Tag Archive | "Text Message"

Are Mobile Payment Solutions Really the Way of the Future for E-Commerce?

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Are Mobile Payment Solutions Really the Way of the Future for E-Commerce?

You may have seen a few pieces of online news about mobile payment solutions and wondered whether you should implement them on your website. Some articles even go as far as claiming that mobile payments are the way of the future and will revolutionize the online commerce industry. But is there any truth to these claims, or is it just marketing hype to get yet another “start up” run by a 19 year old entrepreneur from his basement off the ground?

When talking about mobile payment solutions, we first need to clear up one thing in order to avoid any potential confusion. There are actually two kinds of mobile payment options currently available in the online world. The first one is simply a type of mobile wallet that is linked to the customers credit card. The buyer can easily make transactions from their mobile phone without revealing their card information, but the purchase is still charged to their credit card as usual. The second kind involves charging the amount of the transaction to the buyer’s mobile phone bill or deducting it from their prepaid balance on their mobile account. The second one is the type that we will be addressing in this post.

First, let’s understand how the system works. The client wants to make a purchase online. They then enter their cell phone number into a secure form on an e-commerce site. They then receive a text message with information about the transaction (such as the cost) and will need to confirm they accept the charges, either by replying to the message or more commonly, by entering a code that is sent with the message onto the merchant’s website. They then have access to the product or service that they’ve ordered and the merchant will get paid by the payment processor later on, just like with a credit card transaction.

Sounds easy, right? The system is designed to allow for easy and smooth transactions with minimum risk to both the merchant and the customer. Using such a payment system has many advantages for both parties. It is good for buyers who don’t have a credit card or are reluctant to use theirs on an online commerce site, as it provides them with an alternative payment solution. It’s also a very good way to pay online for small purchases that are delivered directly to the buyer’s computer or for online services that don’t require any physical items to be shipped.

But should you run and implement this method of payment on your website immediately? The answer will depend on a few factors. As convenient as mobile payments may be, they are still far from being a perfect solution in all cases and it’s also important that merchants understand their potential disadvantages and not only look at the plus side. Tomorrow we will go into more details on the inner workings of mobile payments, which will be very helpful if you just started an e-commerce site and want to provide buyers with as many choices for payment as possible.

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Safely Using Social Media For Business: Part 3

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Safely Using Social Media For Business: Part 3

Using social media safely for your business is possible. We’ve seen a few pieces of advice previously that will help you do this. Here are some few final tips on this topic that will help you make the most of social networking sites all the while keeping your business safe from hacking and other security breaches.

  • Beware of compromised accounts

Just because your account is safe and you follow good security practices, doesn’t mean that everyone else in your contacts necessarily does the same thing, however. Be careful, as your clients, business partners, as well as personal friends accounts could be compromised. While most hacked accounts are used simply for posting spam, there are some other uses that hackers make of them. Beware of any strange links given to you by your contacts, especially if you don’t expect to be sent any links by that person. Very often, these would go to a phishing site, or a site that has been compromised by malware. Be careful about friends claiming that they need to borrow money or that they urgently need you to make a purchase for them on an e-commerce site. These are common scams that target social media users as well. If you’re unsure if the person that you’re talking to is really your contact, then get in touch with them in another way, such as by email, IM, text message or phone call.

  • Avoid discussing sensitive information on social networking sites

Don’t publicly post information that should be kept in private messages. For example, don’t post on your suppliers Facebook wall that you’ll be making an order for such and such product. This just gives information about your business to competitors. If one of your clients or partners wants to talk about something related specifically to business between you and them, then it’s better to do this in a more private environment such as by phone or email. Remember, there is always the potential that someone is impersonating a contact that you know on social networking sites, or that one of your contacts accounts has been compromised.

  • Keep up with developments in the security and social networking world

Read technology websites such as ZD Net, etc. They’re not just for computer geeks, but contain some very useful information about the latest technologies, in terms of online services, hardware as well as software solutions. You may learn more about a product that you’re currently using, or that you may find useful to get. But the most important reason why you need to keep up with technology news is that information about the latest security threats is reported a lot more quickly and thoroughly on these sites than on “general purpose” media websites. That way, if there’s a security threat such as a loop hole in site security that was found by hackers, or a piece of malware like a worm or trojan that is circulating through social networking sites, you will be the first to know about it and can find out ways to protect yourself from that security threat.

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