New Requirements for Credit Card Processing Requirements – How will they affect your business?

cc chip

Merchants of all sizes were required to upgrade their credit card processing technology to avoid liability for fraudulent charges by October 1st. The House Committee on Small Business held a two-part hearing series on implementation of new credit card technology designed to increase security and prevent fraud. This industry-led changeover will require all businesses to use the Europay – MasterCard – Visa (EMV) chip system to process credit card transactions. To affect this change, financial services providers will no longer be liable for instances of fraud if the merchant has not upgraded to the EMV chip system

The hearings offered interesting, and often contrasting, perspectives on this issue. At the first hearing, representatives from the financial industry praised the upgrades and highlighted the protections that the EMV chip system offers. The second hearing, featuring small business owners that need to implement these changes, revealed a much more complex situation. While witnesses at both hearings and the Committee members generally agreed that the EMV system offers more sophisticated fraud protections, implementing these modifications is a significant burden for small businesses.

Despite the outreach efforts of financial firms, small business owners are generally not aware of these changes. According to a recent study about preparedness for this changeover, less than half of small businesses were aware of the October 1st changeover deadline and liability shift.

Small businesses will have to purchase equipment to process sales using the new chips, but the required upgrades do not stop there. Integrating the new technology with point-of-sale terminals, inventory management tools, and other systems could exponentially inflate costs. Given integration, software upgrades, training, and ongoing maintenance, a quick and easy changeover is unlikely.

Please see the links below for several resources for small businesses to prepare them for the change:

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8264-credit-card-processing-changes.html

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/emv-faq-chip-cards-answers-1264.php

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2014/02/06/october-2015-the-end-of-the-swipe-and-sign-credit-card/

Congress Temporarily Extends Internet Access Tax Ban – GUEST POST

by Rob Schrum, myWireless.org

myWireless logoJust as time was running out, Congress passed a continuing resolution, which – among a handful of other provisions – will extend the ban on Internet access taxes through December 11th. As you may recall, the ban on Internet access taxes was due to expire on October 1st.
Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives made a move to permanently extend the ban on Internet access taxes by passing the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 235). Unfortunately the Senate has yet to take up the companion legislation, known as the ‘Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act’ (S.431).
The ban on Internet access taxes was originally put in place in 1998 and incrementally extended by Congress over the years to encourage the continued expansion of Internet use. Last year, CTIA – The Wireless Association found that the decision to keep Internet access tax free led to more than $34.4 billion in savings for Americans – and that doesn’t even account for the benefits the Internet provides on how we communicate, learn and conduct business.
If the Internet access tax ban expires, the high state and local taxes that are already applied to wireless service could be expanded to include Internet access, increasing the cost of service. This despite the fact that the FCC National Broadband Plan says that cost is the largest barrier to consumer broadband adoption. We urge Congress to address this issue once and for all by enacting a permanent ban on Internet access taxes before the December 11th deadline. We can’t afford anything less.
View the original post at myWireless.org:  http://bit.ly/1LtinGf 

WIPP is a proud partner with AT&T for their “It Can Wait” campaign

ICW

September is here, and we’re shifting the It Can Wait® movement into high gear! During this month, we want you to show your commitment to this cause by sharing our new impactful video, “Close to Home.” There’s power in numbers!

Friends, family members, and even your social network can make a difference. While many of us have hundreds of smartphone contacts, new research from AT&T found that 2-in-3 people have almost all or most of their smartphone communications with just 5 people. More than 8-in-10 surveyed said they’d likely stop or reduce their smartphone use while driving if one or more of their top 5 contacts asked them to.1 Let’s band together and keep each other safe behind the wheel. Here’s how:

Spread the Word
During the month of September, you can spread the word by:

  1. Sharing this video “Close to Home” on social with your family, friends, and social network. Your influence can help keep those closest to you safe. #Tag5toSave5 friends by encouraging them to share this life-saving message.

    SAMPLE POST: No post, glance, or email is worth a life. RT to pledge to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone. #ItCanWait http://soc.att.com/1PJXypp

  2. Renewing your pledge. Go to ItCanWait.com to extend your commitment beyond not texting while driving. No text, search, post, glance, or email is worth a life.

