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By David Haddon

The Changing Face of Retail

Technology, with all of its wonders, has made our lives easier in so many ways. It has recently become just a little easier when it comes to buying anything from groceries to that tiny little trinket you bought from the beach vendor in Mexico.

"FinTech" is a portmanteau of "financial technology." It is any new technology that is used in the financial sector. Used mostly for back-end processing for major financial institutions, today's smaller business can use this new technology to get up and running without having to wait months to get started. Now, small companies can start with just a website and an idea.

One of the biggest hurdles new companies face is getting set up with a financial institution to allow them to take credit cards. Today, PCI compliance has made credit card transactions more secure than ever, but not everyone has caught up with modern technologies and remain susceptible to being hacked.

Now, with an application such as Square or Flint, you can setup your account within minutes as long as you have a social security or tax identification number, a U.S. bank account and U.S. home mailing address. Previously, it would take 3-10 business days depending on paperwork and the time it took someone to review all of your documents.

Any new technology for taking credit cards is already PCI compliant, and you do not have to worry about updating systems that you would with a traditional point of sale setup. You do not even need a fancy register system that costs thousands of dollars. Software such as eMobile and OpSuitePOS allows you to ring up sales on your phone or tablet. Using Bluetooth and wireless signals to attach printers and other devices, someone can take your order from the table and it will automatically print up in the kitchen.

No more waiting for the waiter to take your order, find an available terminal and ring in the order, where there is a chance that they could ring in something incorrectly. I've even seen some restaurants have a tablet at the table where you just order what you like without having to wait for someone to come take your order.

Crowdfunding websites such as Indiego or GoFundMe are becoming more and more popular for helping small businesses get started. One campaign that I participated in is a product called Smove, which is a new way to film with your GoPro or iPhone that is more stable than selfie sticks and is expected to retail for over $400. By getting in while they are in their infancy, I was able to purchase one of these devices for less than $200. Not only do I get a great new product for my own business, but I save money as well as help a new company in its infancy.

Fintech is rapidly changing the way retailers operate and grow. While some things will never change, luckily for us little guys, we now have a better chance of following our dreams and launching the next great thing that wows the world!

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