Beware of the Pitfalls of Working From Home

Working from home can seem like a perfect scenario for both employers, employees and sole traders. After all, it minimises overheads, reduces the need for office premises and allows for greater flexibility, with opportunities to work when busy and do other things when not.

But there are a few potential pitfalls it’s important to be aware of when working from home.

- In this post-COVID-19 world some staff may be apprehensive at the prospect of returning to work, are concerned at using public transport or may not have enough actual work to sustain them in a return to full-time employment. Home working can accommodate them being available as needed, be able to work their hours to suit and then gradually regain their confidence after possibly weeks away.

- Sole-traders may have had to cut back on their overheads, let go of support staff and may be trying to recover some of the ground lost during lockdown. They may have to effectively start all over again, building their businesses from scratch. Working from home is the first step on the road to recovery, with many important support services able to be engaged virtually, as and when required.

- Some logistical considerations need to be investigated, at least at the outset. Is creating a designated work station viable? Trying to work on the kitchen table or in an area that’s busy, noisy or has several demands made on its usage does not contribute to a productive work environment. Neither is sharing kit with children and their homework requirements. Assess the availability of space, software requirements, internet capacity, data security and any additional training requirements. Will some staff need PPE or other safety equipment?

- Meetings, networking and team building are often a key component in a business’s success. Good relationships oil the wheels of commerce. Those with a reputation for being fair and treating their staff and customers well invariably do better. Check to see where there’s a convenient hot-desking space, hotel or venue that would be suitable for necessary briefings and meetings. Online offers important business connectivity, but in-person is crucial too.

- Working from home offers the option to work one’s own hours, to fit in around children and their school times and assorted demands, to be able to schedule personal appointments or deal with domestic matters more comfortably. But these non-work items can become an increasing distraction, where you find yourself all too frequently going to the gym, meeting friends for coffee, or doing chores rather than actual work.

- Set yourself clear times for starting work where, even if you’re not especially busy, you check-in both mentally and physically, do some emails, social media updates, make phone calls, network and engage in conversations with colleagues, problem-solving and building relationships.

- But also be clear about finishing work too. Clocking off can be a pitfall of working from home; it being tempting to keep on working until something’s finished or ‘just’ check in again out of fear of missing out (FOMO) or being perceived as not being productive enough.

- Distractions may not only come from not being in a formal office setting. Sometimes it can be tempting to dip in and out of several pieces of work, not finishing one piece before starting something new. Unless a new urgent matter arises it’s far better to remain disciplined and focussed on one piece of work at a time.

- Good list keeping can ensure that there’s no danger of forgetting something new, important or that still requires attention. It can prevent time-wasting and randomly hopping from one thing to another.

- A significant pitfall in working from home could be the aftermath of longterm social distancing and how apprehensive some staff or sole traders may be at leaving home to meet others. Some people will have experienced personal tragedy, maybe first hand. The prospect of going into busy meetings or seminars may be daunting and need to be managed with everyone’s mental and physical safety in mind.

- Also how to dress now? I daresay many of us have spent weeks in casual lounge gear, occasionally freshening up the top, visible part of our bodies for the next zoom or skype call. Dressing in more professional work attire can be a good discipline as it conveys a more businesslike impression and mindset.

Working from home requires a different set of a skills where you manage your own discipline, self-care and regime. Commit to proper stress management, exercise, eat well and have fun. Yes, you can do chores, attend the gym and parents’ events, have a lunch or game of golf but it’s also important to invest in the success of the business too.

As Oprah Winfrey once said, if you had a young child that you cared about and wanted to grow up healthy and well you’d check in with it every day to ensure its continued growth. The same applies to your business.

Susan Leigh, counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

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Looking To Start A Work From Home Job?

I am always excited at all of the ways to make money online. If you keep it simple, you can surely find something that appeals to you.

Here are a few ideas to look in to.

1) Take paid surveys. Companies with pay you for your opinion. Cash create is an excellent example of this.

You can join them for free and start earn money taking surveys right away. They also have an excellent referral program that you can earn money referring people to this free site.

2) Affiliate Marketing, Get paid to get leads, make sales or even my click.

Some of the top affiliate programs you can earn with today include Amazon. ClickBank, Commission Junction, and Google AdSense.

You can join a 2-tier affiliate program and get paid to recruit affiliates and teach them how to sell products. You earn a lower commission rate than you do on your sales.