Thank you for your loyal commitment to helping us take the distraction out of driving. Please use this email to communicate the importance of safe driving and remind your network that no emailis that important. It Can Wait.

Follow us on Twitter @ItCanWait
Visit us at ItCanWait.com
Visit our merchandise store

What is Spectrum and Why it Matters to Your Business?

 

How much do you use mobile technology in your business?  Smartphones, tablets, wireless internet…if you use any or all of these then spectrum will matter to you.

Learn more from this video from CTIA – the Wireless Association.

More information can be found at myWireless.org:

More Innovative Ideas to Come – Presidential Innovation Fellows Program Made Permanent

pifPresident Obama signed an executive order this week making the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program permanent to keep attracting innovators and continue building modern, engaging and transparent government.

The main purpose of the program is to upgrade how Americans interact with government online and to encourage a culture of public service among tech entrepreneurs and innovators.

Since the program’s launch in 2012 it has recruited 96 innovative experts from all around the country and different industries. Greater access to electronic medical records, police departments making their data searchable online, and broader access to high-speed internet for students in their schools were the highlights of the program’s greatest achievements mentioned by President Obama in his speech introducing the executive order on Monday this week.

Fellows serve for 12 months as embedded entrepreneurs-in-residence teamed up with top federal employees on a variety of efforts from the three main portfolio projects – Good for Government (to overcome technology gaps across agencies), Presidential and Agency Priorities (to better serve citizens), and Technology Partnership (guidance to support technology changes).

All Americans with bold ideas are encouraged to apply here.

INFOGRAPHIC: Mobile Technology Boosts American Companies’ Earnings

Check out this infographic from CTIA – the Wireless Association on how mobile helps companies with their customer relationships and engagement, helping their bottom lines.

mobile-boosts-american-companies'-earnings

General Assembly Fellowship Opportunity

GA ATT blog

WIPP sponsor, AT&T, is partnering with General Assembly to support the General Assembly Opportunity Fund, a fellowship program aimed at providing hands-on education and career opportunities in technology to underrepresented groups across the globe. The Opportunity Fund specifically supports women, people of color, military veterans, and low-income individuals.  GA’s Opportunity Fund scholarship program will provide 20 youth and veterans an opportunity to take GA’s full-time, 12 week Web Development Immersive (WDI) and 10 week User Experience Design (UXDI) courses in San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. and 50 scholarships for an online web design course. You can read more at CGI America here.

Deadline for all applications is August 15th.

Momentum of Women in Tech

Women in the tech industry is getting more and more coverage in last couple of weeks and days, from the #ILookLikeAnEngineer tweet storm to the White House Demo Day event resulting in tech giants announcing plans to hire more women and minorities. Intel went even further, offering their employees bigger referral bonuses when recommending a woman candidate.

mar_310_women_in_tech_sf

It is all part of a long-term public discussion about women in technology, or rather, addressing the fact that there is not enough women working in the technology sector. Despite high profile stories on successful women leading tech giants, the numbers are actually getting worse. In last two decades, there was a steady decline of women working in tech industry – from 35% in 1990 to just 26% in 2013. Some blame the pipeline, other the unfriendly “bro” culture or not favorable family policies that prevent women from building long-term careers in the tech industry. But the overall outcome is the same – 41% of women end up leaving tech jobs after couple of years.

Rachel Tomas provides deep insight into the topic in her latest story for medium.com. As a programmer, she discusses components of the tech culture which she states led her to leave her tech career, citing unconscious bias against women.

Ms. Tomas highlights several statistics from studies on gender disparities in the tech industry:

How can the tech industry make positive changes to be more inclusive of women? Ms. Tomas makes several recommendations:

  • More comprehensive training of managers, especially in fast growing companies where engineers are often being promoted without any training at all.
  • More formal hiring and promotion criteria to avoid decisions based on “gut feel” which is often unconsciously biased as learned from the above studies.
  • Strong leadership implementing concrete measures to support unbiased culture and diversity.
  • Regular audits on employee data such as comparison and evaluation of earnings, promotions, performance reviews, and attrition rates among genders.
  • Cease encouraging and rewarding employees to stay late at work which besides risk of burnouts leads to discrimination of people with families.
  • Create a collaborative environment instead of competitive one.
  • Offer adequate maternity leave without compromises as requiring participation on teleconferences during leave.

