What’s in your wallet?
MasterCard has introduced a new high-tech credit card — — one that looks and functions almost exactly like an ordinary card, save for the integrated display and numerical keypad. The screen looks and acts like the display on a calculator; it should boost security by allowing the cardholder to generate single use numerical passwords for authentication.
MasterCard calls it Display Card technology, and unveiled it Nov. 7 in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank Singapore.
“Instead of sending customers another bulky token, could we replace something which already exists in the customer’s wallet?” asked V. Subba, regional head of retail banking products for Standard Chartered Bank. “That was when credit, debit and ATM cards, immediately came to mind.”
Banks looking to boost security for online banking use a separate authentication token or device, the company noted. A Display Card could do both — and in the future it could incorporate additional functionalities and be able to indicate other real time information such as available credit balance, loyalty or reward points, recent transactions and so on.
“With the continued growth in online and now mobile initiated remote payments, consumers are naturally demanding increased security,” explained Matthew Driver, a regional president for MasterCard.
“The innovative features of the Display Card serve to address this need, whilst empowering consumers to do so much more with their payment cards.”
The card is manufactured by NagraID Security
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/11/09/mastercard-launches-new-credit-card-with-lcd-screen-keyboard/#ixzz2BjYRlOjB
Today will be the first of a monthly client spotlight to highlight our clients and their unique products and services. The first company that will be highlighted is: It’s A Lifestyles LLC.
It’s a Lifestyles is a Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, and Peanut-Free Bakery. Also some of their products are dairy free. The information that the company provides is meant to be an informational look at just how easy one can transform their body into a healthier way to eat, think, and live.
What is the Paleo diet? The Paleo diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugars, and processed oils. Personally, I have been living this lifestyle for almost two years, and it has done wonders for me physically and mentally. But all lifestyles and diets can be difficult due to the lack of sweets. Well our friends at It’s A Lifestyles figured out how to make amazing healthy desserts.
Kristen, the CEO and master baker, took her grandmothers recipes and created them to taste amazing and be completely Paleo and Gluten-Free. I am sure you are wondering how she makes her donuts taste as good as an Entenmanns chocolate covered donut. Well unfortunately she wouldn’t give me the recipe, but she told me the secret ingredient, coconut sugar. Not only does she have donuts, but she also mastered chocolate almond butter cups, muffins, cupcakes, truffles, granola, and various other delectable treats.
It’s A Lifestyles offers delivery nationwide. Check out their great website and awesome treats. Don’t forget to check out their blog for amazing recipes, Facebook page, Pinterest, and Twitter. Also here is a great article about her in this month’s Paleo Magazine.
So yesterday I walked in from a day of work, and found this amazing package waiting for me. I want to thank It’s A Lifestyle so much for the yummy treats. The packaging and the presentation was so impressive, and everything tasted amazing.
Don’t forget to check out It’s A Lifestyle blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for great recipes and contests.
Thank you again and I look forward to my next order…
Today I was meeting with one of my clients, Kristen from It’s A Lifestyle, who was seeking advice on potentially creating a deal with Groupon. It’s A Lifestyles is an online bakery that offers a healthier alternative to sugary sweets by creating gourmet desserts that are gluten free, peanut free, Paleo, and sugar free. As an alternative to sugar, coconut sugar is used to avoid a high spike in insulin. Kristen told me her idea and I began researching the profit split and merchant agreement that Groupon gives clients before posting a deal.
What I had found is the average split that Groupon will come up with for most merchants is 50/50. But here is were I was taken a little by surprise: “Groupon will pay Merchant $[X] for each Voucher properly activated for which a purchaser has fully paid Groupon, less a 2.5% of total sales credit card processing fee.” So not only does the merchant have to split 50% of the profit, Groupon will also deduct 2.5% from each transaction that is paid via credit card. The merchant agreement did not specify weather the 2.5% was for both debit and credit cards. (Debit cards have a lower interchange fee to merchants due to its low risk of fraud).
Another concern that arose during the research and talk with Kristen was having the proper manpower and inventory to keep up with a potential whirlwind of orders at the same time. One would think this was a positive outcome. After our conversation, I realized that without proper planning and forecasting it could really put your business in a harmful situation if not prepared.
My advice to anyone who is thinking of creating a deal through Groupon or any one of the many deal sites would be to make sure you look over the contract in detail, prepare in advance, and come up with multiple monetary situations to see if the deal is worth doing in the long run.
Also check out It’s A Lifestyles FaceBook page, Twitter page, Pinterest page, and Blog for upcoming contests and giveaways.
TripAdvisor conducted the world’s largest survey hotel survey and posted results yesterday. One of the main results was that hotels will increase rates in the United States by 47% from last year.
Here are the rest of the results from the survey:
Bright Business Outlook
Most Positive Outlook:
- United States
Most Negative Outlook
- New Zealand
Room Rate Rankings
- U.S. – 47%
- Brazil – 42%
- Russia – 42%
- Indonesia – 37%
- Turkey– 35%
Special Offers and Deals
- Discounts of rooms – 58%
- Special amenities (e.g., free WiFi) – 44%
- Free parking – 31%
- Rewards points – 30%
- Free newspapers – 20%
J.D. Power & Associates released it’s annual report for hotel satisfaction and shockingly room rates and bed types weren’t the biggest issues. Wi-Fi fees turned out to be the highlight of the report.
Now in its 16th year, the study measures overall hotel guest satisfaction across seven hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; mid-scale full service; mid-scale limited service; economy/budget; and extended stay. Seven key measures are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservations; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and costs and fees.
Overall guest satisfaction has declined to 757 on a 1,000-point scale, down 7 index points from 2011. However, guest satisfaction with the underlying experience has deteriorated much more than this score suggests, as relatively high levels of satisfaction with cost and fees mask declines in other areas of the guest experience. Satisfaction with check-in/check-out; food and beverage; hotel services; and hotel facilities are at new lows since the 2006 study and satisfaction with guest room has declined within one point of its lowest level in the past seven years.
The study finds that 55 percent of hotel guests use the Internet during their hotel stay—an increase from 20 percent in 2006—and 87 percent use Wi-Fi to connect. Among those that use the Internet, only 11 percent are charged an additional fee to connect. Yet those that were charged a fee have an average costs and fees satisfaction score of 688, 76 index points lower than those that were not charged a fee or the fee was part of the room rate. Complimentary Internet access is more likely included at mid-scale limited service, mid-scale full service, upscale, and economy/budget hotels.
The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction within their respective segments:
What amenities help you choose your hotel?
(Photo Courtesy DigitalHome)