3) Network Marketing. Join an MLM company for under $100 and start making money almost immediately selling products.
Join a company that allows you to build a worldwide business and use the internet to prospects and recruits. My World Plus is an excellent example of this. So is Strong Future International.

4) Data entry jobs. I recently bought a membership in Global Data Entry jobs and was blown away at all of the information they provide on earning doing data entry.

You can also make money typing working for yourself. Examples of this include blogging, article writing, posting in discussion forums, and making blog comments.

Become a virtual assistant and you can type for other Internet marketers all day long. They will be happy to pay you to return emails, type letters, do Internet marketing for them, and so on.

5) Warrior Special Offers. Join the Warrior Forum for free and hang out and hang out in the Warrior Special Offers Forum.
You will quickly find all kind of simple ways to make money, and you will spend hardly anything to buy the blueprints these talented Internet marketers have come up with.
It’s only natural when you sit down in front of a computer that you start to complicate things. You begin to get confused as you surf from one website to the next looking at all the many ways to make money online.

In reality if you keep it simple, you can make money starting today doing some of the things I listed above. This is not theory, but somewhat proven ways to make money that are not hard anyone can do with a little bit of effort.

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How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos With SEO Keywords

In addition to optimizing your YouTube channel, you can also optimize your videos in a number of ways that will help them to get discovered more easily.

Make HD Videos

The first thing to do here is to ensure that your videos are HD and that they have HD thumbnails. Try to avoid shaky cameras or stolen content. Doing this will ensure that your videos are seen as unique and high quality by YouTube and that in turn will mean they get promoted more readily. At the same time, you should also think a little about SEO.

Understanding the Basics

SEO (Search engine optimization) essentially means designing web content in a way that makes it Google friendly or in this case YouTube friendly. The main way most people find new content on YouTube is by searching for it and in this sense YouTube is very similar to Google.

In fact, the search engine is built by Google and it’s actually the second biggest search on the net in terms of the number of queries it receives. So what can you do as a user to ensure your content is easily discovered on YouTube?

The first thing to do is to try and pick a topic that people are interested in and likely to be searching for. From there you should look up the topic to see what’s already present on YouTube and what you’ll be competing with.

The perfect scenario is that you find a subject matter that people are interested in but which hasn’t been properly covered on YouTube yet. If you can find that then anything you upload will automatically succeed.

Know the Competition

More likely you’ll find you have a few competitors. In this case, your success will be all about the keywords that you choose which you enter when you upload your video. Here, you want to use related words which will help tell Google precisely what your video is about.

So, if the video ¡s about learning scales on the piano your keywords might be things like scales, piano, keyboard, electric keyboard, learning, learning music, music theory. This way you will reinforce the subject of your video while at the same time helping to create a connection between your video and other successful ones in your niche. This will help your videos appear as suggested content.

Taking a look at the keywords and titles used by the top videos on your subject is also a good strategy. This also works on Google and a good video can sometimes come up on Google as the top response to a search instead of a web page.
Finally, you have one last place that you can encourage Google and YouTube to index your video and that’s your description.

Building External Links

This is where you tell people all about your video and where you add external links and so on. This is a good place to insert more keywords and generally, you should aim to put lots of content here to create lots of long tail keywords and these are wordy search terms that sound natural. Even if you just write the first part of your script here, the tip is to make sure you indeed write something.

Meanwhile, the number of likes, comments and shares your video gets will also help to increase its visibility especially at the start of its life. Think of value and make sure you ask people to help out.

Another important factor is how long people watch your videos for. In other words, if people leave after the first two seconds this sends a signal to YouTube that the video probably isn’t very good. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you use shorter videos some of the time as this will guarantee faster watching.

Add to the Hype

Another thing which can help with your optimization and which can really get your video to take off is to generate lively discussion on your videos. While they can sometimes be annoying you really want to encourage people to leave comments in your comments section. One way to do this is simply to ensure that your videos ask interesting questions and raise interesting points that invite discussion. And this might even mean being purposely controversial.

You can also ask questions at the end of your videos and gently make yourself appear approachable. Similarly, you should stay active in your own comments section – set up your account to email you when someone leaves a new comment and set out to answer all of these at the start of the day. It is also the way to get fans on YouTube and a few fans can be immensely valuable to any campaign.