Read Rachel Tomas’s full piece here.

The Future of Spectrum

Spectrum

By Annie Wilson, Intern

On The Hill July 21st, Meredith Attwell Baker, president of The Wireless Association (CTIA) gave an overview on the future of wireless spectrum in context of the increasing demand for smartphone wireless connection. In her piece, posted on the Congress Blog, Baker outlines the steps needed to ensure that the mobile broadband structure remains steady and reliable with increasing projected use over time.

Spectrum, for the majority who are unfamiliar with the concept, are the radio frequencies that allow for us to operate wirelessly and have access to all of the data we have at our disposal when using our smartphones. Smartphones run on and have their infrastructure built on spectrum; it is a necessary component of a smartphone’s basic operations.

Looking at today’s mobile climate, more than half of the internet traffic comes from mobile phones and the US leads the world in 4G services and applications. According to Baker, more than 1/3 of Americans claim that the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is check their mobile device, before brushing their teeth and having a cup of coffee. By 2019, wireless companies estimate that this data-traffic will increase six-fold over record 2014 levels.

Some measures have already been taken to accommodate this trend. Wireless carriers continue to improve their networks and invest in their services (adding up to over $32 billion last year overall) and they aggressively deployed 4G LTE all over the country. However, in order to maintain this growing trend, more steps are needed to ensure spectrum security overtime; Congress has recognized this need.

In 2012, Congress directed the FCC to conduct an incentive auction in an effort to repurpose existing spectrum being used by broadcasters and as a test to market spectrum. However, instead of bidding on empty spectrum bands wireless providers have to meet the price of television broadcasters in order to free up spectrum. In order for this endeavor to succeed, Baker foresees three necessary steps:

  1. The FCC must maximize the amount of unused licensed spectrum made available
  2. The FCC must make an effort to minimize uncertainty when wireless companies are making bids. If companies are potentially investing billions in this spectrum, it requires the necessary due diligence on the part of the FCC to make sure that investors know what they’re bidding for.
  3. The FCC must make sure that wireless carriers can access their purchased spectrum as quickly as possible and without unnecessary hoops to jump through. Baker sees this as a necessary measure to instill confidence in their investors and promote the necessary participation in the auction for it to thrive and succeed.

Baker is hoping that this auction model will accommodate for the new generation and demand for mobile technology, while also raising billions to reduce the deficit.

To read the full article, please click here.

The Database of Dames

Choose Possibility

By Annie Wilson, Intern

Last Wednesday, July 15th, CEO and co-founder of online shopping startup Joyus, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy launched a new initiative at Fortune’s Brainstorm conference in Aspen and her goal is simple: to close the gender gap in the tech industry.

Singh Cassidy launched the Choose Possibility Project, which includes the ‘Boardlist,’ a database comprised of vetted, qualified female industry professionals who have been nominated by startup founders, investors and executives. The aim: to make the gender ratio amongst board members for up and coming tech startups more equitable and to increase opportunity for women in tech. Thus far, ‘Boardlist’ has partnered with 50 members of the tech industry, including 18 venture capitalists, to help the project succeed.

Singh Cassidy hopes that the accessible nature of the ‘Boardlist’ will undercut the excuse that many tech leaders use when trying to diversify their board: that there are a limited number of qualified female candidates that they have exposure to. The database itself is already comprised of over 700 women and the hope is that with the increased accessibility to these candidates there will be a positive change in leadership for the tech industry.

Although the industry still has a lot to accomplish for gender equity for their employee demographics, Singh Cassidy believes that focusing on the boardroom could make a substantial impact. “There is in fact a discovery problem,” she said, adding that “this is access to talent, not about filling some quotas,” as diversity efforts are often mistaken.

Click here to read more.

Interested in joining the project and becoming a part of the ‘Boardlist’? Click here.