they use our application interface (API) to tightly integrate a payment solution.  This allows them to offload the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards requirements for online payments to a large extent.

Basically, by using the API components of Web Payment Software, the ethics course app doesn’t have to meet the rigors of PCI-Compliance.

William noted that overall, users found the payment pages customer-friendly.  Well… very customer friendly.  There have been two or three issues in the 10+ years he’s been using our payment pages.

Our competent Web Payment Software team can set up these pages, but if you choose not to go that route, William mentioned that the payment pages look very easy to set up.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to inquire, you can feel free to contact us.