EMV-compliant card reader.

Are You Ready for EMV?

silver American express chip card shown dipped, or being processed, in an emv terminalYou are probably hearing a lot about EMV in the news and maybe even receiving a few scary calls from merchant service providers who imply that EMV has something to do with PCI Compliance.  For the record EMV has NOTHING to do with PCI Compliance and no matter what software you are running on your POS COCARD can manage your EMV. Relax, COCARD is ready for EMV and we are here to help YOU be ready too.

A little background: EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa; it is the global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.  Have you heard about all the data breaches in the last few years? EMV is the card association’s answer to these breaches, the technology has been used in Europe for more than 10 years and they have seen a drastic reduction in credit card fraud.

What happens?

In the beginning your exposure will be minimal because the only liability for fraud will be with cards that have chips implanted.  However, as time goes on, and if EMV becomes the new standard, your exposure will increase. If a chip card is used at a business that has not changed its system to accept chip technology and this chip card is fraudulent then the counterfeit card can be successfully used and cost of this fraud will fall back on the merchant.

What does this new technology mean to your business?

The switch to EMV means adding a new in-store technology to your current processing system or not.  Chances are you may already be EMV ready but in either case don’t worry, COCARD is here to help! Most importantly the EMV technology means greater protection against fraud in your business.

For ongoing updates and the most current information about EMV, PCI, card association updates and fraud alerts like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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A retail shopper.

Cocard 101

The future of merchant account services is here!

When it comes to payment processing, every second counts. That’s why CoCard is constantly developing new technology solutions to meet industry needs for speed and reliability. A full-service credit card processing and merchant account services provider with a focus on technology, CoCard has offered complete payment processing solutions since 1989. Along the way, we have led the payment processing industry in developing new technologies and building customized client solutions. Serving large and small retail, internet, wireless and telephone/mail-order businesses and service providers around the world, CoCard’s innovative services allow clients to easily and affordably manage risk and accept payments of all kinds.

For immediate assistance:
Call 1.800.317.1819, email info@cocard.info,
or visit http://cocard.info/apply/ for a customized quote.

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Where Do You Stand?

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How do you react when you are outside of your comfort zone? Are you a natural at mingling and an ace at taking the stage? Or do you cringe just thinking about the  prospect?

Whether you’re a social butterfly or have a proclivity toward being shy, social psychologist Amy Cuddy claims you can influence how people perceive you—confidence levels, leadership skills, friendliness, and competence based solely on your  body language.

Here, a few interesting takeaways from Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk: 

1. Others judge us based on our body language. Closed and withdrawn positions are  often associated with inferiority or passivity, while triumphant, confident poses are linked with power.

2. How we see ourselves can be influenced by our own body language.

3. Pretending to feel certain emotions by posturing (forcing a smile or placing hands confidently on the hips) can lead us to actually feel said emotions.

4. Adopting powerful body language can change us on a physiological level (triggering testosterone and cortisol levels).

5. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes. Cuddy suggests holding a strong, dominant posture for two minutes before heading into a potentially stressful situation, like a job interview.

To view Cuddy’s presentation in full, click here.

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Have a Startup in Mind? Get Moving.

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If you’re looking to launch a business sometime soon, one of your best moves may be to, well… move. According to a recent poll from NerdWallet (as published on CNN.com)

the following ten cities ranked as the best places in the U.S. to launch a startup right now.

1. Oklahoma City, Okla.

2. Miami, Fla.

3. Omaha, Neb.

4. Raleigh, N.C.

5. Nashville, Tenn.

6. Atlanta, Ga. (that’s where we live!)

7. Austin, Texas

8. Seattle, Wash.

9. Denver, Colo.

10. Memphis, Tenn.

Common traits among several of these cities include population growth, access to incubators, low costs of living and large startup communities. Add in high qualities of life, good food and gorgeous natural surrounds and you’ve got a win-win!

Share updates about your new startup (or why it’s great doing business in your city) with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Service Industry Boom

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Big news for the service industry: 2014 has brought a huge surge in the number of service-related companies. According to a recent article in Bloomberg, service industries—like restaurants and retailers—grew in July at the fastest rate since December 2005! Additionally, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing index increased to 58.7 (readings greater than 50 indicate expansion). The U.K. is experiencing similar trends in its service industry as well, which means your potential customers are ready and willing to spend. Terry Sheehan, an economist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates is cited in the article as saying, “We’re seeing numbers that we haven’t seen since well before the financial crisis and recession, and they seem to be more sustained.”

Coinciding with this jump are an increase in new orders among service providers (they too are experiencing the highest ISM measure since August 2005) and an uptick in production (manufacturers have the highest ISM level since April 2011). Negative side-effects include an increased unemployment rate from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent (given the influx of new job seekers into the labor market), a decline in the stock market (investors jumping on the anticipated uptick too soon) and an increase in competition for businesses in the service industry.

Worried about the influx of new competitors? Stay ahead of the curve by employing these business practices.

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Back to School Trends

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You loaded up the kids on school supplies weeks ago… but don’t think you’re finished with back-to-school prep just yet. You’ve still got the season’s fashion trends to consider for your teen or tween. As is the case with every school year, last year’s looks have hibernated after the long summer and have ushered in a fresh new palette of colors, textures and themes.