And don’t forget YouTube and Google+ are now linked. This means that ¡f you spend some time building your Google+ circles they will all get to see your new videos when you upload them. A great way to do this is to be active in the discussions in communities to take part in hangouts and “plus one” other people (you normally get a reciprocal plus one).

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How Google Matters To Your Business

Today a successful business means putting the best ideas together and working out marketing strategies that will help you stand out in the crowd. With Google being the most widely used search engine over the planet it is very important to list your business at the top in the search results as it will increase your visibility and bring you greater enquiries for your business.

Google being the most popular search engine currently with a net market share of 77.43% (Google Net market Share March’17), acts as a medium for potential customers to know about service or businesses available.So it is extremely important to be visible in Google and rank as high as possible. This will avoid business to be lost to competitors.

Whenever you make a Google search, it shows list of search results. Most people are inclined to visit websites on top of search results as they are perceived to be most relevant. Only a few people will go through next Google search pages. Google shows some 9-10results on the first page as users search results for a specific term. If yours is the first among 10 it’s more likely that your business gets more revelation and greater authenticity. According to Search User Data the website listed on top gets 42% of the traffic while the second gets 11% and the third just 8%. So it’s needless to say that for your business to gain higher visibility, it must have to feature in top of search result.

Now the question arises, how website rank can be improved?

And the answer to this is your website has to be optimized for search engine, commonly known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO. It attempts to make your website rank higher than other websites when a specific phrase (Keyword) is being searched. It therefore provides the best possible chance of being found by prospective customers. It’s not only about being on the top Google rank, but also to sustain your position. SEO technique ensures your website stays relevant.

How SEO add value to the Website

There are numerous companies providing affordable SEO services for small business and as entrepreneurs we choose what suits our marketing budget. Below are the top five reasons why your website needs SEO.

- To get your brand/ business recognized
- To stay relevant and reliable as per customer’s view
- Attract more traffic and prospective customer
- Better growth in terms of business and brand
- Ensuring word of mouth publicity

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Quality SEO Can Fit Into Your Budget

You have to spend money to make money, but you don’t have to go broke to get your SEO in place. This is a huge stressor for many businesses because on one hand, they realize they must have it in motion. On the other hand, they also know they can’t make their business as successful as it should be without those services. It doesn’t have to be a financial drain on the business.

Finding affordable SEO services is a wise decision, as it will get you on the path to where you need to be with it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can handle it all in house. While you may have a good understanding of the basics, you need an expert who can create a customized strategy for you to benefit from. There are many elements involved and they are all intertwined.

Types of Services

Take your time to talk to providers and find out what they offer. There are many types of services, and you need to find out what that umbrella will cover for your needs. Many of the best affordable SEO services have various packages you can choose from. Don’t be intimidated to share with them you are concerned about cost. They need to know this information.

How much the incorporate at once and how they branch out will depend on your budget. Social media is a great place to start. The outreach is very good and affordable SEO services can get your noticed on them. As you start to generate more income due to the exposure though, consider increasing your budget for those services to grow.

Flexibility

This is why you also need to seek out affordable SEO services which are flexible. You budget and your needs can drastically change over the span of time. Avoid getting locked into something that will hinder your progress or cost you money you shouldn’t be spending. Knowing you can talk to them when changes need to be made should be important to you.

Yet the communication should be a two-way street. They should share data with you and engage you in long term solutions. Some of them will need to be broken down into several steps, but you should always be in aware of what is taking place and why it is necessary. Make sure you are able to identify how they are working for you all the time rather than being stagnant.

Compare Providers

Spend time identifying the best affordable SEO services and what you can expect. Read information from other customers to find out what they were pleased with and what they felt was lacking. The goal should be to generate some leads and then follow up on them. Most will offer you a free consultation so you have nothing to lose by taking to them.

Make sure your provider of affordable SEO services has integrity, creativity, and qualified individuals to deliver those services. The money you spend needs to be able to help you grow your business and keep it moving forward. You need to continue to be seen by your previous customers as well as drawing in new customers.

SEO can be complicated, but it is essential, so you can’t cut corners with it. However, you need to find your provider carefully so you can forget a long-term relationship with them. You don’t want to have regrets about who you hired or how you spent that money. You need results you can count on every step of the way. Your business is too important to settle for less!

