Apple, Microsoft And Google Are Killing Passwords… And Other Small Business Tech News This Week


Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1- Apple, Microsoft, and Google want you to go password-less.

Apple, Google, and Microsoft recently announced that they will soon employ technology from the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance to make it possible for users to work across websites and apps by logging into a single website in Chrome from their PC using an iPhone. Users will use facial recognition, passcode, or fingerprint ID to register their identity through their smartphone. Once users confirm their identity on their phones, it’s there for good. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Why this is important for your business:

One of the biggest trends business owners will see over the next couple of years will be the death of passwords. Easily hacked and poorly administered, passwords have always been a lousy way to secure data. The future is biometrics: fingerprints, eye scans, palm reads, etc. This change will be driven by Apple, Microsoft and Google because who else is going to?

2 – Two Kabbage alumni start a fintech firm to help incentivize employees

Called Keep Financial Technologies, the startup which is founded by two ex founders of small business lender Kabbage aims to help companies offer upfront cash payments to their employees which vest over time. (Source: American Banker)

Why this is important for your business:

According to American Banker, “the idea is to provide an enticing perk to help recruit highly skilled employees who need money to buy a house, repay student loans or invest for retirement. And because these are essentially zero-interest loans the company pays back over time, these new employees are motivated to stay awhile.” This is intriguing because it’s an innovative way to not only attract but to retain employees over time by offering financial motivation to stay with a company.

3 – A buy now, pay later fintech firm plans to take on giants like Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm by giving customers access to its services at any merchant, from DoorDash to Best Buy.

UK fintech Zilch— which provides buy now, pay later (BNPL) services through its app’s virtual Mastercard— launched in the U.S. this past week with plans to take on BNPL giants such as Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna. Zilch— which can be used online and at physical stores—allows customers to choose where they want to shop. They can pay the first 25% on the spot and the rest over four installments. (Source: Business Insider)

Why this is important for your business:

Despite its risk to consumer that don’t fully understand the costs of not paying later when they buy now, the BNPL trend continues to grow. More firms like Zilch are driving this new financing method to all sorts of purchases, not just big ticket items. Remember: when you run a small business you want to give your customers every option to pay for your products and services and BNPL may be just the thing.

4 – 61% of firms have increased their use of digital marketplaces.

According to a recent report, 61% of firms are selling more on digital marketplaces as compared to this time last year. The bigger the firm, the higher the likelihood they used more marketplaces last year than in 2020. Sixty eight percent of firms who made more than $100 million annually said they used more marketplaces in 2021. Newer firms also said they used more marketplaces last year as compared to 2020. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s about diversification. Many of my clients – particularly my smaller clients – are recognizing that they can’t just sell their products through one channel. They need to leverage distribution, sales reps and definitely online marketplaces to get their goods out.

5 – An angry IT admin wiped the employer’s databases and got 7 years in prison.

A former IT administrator in China was recently sentenced to seven years in jail for deleting his former employer’s databases. This occurred in June of 2018 when the administrator took advantage of his security privileges to access the employer’s financial records and wipe all data from two servers. The company was immediately crippled, leaving thousands of employees without getting paid over a significant period. It cost approximately $30,000 to restore the information. (Source: Bleeping Computer)

Why this is important for your business:

Who’s supervising your IT team? These are the people that have access to your most confidential data. Properly vetting these critical employees could save your company a lot of money – and grief – in the future.



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