According to Teen Vogue, fall girls’ fashion will incorporate plenty of plaids, wools, oversized cardigans, fringe, pastels, layered looks, ’90s throwback (including lots of denim on denim) and ’60s Chelsea girl mod (shift dresses, cat-eye makeup). High-waisted jeans are in for girls too (previously dubbed “mom jeans”). Guys meanwhile are leaning more fashionable than past years, sporting preppy-meets-bad-boy apparel.

Blazers, denim jackets and leather jackets are back in, as are skinny khakis, bright-hued denim and patterned slip-on sneakers. Backpacks will likely need replacing, and this year’s stock is all about colorful prints and patterns. Don’t be surprised if your student asks for a new iPhone cover too (even though his old one is perfectly fine); smartphone cases are big venues for personalization.  

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Clover Point of Sale System

Feeling Lucky? Try Clover!

Clover, a point of sale system which accepts contactless payments and EMV cards, shown in white with receipt printer and barcode scanner.

At CoCard, we’re devoted to making sure our clients find the POS systems best suited to their needs. So we’re thrilled to be adding the Clover POS system to our roster of services! In case you’re unfamiliar, a Clover Station is a cash register, terminal and POS system in one that allows business owners to accomplish a range of tasks within one inclusive system. With Clover, you can track your inventory, view reports, and manage employees, while juggling various other tasks. While this system can certainly be implemented at numerous business types, CoCard finds that Clover is the best fit for quick-service restaurants, full-service restaurants and specialty retailers. Thinking about switching? Call us at 1.800.317.1819 or drop us a quick line at sales@cocard.info.

SEE THE CLOVER POS HERE

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Hacker Alert:

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In case you missed the news at the beginning of this month, in early August, a Russian crime ring collected the largest known cluster of Internet credentials to date, which included 1.2 billion user name and password combos and more than 500 million email addresses in a mega-security breach. Milwaukee’s Hold Security discovered the violation and says the security breach affected several large businesses, but was unable to share the names of those affected due to nondisclosure agreements and victim security. The hackers cast a wide net, going after large and small business websites alike in countries around the globe—including the United States and Russia. According to an August 5 New York Times article, it appears the hackers haven’t sold much of the data, but are instead using this hacked info to send spam through social media sites, like Twitter for a fee. This article identifies the hacking ring as a small group of less than a dozen men in their 20s, based in south central Russia.

While it’s always troubling to hear news like this, don’t panic. Instead, tighten your Internet security measures. Ensure that you’re using strong passwords and that you’re utilizing different passwords on different websites. If you know you’re guilty of being lax with your passwords (or use the same ones on multiple sites), updating them to stronger passwords is a good idea. You may also want to check out one of the automated password changing services out there, like this free one, to ensure you’re keeping hackers on their toes.

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Cocard: Proud Sponsor of the AJC Decatur Book Festival!

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The 2014 AJC Decatur Book Festival is finally upon us…

…and for the third year in a row, Cocard is a proud sponsor. We love our city, and we support local businesses and events to the fullest of our abilities. We are proud to call Decatur, GA our home and the AJC Decatur Book Festival is the largest and best festival of its kind!

This year, We will be providing an Information Booth near the bandstand on Decatur Square. Please stop by and introduce yourself. Feel free to ask us questions about the Festival or our services. See what Cocard can do for your business — we might even have a little something special to give you!

More about the Decatur Book Festival:

Over Labor Day weekend, tens of thousands from metro Atlanta and beyond will share the historic downtown Decatur square with world-class authors, illustrators, editors, publishers, booksellers, and artists for a weekend filled with literature, music, food, art, and fun.

Stay tuned for the online schedule of author events. It’s going to be the biggest celebration of the written word yet. Welcome to Decatur, friends—we’re glad you’re here for the party.

  • Check out the Decatur Book Festival blog!
  • Follow the Decatur Book Festival Twitter !
  • Friend the Decatur Book Festival Facebook!
  • Sign up for the Decatur Book Festival newsletter!
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Merchants Show Increased Demand for Integrated POS

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Basic processing systems will no longer cut it in the payment processing industry. A terminal is viewed as the bare minimum in today’s market, and merchants are finding it more necessary to integrate multiple technologies in their software applications. Now merchants are able to run their entire business and collect payments on the same device.

Aside from the decrease in technology prices, tablet technology now allows merchants to get all of the products they normally couldn’t afford in one simple tool. When this is coupled with the fact that merchants are becoming more skilled and innovative in the payment industry, it becomes apparent that tablet based systems is the answer to all payment processing problems.

POS systems used to cost thousands of dollars, but now with integrated technology, merchants are able to afford the programming with rates as low as $50 a month. Also, the fact that different merchants required varied solutions gives more power to integrated POS systems. Systems that cover more bases and provide more solutions are being created on a more frequent basis, and industry specific tools are developing rapidly.

Because the industry standard for tools has changed so much, it is more important than ever that your POS system is top of the line. CoCard not only provides state of the art POS programming for tablets and devices, but also has a mobile payment application called ‘CCMobile’ that completely integrates a merchant’s business transaction data. Whether your business is in retail, restaurants, or any other industry specific trade, allow CoCard to provide cutting-edge POS solutions to simplify your daily process and reduce expenses. Call us for more information!

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