The Church of England Now Accepts Credit Cards…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 — LET US PAY! The Church of England lets worshippers opt for contactless card payments.

To facilitate donations from worshippers who don’t carry cash, 40 churches in the Church of England are offering an alternative to collection plates: passing a hand-held payment device around the pews. “Tap and pay” churchgoers will now be able to choose one of three common donation amounts or use the option of keying in a different amount– up to £30.  (Source: The Sun)

Why this is important for your business:

Who carries cash anymore?  Not me, and apparently not as many churchgoers as before.  The COE is responding to these changing times.  Hopefully your business is too.

2 — A startup scores $8M to kill telemarketing with personalized texts.

Hustle, a one-to-one text messaging platform for managing real conversations at scale enables users to personalize marketing text messages…which has the potential to make telemarketing obsolete. This could revolutionize both grassroots activism and corporate sales and recently earned Hustle an additional $8 million in investments. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Mass-texting will continue to be a growing part of companies’ marketing tools.  Hustle was used by Bernie Sanders’ campaign and is one of many text marketing technologies that may be of interest to your company too.

3 — Millennials are no better with technology than their parents, study finds.

A review paper published in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education has challenged the increasingly popular idea that those born before 1980 are “digital immigrants” (uncomfortable in the world of computers) while those born after 1980 are information-savvy “digital natives”. Instead, it found that many millennials use technology just like their parents do—to “passively soak up information”. (Source: The Telegraph)

Why this is important for your business:

Just because they’re a “millennial” doesn’t automatically mean that they won’t need technology training.  Age doesn’t matter.

4 — Xero works with Stripe to help small businesses get paid faster.

On August 2, Xero and Stripe announced a partnership that will help small business owners get paid faster by using an expanded online payment solution with Stripe’s automated reconciliation. Now, when a Stripe payout comes in through customers’ bank feeds, Xero does the matching work for them—making reconciliation with the Stripe statement line possible with one click. (Source: Finextra Research)

Why this is important for your business:

This is important if you do sales online and use Stripe as your payments portal.   Accounting software integrations to these tools continue to evolve and investing a little time to get this setup can save you significant time and provide better information down the road.

5 — This police department is a smash hit on social media.

One of the world’s most popular police departments on Facebook and Twitter is in Bangalore, India. The reason: social media were the best sources of real-time information about rerouted traffic, burning buses, and violent mobs during the city’s riots in September, 2016.  The department posted updates and info on road blocks and gave out emergency numbers for hospitals and police stations during the crisis. (Source: NPR)

Why this is important for your business:

C’mon…if a police department in Bangalore, India is successfully using social media, how about you?

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