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Benefits of Credit Card Machines for Business

Other than credit card machines, technology has produced many notable effects, including the credit card machine. In the 21st century, people open themselves up to technology from the very center of their being. It has the added benefit of leading to an increase in the use of credit and debit cards. Additionally, the coronavirus’ arrival has also contributed to the increased use of contactless transactions. EMV cards are replacing magistrate premium cards. EMV chip cards give you the ability to make contactless payments. The merchants must have advanced payment terminals to accept such payments.

Credit and debit cards are used almost exclusively in today’s business world. To take your business to the next level, you must associate it with a credit card machine. The processing and payment services you need for online sales include a merchant processor that provides you with an online payment gateway. There will always be online modes that people will prefer to use, regardless of the volume of transactions. As a result, you have to use an advanced piece of equipment, such as a credit card machine, in tandem with your business.

Advantages:

Just because we’re living in the 21st century, it’s impossible to conceive of life without modern technology. A large number of businessmen prefer to stick to established business models. However, sometimes you have to alter your plans according to the current situation. This means that you need to be one step ahead of everyone else in the business. You will lose customers otherwise. An establishment that gets access to a credit card machine will enjoy countless benefits. Listed the benefits; so, don’t miss the following:

Obtain Legal Recognition for Your Company:

Accepting card payments using digital payment terminals is a legitimate business practice, so it should help your company a lot. The card brand name will be printed on the POS, and thus the customers will have no problem noticing it. This logo will be featured on the same online marketplace as well. The greater the number of customers from outside the country, the more money you’ll make.

Increase Your Profitability:

To accept various forms of payment, like credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more, use a credit card machine at your business. Creating a positive impression on your customers is quite simple, but it also keeps your customers loyal. A credit card machine, thus granting flexibility in the ecosystem of online payment, provides customers with many payment options, thus allowing them to pay bills in various ways.

How to stay ahead of the competition:

Many businessmen have not yet fully embraced digital equipment, making small-business models in the early stages of transition. To accept online payments, your business equipment must be upgraded. If customers are no longer carrying cash, you can outpace your competitors. Research has shown that when customers use their cards to make a purchase, they spend more. Additionally, because you will make a substantial profit from accepting card payments, it’s highly recommended that you do so.

Cash Flow Improving Measures:

The customers’ card payments get settled quickly when they pay with a card. Everything is done electronically, so you don’t have to go to the bank to deposit the money. Additionally, you don’t have to wait for customers to pay you. Your cash flow will thus improve.

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Are You Choosing the Right Stock Market Advisory Company

What do you do if you want to learn driving a car? You will try to find an expert teacher, isn’t it? You do not want to avail the services of a novice individual to help you out, but a professional person can provide you the vital tips and most importantly guide you efficiently. Similarly, when it comes to investing in the stock market for the first time, you require a knowledgeable advice to attain your financial goals and get profitable returns.

If you are a beginner, then it is quite obvious that you may be having no information about the process of buying the right shares in the market. In such a situation, getting the right tips from an experienced financial advisor or a registered advisory company will truly prove to be a great blessing in disguise. However, there are some of the important things that have to be kept in mind while choosing the top stock market advisory company, which are as follows:

How much assistance do you actually require?

Before you make up your mind to hire an advisor, it is imperative that you must first decide about the kind of service you require from them. You may need their help at the beginning or during the time of any issues. This is because an advisor has to formulate a map according to your requirements. Hence, it is suggested to ascertain your needs first and then take further action.

Choose a top ranked advisory company

It is a very important point that has to be taken into the consideration. Availing services of the well known advisory company or a financial advisor is an absolute necessity. Make it a point to carry out a proper background or research work about the company. Check out their credentials, reputation, experience, etc before hiring them.

Asking for a sample financial plan initially makes sense

When hiring a financial advisor, then do not forget to ask for sample plan first. It is imperative to note that there is no such thing called the perfect plan. A sample plan will help you to determine whether an advisory company is actually making sense according your requirements or not.

Conclusion

The financial planners or advisory companies can really turn out to be the greatest asset for you if you choose the best one. They are just like the professional sailors who can help you out to sail through stock investment related problems quite efficiently.

Deepak is a financial advisor who likes to provide quality tips to the people facing any issues with regard to investing in the stock market. He likes to keep himself updated about the stock market by reading articles, news and blogs, etc.

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5 Areas Where Interest Rates Matter!

