Square’s updated Register apps tout simpler interfaces, make it easy to tip

Square Register

Both stores and their customers want to handle payments as quickly as possible, and Square has just updated its Register apps for Android and iOS to accommodate that need for retail speed. The new versions share a simpler, quicker interface that’s designed around the typical flow of real-world transactions. They also seamlessly integrate tips — guests can now reward their servers without interrupting the payment process. You likely won’t need to download one of the updated apps for yourself, but you’ll likely appreciate the time they save during your next lunch break.

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Via: Square, Android Police

Source: App Store, Google Play

PayPal revamping its policies to better support crowdfunding

PayPal sign

PayPal’s commerce system wasn’t built for crowdfunding, and that has created problems for some startups — the company recently (if briefly) froze $45,000 of Mailpile’s assets, for example. The PayPal team is determined to set things right, however, and just announced that it’s reworking its policies to better accommodate crowdfunding projects. The firm isn’t yet saying what those changes entail, but it’s requiring that its Risk Management group review any potential freezes on crowdfunding campaigns until there’s a permanent solution in place. While we’d prefer that PayPal devote the same kind of care to all frozen funds, it’s good to know that fewer entrepreneurs will have their dreams dashed by someone else’s mistake.

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Source: PayPal (1), (2)

Facebook to trial PayPal-style mobile payment system (update: more details)

Facebook Graph Search

We’ve had the chance to rent movies and otherwise purchase content through Facebook; wouldn’t it make sense if we could sign in to Facebook to buy goods elsewhere? The social network certainly thinks so, as it just confirmed to AllThingsD that it will be trialing a mobile payment system in about a month. The service is reportedly very PayPal-like — Facebook users with credit cards on file would just have to log in to make purchases inside of a mobile app. Only the flash sale outlet JackThreads is participating in the test at this stage, and there’s no mention of when the trial period expires. However, a full-fledged launch is potentially a major advantage for the House That Zuck Built. The payment system would give Facebook both a larger foothold in e-commerce and more insight into what members are willing to buy from advertisers.

Update: Our colleagues at TechCrunch have shed a little more light on the subject. They claim that the payment system is more of a complement to existing services than a competitor: it would only fill out the forms for another payment provider, including PayPal. Facebook reportedly sees this more as an extension of its advertising system, as it would both speed up sales and let marketers know when their ads are effective.

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Source: AllThingsD

Square app now records and tracks all payments, prints over Bluetooth

Square for iOS now records and tracks payments, prints over Bluetooth

Many shops that use Square readers still have to accept checks and gift cards, but they haven’t had an easy time reconciling those physical payments with the digital variety. Thankfully, updated versions of Square for Android and iOS should bring harmony by recording and tracking payments in virtually any format. The new release is particularly friendly to iPads serving as registers, giving them both cash management tools and support for printing receipts over Bluetooth. Storeowners whose sales still involve lots of paper or plastic will want to grab the latest Square apps through the source links.

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Via: The Next Web

Source: App Store, Google Play

Eat your heart out: Chinese e-commerce firm delivers packages within hours

Eat your heart out Chinese ecommerce firm launches 3hour delivery

Think same-day delivery is the bee’s knees? In China, an e-commerce company called Jingdong not only delivers your package a few hours after you place your order, but also gives you power to track it in real time on a map. You can even bug the delivery crew while they’re on the road, although they probably (hopefully) won’t pick up the phone or text you back while driving. The company offers its services in six major Chinese cities, including notoriously populous Beijing and Shanghai. Jingdong is a young company that’s yet to be profitable, but based on what it offers its customers, one can’t help but feel that eBay Now, Amazon Prime, and Google Shopping Express should step their game up.

[Image credit: Dwight Burdette, Wikipedia]

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Via: Pando Daily

Source: JD.com

US Senate passes internet sales tax bill, faces a stiff fight in House

US Senate passes internet sales tax bill, faces a stiff fight in Congress

The debate over taxing out-of-state online sales in the US has been raging for years, but there are signs that the often messy saga is finally winding to a close… well, maybe. The Senate just voted 69-27 in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would make internet retailers collect out-of-state sales taxes that Americans are already obligated to pay, but rarely do under a current system that puts the onus on (frequently unaware) buyers. Don’t be too hasty in cheering or jeering the apparent conclusion, however. The bill’s next stop is the House of Representatives, and the reception may be decidedly colder this time around. The act could be submitted to the President this year if it does survive the gauntlet, although a six-month buffer would likely push any tax changes to 2014 if the bill is ever signed into law.

