M2M Empowers the Small Business
Small business can benefit greatly from the use of M2M. As such businesses continue to rely on connected devices like smartphones and tablets to interact with and—perhaps most importantly—conduct financial transitions for customers, they need technology that can help make the process as seamless as can be.
We’ve seen Square, www.squareup.com, become one of the darlings of the small business world. While it has been gaining additional notoriety from its recent partnership with Starbucks as of late—with the coffee giant considered perhaps the farthest thing from a small business—Square has proven itself to be a powerful small-business tool. With the help of M2M, such technology can continue to help such businesses remain more efficient and cash positive.
Square offers a free credit card reader that allows anyone to accept credit cards anywhere. What’s more, Square makes the transaction rate low for merchants as well, with a 2.75% per swipe, with no hidden fees. According to the company, funds from swiped payments are typically available the next business day, which helps increase cash flow. In essence, it is a great use of M2M for the small business.
News comes this week that Angie’s List, www.angieslist.com, the national consumer review service, has announced a working relationship with Square to offer its payment and transaction services as part of those offered through its Angie’s List Business Center mobile app. Angie’s List has become a resource for millions of consumers, who check reviews to find the best local service providers. Every profession from construction to retail is represented in the list of reviews, and in a way the listing has become a great resource for spreading the word of small business.
With the Angie’s List Business Center app companies will not only be able to accept payments in the field, but also set up some comprehensive tracking and analysis services. For example, they can track ecommerce purchases, create invoices, and respond to member reviews as soon as they appear online. Digging a bit deeper into the data, merchants will be given access to free analytics reports, which can be powerful tools in helping refine business plans.
It just goes to show that as connected devices remain at the epicenter of the small-business world, complementary M2M-based technology can do wonders for helping to make these tools even more valuable.
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