Although, we hear, a lot of opinions, about, interest rates, and their trends, and impacts, very few people seem to understand, the significance, and importance/ relevance, of these rates, in several areas of our lives! After, many decades of involvement, in political campaigns, leadership, leadership training/ planning, real estate, financial sales and consulting, etc, I strongly believed, one benefits, by understanding, more about these, and how they affect, many things, in our lives! Whether, related to personal, organizational, and/ or, public finance/ spending, home ownership and related costs, credit – related issues, business matters, stock and bond pricing, etc, interest rates, truly, significantly, matter! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 of these areas, and how the cost – of – money, makes a significant difference.

1. Bond prices and interest rates: The price of a bond, generally, is inversely – related to interest rates! When these rates go down, prices, rise, and when they go up, the inverse occurs! Bonds have, what is known, as, a par – value, which is the price, paid, at the end of the term. Markets usually set these at 100, which represents $1,000 per bond, at maturity. However, during the period, the pricing can rise or fall, which impacts, liquidity – related issues!

2. Mortgage rates: For the last few years, we have been witnessing and experiencing, record – low, mortgage interest rates, which have helped the overall, real estate/ housing market, especially, in terms of, pricing increases! In most areas of this country, we are seeing, home prices, at their highest levels, ever, by a significant, dramatic amount! When this rate, is low, a home buyer is able to buy, more – house – for – his – bucks, because, his monthly payments, are so low! Consider, however, what might be the potential ramifications, and impacts, when these rates, will, inevitably, rise?

3. Consumer credit: Low costs of borrowing, help the automobile industry, in terms of consumer financing, etc! Although, not as much as other vehicles, rates on credit card debt, are lower, and there are often, shorter – term, promotions, offering deals! However, since, most of these are variable, and based, on some index, etc, what happens, when there is an increase, in this?

4. Business borrowing: Another area affected, is business cost of borrowing! Presently, they have had access, to relatively, cheap – money, which helps in reducing the costs of borrowing, overall operations, purchasing inventory, etc. But, what happens, when this, ticks – up?

5. Impacts on stock market prices: For some time, because bonds have paid so little, in terms of dividends, etc, many have considered, the stock market, the only game, in – town! In addition, many corporations, have seemed, better – off, than they probably are, and we have witnessed, a higher, ratio of prices to profits, than in the past! How long will this last? How high can it go?

Many factors impact these issues, especially: actual and/ or, perceived inflation; consumer confidence; politics/ government actions/ the Federal Reserve, etc. The more you know, and understand, hopefully, the better – prepared, you will be!

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Setrega – A Global Analytical Regulatory Platform

Setrega is the Global Regulatory Analytical Platform which provides a comprehensive solution to the financial institutions for complying with one or more Regulatory Authorities. Through highly customizable and end-to-end automation, Setrega helps clients to configure Reporting Data, Reporting API, Connecting/Integrating Settings, Report Generation Requirements, Report Validation Requirements, Report Submission Mode and Feedback Management. As a Global Regulatory Analytical Platform, Setrega is designed to integrate with any financial services firms to receive regulatory data and process them to regulatory reports in specific formats with minimum customization effort.

Currently, all financial institutions are facing problems with dynamic changes in regulatory requirements, implementation risks associated with regulatory reporting and managing regulatory report error handling. All financial institutions are forced to adapt to these challenges and continuously seek for solutions which are cost-effective and accurate, with real-time feedback management. Sensiple’s Setrega fits into this emerging environment by supporting multiple Regulatory Authorities with an end-to-end automated solution.

Regulation Complied Preconfigured – ESMA – MIFIR/MiFID II, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC) etc.,
Significant benefits of the Global Regulatory Analytical Platform are,

Automation Capability

Financial Institutions gets the advantage of preparing and submitting regulatory reports without manual effort.

Comply with new Regulations without risk

Setrega provides flexible data source configuration, API mapping and reporting format changes with minimum customization in product level which ensures relief from regulatory and compliance risks for the financial institutions working in various regions.

Scalability

Depending on the Institutions type like Buy Side/ Sell Side/venues, Setrega is scalable in terms of increasing number of connections, the humongous volume of data, more number of reports and formats, increased number of submission modes and regulatory authorities.

Transparency

Handling a large volume of data gives challenges in managing data to auditing; Setrega makes it more accessible by allowing the clients to have full control over data by powerful data transparency method.