[Image credit: Scrumshus, Wikipedia]

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Source: The Washington Times

E-Commerce in Rural China

E-commerce in China is massive and drastically expanding but not all of China’s online buyers and sellers are located in urban areas.

Image via Allianz

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, China’s urban population has surpassed the share of rural residents but there are still more than 656million people still living in China’s rural areas more than twice the total population of the United States.

Not only does this present a huge potential as an untapped market with rising pockets of wealth but also demonstrates further possibilities for the expansion for e-commerce in China.

The following infographic bellow by Alibaba demonstrates the sheer size of China’s current e-commerce activity.

The video bellow also produced by Alibaba showcases an example of how e-commerce has enabled farmers to access markets around the country and to sell their goods at more competitive prices. It follows the story of one particular entrepreneur Du Qianli who explains how his Taobao organic foods online store is helping poor farmers in China’s Taihang Mountains earn extra income.

Mr. Du details in the video how many producers in rural China suffer from shrinking local demand and need to sell their goods further afield in order to survive and to become prosperous. Opening e-shops on Taobao is easy for them thanks to the company’s self-learning courses and help from a network of fellow rural entrepreneurs like Du.

Unlike in the United States and Europe where e-commerce supposedly threatens the future of small local and rural business, in China e-commerce presents a wealth of opportunities. Entire towns and cities in rural areas are thriving on e-commerce especially as it is decentralised and enables producers to sell nationwide.

Of course buying and selling millions of goods in a country as large as China presents many logistical challenges. Compared to other emerging economies such as India, China’s rural infrastructure is relatively well developed and constantly improving. Yet as ATKearney reports in order to sustain the current rises in e-commerce activity in China the logistics infrastructure needs to grow to support this.

Google acquires e-commerce company Channel Intelligence for $125 million

Google just acquired the coupon-focused company Incentive Targeting and retail locker startup BufferBox in November, and it’s now further bolstered its e-commerce offerings with an acquisition of Channel Intelligence for $125 million. That company is part of the ICG Group, and offers a variety of marketing and shopping services (primarily concerned with boosting sales) to other companies and online retailers, including Staples and Best Buy. It’s also partnered with Google itself in recent years on Google Shopping. Barring any unforeseen hiccups, the company expects the acquisition to close sometime in the first quarter of this year.

Update: We’ve now also gotten this statement on the acquisition from a Google spokesperson: “We want to help consumers save time and money by improving the online shopping experience. We think Channel Intelligence will help create a better shopping experience for users and help merchants increase sales across the web.”

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Via: TechCrunch

Source: Channel Intelligence

Facebook tests $100 charge to message strangers, isn’t a big fan of spam

Facebook charging $100 to message strangers, isn't a big fan of spam

Facebook raised alarm bells among some social networkers when it confirmed that it’s experimenting with letting strangers message them for a fee. As we’re learning, however, it’s keenly aware of the ramifications if that fee is too low. The company has confirmed that it’s toying with “extreme price points,” such as the $100 Mashable and others have seen, to serve as a passive spam filter. Anyone who really, truly can’t wait for a friend request can pay the fee, while others who’d just bombard us with dating site links will have to rely on the traditional ad route instead. Between that and a once-per-week message cap, we’re worried less about cluttered inboxes and more about just who would be in dire enough straits to fork over a Benjamin for a burst of text.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Mashable

‘Tis the season: Amazon now offering customizable video gift cards from JibJab

DNP Amazon partners with JibJab t

Amazon announced a partnership with digital media company JibJab on Friday that will introduce free, personalized video gift cards to its customers. This new feature gives you the option to attach pictures to over 50 pre-themed videos, which includes holidays, birthdays and other special occasions. Customers can load up to $2,000 on a video gift card, which can be sent instantly or at a scheduled date and time via email or a Facebook wall post. The cards never expire and recipients can share their videos through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or email, while keeping the gift’s cash value private. So, if gift cards from the people with the smile on the box rank high on your holiday wish list, get ready to have your inbox hit with a barrage of disco grannies and snowball-throwing elf cat videos.

Continue reading ‘Tis the season: Amazon now offering customizable video gift cards from JibJab

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‘Tis the season: Amazon now offering customizable video gift cards from JibJab originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 16 Nov 2012 23:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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