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What Merchants Need to Know About EMV

July 22, 2013

What is EMV?

EMV is a technical standard that ensures chip-based payment cards (also known as smart cards) and terminals are compatible around the world. A chip-based payment transaction occurs when a microprocessor embedded in a plastic card or mobile phone connects to an EMV-enabled POS terminal (either contact or contactless) in order to execute a payment. The smart card technology provides an additional form of card authentication for the transaction—validating the legitimacy of the payment type being used and helping reduce the use of counterfeit, lost and stolen payment cards at ATMs and retail points of sales.

Implications of Smart Card Adoption

Payment industry experts generally agree that a chip-based standard (i.e., EMV) will come to the U.S., but predictions of when and in what form vary dramatically. Smart card adoption in the U.S. is an industry-wide issue, and there is substantial education required for all participants to understand what chip-based payment enablement means to them. In the face of this uncertainty, merchants should start considering how smart card implementation would affect their businesses, and look into options for accepting chip-based credit and debit cards. (more…)

Use Your Summer Slowdown to Review Your Email Lists

July 22, 2013

For many small businesses, summer is slow season, making it a great time to evaluate the success of your email marketing efforts to date. Take advantage of the summer slowdown, and spend some time reviewing your email contact lists. Like growing a beautiful lawn, a growing email list needs care and maintenance along the way to ensure that healthy growth continues. Giving a little TLC to your list reinforces that you’re continuing to send relevant information to each of your subscribers—and that you can reap the benefits of having engaged customers come busy season.

Here are some simple, effective ways to manage, and nurture, your growing email list:

Segment your lists

Creating smaller, targeted lists and letting your subscribers choose which list they want to be on allows them to tell you what they want to hear. And it means you can send more relevant emails to those who want to receive them. For example: a nonprofits can have separate lists targeting members, donors, volunteers, and board of directors; a clothing retailer can offer mailings targeting those interested in men’s, women’s, or children’s apparel; a restaurant that offers live music on the weekend can segment their lists by those interested in only dinner specials and those interested in the musical acts. (more…)