Dashboard

Setrega act as a one-stop shop for all regulatory reporting for financial institutions. A vastly informative dashboard in Setrega provides all historical, current and scheduled regulatory reports and its internal & external statuses in graphical and tabular representations.

Regional Coverage

Financial firms who run their business across the globe get benefited from Setrega as one solution solves all the regulatory and compliance needs. It is successfully verified with major regulatory frameworks like MiFID II and NFA (National Futures Association) and regulatory authorities like SEC and SFC.

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The Rise of Online Payment Gateways

The cashless payment system is growing exponentially with evolving payment methods, rising e-commerce use, enhanced broadband connectivity, and emergence of new technologies. Can increasing incidences of cyberattacks and spams hamper the growth of online payment market or will it continue to grow at a rapid rate?

The global digital payment industry is expected to hit the USD6.6 trillion mark in 2021, registering around a 40% jump in two years. The cashless payment methods are rapidly evolving with ground-breaking innovations such as mobile wallets, peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments, real-time payments, and cryptocurrencies. In the growing digital age, many payment technology companies are collaborating with traditional financial institutions to cater to the latest consumer and merchant preferences. Due to enhanced broadband connectivity, increasing mobile commerce, emergence of new technologies such as Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and rapid digitization, billions of people have started embracing contactless payments in both developed and emerging countries. Besides, surging e-commerce businesses, digital remittances, digital business payments, and mobile B2B payments are boosting the non-cash transaction ecosystem.

Cashless transaction method users across various generations are widely adopting the digital peer-to-peer (P2P) apps as they are more appealing and flexible to use. In-app payments or tap-and-go transactions take seconds at the checkout and allow users to make payments anytime and anywhere. Tokenization, encryption, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), etc., offer multiple ways of securing payments while enabling digital transactions. Moreover, the users do not have to fill in information every time to complete the payment process. Thus, online payment gateways play a crucial role in the economic growth, enabling trade in the modern economy. With social distancing rules in place, digital payments have become an obligation for contactless transactions rather than just a transaction alternative to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Digital Commerce Empowering Businesses
Electronic payment systems have become a crucial part of businesses as consumer inclination towards online shopping is expanding. With broadening internet penetration, increasing use of smartphones, and diverse options for e-transactions, most consumers are preferring online channels over traditional brick-and-mortar stores for shopping. Therefore, businesses are shifting online with an electronic payment solution to maximize their profit earnings. Automating the electronic payment system eliminates the scope of errors and saves a considerable amount of time and effort. High standards for detecting and preventing fraud in digital transaction systems and AI-based fraud detections protect users from security breaches. By providing the flexibility for making payments through credit/debit cards, mobile money, e-Wallet, etc., the businesses can expand their customer base. The electronic payment process improves customer satisfaction as customers do not need to count cash or deal with paperwork whenever they want to make the transaction.

Biometric Authentication Enhancing Security
Biometric authentication involves recognizing biometric features and structural characteristics to verify the identification of an individual. The verification method can involve fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, voice recognition, vein mapping, iris detection, and heartbeat analysis. With the rise in identity theft and fraud, biometric authentication has become a reliable and secure alternative for making digital transactions. According to a recent research, biometrically verified mobile commerce transactions are expected to constitute a massive 57% of the total biometric transaction by 2023. Biometric payment cards are also becoming popular as they support tap-and-go payments, allowing users to make faster digital transactions. The digital payment technology provider, Worldline is partnering up with the French FinTech, A3BC (Anything Anywhere Anytime Biometric Connection), to protect mobile phones from intrusion with a two-factor authentication process. The combined solution eliminates identification through a single touch, rather it recognizes fingerprints through a picture of the hand. MasterCard is planning to bring FinGo’s vein-scanning payment solution that facilitates users to authenticate transactions.

Dominance of Mobile Wallets
In 2019, mobile wallets overtook credit cards to become the highly adopted payment type globally. Digital wallets offer flexibility to users to store multiple payment methods in one digital home and turn cash into electronic money required for online or in-store purchases. Financial institutions have already started to embrace the digital wallet trend by offering virtual cards to business customers. The virtual cards stored in digital wallets consist of details like 16-digit card number, CVV code, date of expiry and work just like the physical plastic card. Currently, only 37% of merchants support mobile payments at the point of sale, but with the rising adoption, merchants are willing to invest in technologies facilitating digital wallets. The virtual wallets can save money due to low processing costs as they limit transaction values and frequency. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is improving the user experience with regards to transactions with ChatBots, designed to execute and robotize essential exchanges as per the user’s interest. Besides, cryptographic money-based e-wallets are being embraced by new companies to small-medium organizations for storing digital money. Smart voice technology is contributing to the growth of smart voice wallets ever since Amazon propelled the principle of this platform, which is now being followed by Google and Apple.

