The Five Biggest Things In Tech You Missed This Week
(This post originally appeared on Forbes)
Did you miss these tech stories this week? They all affect your business.
Apple delays an update to its watch software.
According to this report: Apple Inc. said it is delaying the release of a much-anticipated software update for its smartwatch, after finding a bug during testing. Apple had planned to release watchOS 2, the first major update to its Watch software, on Wednesday along with iOS 9—the latest version of its iPhone software. “We have discovered a bug in development of watchOS 2 that is taking a bit longer to fix than we expected. We will not release watchOS 2 today but will shortly,” an Apple spokeswoman said.
How this affects your company. It has nothing to do with the Apple Watch, which still hasn’t offered enough business applications to make it a worthwile investment (yet). But it has a lot to do with integrity. Apple is scrutinized constantly and attacked for its every mistake. Good for them to admit a fault and miss a deadline to get it right, rather than ship something problematic. We should all do the same when shipping products or providing services that may not be completely up to par, regardless of the pain we’ll incur.
A “dislike” button on Facebook is coming.
In a Q+A session held at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Mark Zuckerberg said that a new “dislike button” would be a way for people to express empathy and that the company was “very close” to having it ready for user testing. A social media expert predicts that people “may use a dislike button to express some negative emotions (like frustration with ads popping up in their feeds) but I doubt it will cause them to start wantonly disliking pictures of their friends’ babies, dogs, cats and cooking experiments. I suspect it will mainly be used to express mild disapproval, or to express solidarity when someone posts about a negative event like a death or a loss.”
How this affects your company. In a world of managing negativity on the Internet (unwanted comments, poor reviews on Yelp, misinformation about a merchant’s products or services) we now have another thing to worry about: people “disliking” things we post to our company Facebook pages and potentially driving away business. If you rely on business from your Facebook page this could be a potential problem.
PayPal partners with Macy’s.
Per this report, PayPal is ramping up its in-store presence as more retailers rush to create mobile apps that allow consumers to pay with their phone. The company announced a partnership with Macy’s that will allow the department store’s customers to use PayPal at the register. When it comes time to pay, consumers can open up the PayPal app, select the store they’re in, and scan the item’s QR code. The deal extends to Macy’s Bloomingdale’s properties, as well.
How this affects your company. PayPal, once known for being the dominant online payment provider, is making aggressive moves into brick and mortar payments. As the company joins Apple Pay, Android Pay and Google Wallet more momentum will build towards enable consumers to make payment with their mobile devices. Is your business ready?
Small firms are still not ready for EMV
Per this report, Oct.1 marks the date when card insurers or merchants who don’t support EMV chip card technology will assume liability for any fraudulent point-of-sale card transactions. Before the shift, credit card fraud cost card issuers and banks about $3.4 billion annually. Shifting financial liability to businesses has been a goal of credit card companies for some time. The industry’s concentrated effort to get U.S. businesses to update their point-of-payment methods to align with the rest of the world is expected to significantly decrease the prevalence of credit card fraud. According to a Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business survey, fewer than half of small business owners who accept point-of-sale card payments today reported being aware of the Oct. 1 liability shift. And once informed of the liability shift, just 29 percent of business owners intended to make the change before the Oct. 1 deadline. Another 34 percent reported they would make the upgrade at some point after October, and 21 percent said they never planned to make the upgrade.
How this affects your company. If you’re accepting credit cards you have to make sure your point of sale equipment is EMV compliant or you could face big liabilities after October 1st if your business is already prone to credit-card fraud. Upgrade now.
The Fed’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged is a good thing for technology
Per this report, Like all asset markets — from stocks to bonds to real estate — the valuations of fast-growing tech startups have benefited from years of rock-bottom rates and central bank money-pumping programs. Low interest rates encourage investors to take more risk because parking capital in bank accounts or Treasuries doesn’t pay off. As a result they tend to chase higher yielding assets like junk bonds and the equity of fast-growing companies. “The low cost of capital in today’s world is fueling an investment and M&A boom,” said angel investor Fabrice Grinda. “When rates start to normalize in a few years, people will come to regret the prices they paid for assets when money seemed virtually free. It’s not a coincidence that the Internet bubble burst after the Fed increased the effective Feds Fund Rate by 1.91% between 1999 and 2000.”
How this affects your company: Tech companies have led the venture boom in this low interest rate environment and as these low rates will now continue in the short term, investors will continue to look for places to get the most return for their money – and your tech company still has a chance. Overall, the more capital going into tech, the more tech we should see developed that can help our businesses do things quicker, better and wiser!