E-Commerce Boom Accelerating Digital Payment Market Growth
E-commerce growth at an exponential rate is creating shock waves, and the sonic boom is reverberating across the FinTech sector. The growth of many e-commerce companies is driven by the kind of financial services they provide. Digital transactions make it convenient for the buyer and seller to make transactions and remain loyal to the market space. The COVID-19 pandemic added a different dimension to e-commerce innovation, introducing newer trends such as payment alternatives at checkouts (not with digital wallets), virtual cards, QR codes, and other touchless transactions. Besides, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) trend is dominating the e-commerce industry as it relieves the financial burden on the buyer. BNPL involves a soft credit check, so the consumers can buy what they need, keep the inventory moving, and pay overtime without affecting their credit score. BNPL provides businesses with much-needed liquidity and greater flexibility at the checkout.

Influence of COVID-19 Pandemic on Digital Payment Market Growth
Digital payment systems have moved beyond their peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers and bill payments. The COVID-19 pandemic allowed digital payment systems to showcase their strengths, such as a strong understanding of hyper-local markets and its ability to establish strong local partnerships. Businesses and consumers increasingly “went digital” for providing and purchasing goods and services online. When the pandemic hit, people did not want to touch or exchange cash due to the paranoia of catching the infection from physical currencies. Several governments around the world introduced digital financial transfers to provide COVID-assistance. Owing to lockdown measures, consumers shifted to online platforms, which catapulted the demand for digital payment systems. Now, digital platforms have become an essential component of people’s lives, and consumers are more likely to continue shopping online in the post-pandemic period. The dramatic shift in consumer behavior is likely to augment the demand for e-payment systems even more. Therefore, companies are focusing their attention on digital mediums to meet the new customer demands and thrive businesses in the changing market scenario. Organizations are reimagining customer journeys to reduce friction and provide new security features. Payment companies such as PayPal and Square Cash are staffing up across the board to better understand the rearrangement of societal norms and stabilize the business in the near future.

e-Payment Systems are the Future
With increasing smartphone and internet penetration, consumers are becoming tech-savvy, which presents endless opportunities for the digital payment markets. Post-pandemic, digital payment systems are anticipated to continue to flourish over the years to come. While cards remain the first choice for payments around the world, mobile wallets are quickly gaining traction. The traditional cash flow is declining in bank branches and ATMs, demonstrating a power move towards a cashless society. Currently, China dominates the global mobile wallet consumption, followed by South Korea. However, there are still many countries that are highly dependent on cash due to lack of trust towards financial institutions and lack of proper broadband infrastructure, etc. In the near future, social media-initiated payments, biometric payments, voice-activated payments are likely to become mainstream in developing countries as well.

Cybersecurity and Privacy Concerns with Online Payment Solutions
Cybersecurity and privacy threats have become a troubling concern with the increasing incidences of online fraud. According to the Mastercard survey, one out of four consumers experienced some kind of fraud in 2020, ramping up the cybercrime rate by 49%. In the first half of 2020, online scams increased by 73.8% from 2019. However, adopting new-age technologies such as multifactor authentication, biometrics, 3D security, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning can help control fraudulent activities such as phishing, virus attacks, etc. Shifting to contactless cards, QR codes, and tokenization can also help mitigate risks associated with digital payment solutions. Besides, sensitizing end-users about the secure application of e-payment solutions through amplifying efforts towards building financial literacy can help to prevent frauds. The emergence of mobile commerce and the evolution of e-payment platforms backed by robust security solutions can help to drive the goal of making the economy truly cash-less.

According to TechSci research report on “Global Payment Gateway Market By Type (Hosted, Self-hosted & Bank Integrated), By Enterprise Size (SME and Large Enterprise), By End-User (Retail, Travel & Hospitality, Healthcare, Education, Government, Utilities & Others), By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2026″, the global payment gateway market is expected to cross USD15 billion mark in 2019, registering a CAGR of 22% by 2026. The growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for online transactions, rising broadband connectivity, and exponential growth of e-commerce across the world.

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