Posts tagged with "payment"

360 MAGAZINE gaming illustration by Ivory Rowen.

Bitcoin And Online Casinos

Is Bitcoin a viable payment method for online casinos?

There are many payment methods that can be used at online casinos. Bitcoin is being accepted by a growing number of online gambling sites. Bitcoin never seems to be out of the papers these days, so is it a viable payment method for use at an online casino?

The mere fact that online casinos are accepting Bitcoin as a payment method speaks volumes. It is not going to be helpful to anyone if a payment method employed by them is going to cause big problems.

These online casinos will have put a great deal of thought into whether to allow the use of Bitcoin or not. It’s not an overnight decision. A great deal of thought has been put into their decision, and the fact they allow Bitcoin’s use should be seen as a huge vote of confidence in the cryptocurrency.

One site that supports this cryptocurrency is Bitcoin Games online casino. It’s important to do some research before joining any site. Taking a good look at a Bitcoin Games review is helpful. This review gives you plenty of information about the site.

Safety is so important when it comes to online payments. There is still a fair amount of financial fraud that takes place, and of which no one wants to become a victim. Bitcoin can help in this area because of the way it operates as a currency.

Unlike with a credit or debit card, there is no central bank in play with Bitcoin. It is the person who makes the financial transaction that owns the Bitcoin being used. The amount of personal information being made available to possible fraudsters is always a worry with banks, but that’s not the case if you are using Bitcoin. The fraudsters will be upset when realizing they can’t get their hands on your currency. The customer and the online casino itself will be impressed with this situation.

Another worry is that your bank account might be frozen. If you are using a debit or credit card for your financial transactions, it will cause you major problems. However, Bitcoin avoids these issues due to that lack of a central bank.

It’s not just a central bank that is absent. Furthermore, there’s no government to deal with this currency, though the Chinese government are doing their best to warn people off its use. Online sites will be happy that there’s no government to deal with, another reason they like using Bitcoin. There’s no taxation either and transactions cannot be reversed.

There are some disadvantages with Bitcoin, but that can be said of any payment method. How many times do you hear people moaning about their bank or PayPal? The main problem with Bitcoin is how its value can be volatile. That’s common with any relatively new currency and will hopefully settle down in the future. However, that’s more of a worry for those investing with Bitcoin. Just using Bitcoin to gamble online is a much better and safer way of using it.

Boutique illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Boutique Customer Service Tips

Customer Service Tips Every Boutique Retailer Should Try

By: Joseph Heller, small businesses expert and CEO of Supplied!

Supplied makes it easier for small boutique owners around the world to access high-quality, affordable wholesale boutique items, whether to stock their physical store or IG shop.

Do you remember the last time you had a truly fantastic customer service experience?

Maybe a cashier complimented your earrings, or maybe the person at the drive-thru unexpectedly threw an extra taco in for free. Or maybe you were just really vibin’ with the enthusiasm you could hear at the other end of the customer support line. Whatever it was, chances are it made you more excited to return and support that company with your business in the future.

Now… think back to the last time you had an awful customer service experience.

Was someone being unnecessarily difficult while you were trying to return a sweater, you’d bought a week ago? Or did someone leave you on hold for hours and hours? Or maybe someone just would NOT honor your coupon, even though you received it in an email yesterday?

Whatever that bad experience was… I’d be willing to bet it made you a whole lot less likely to go back anytime soon.

As Vince Lombardi famously said, “It takes months to find a customer and seconds to lose one.” One poor customer service experience could cause you to lose all of a valuable customer’s future business.

Offering better customer service skills often doesn’t cost a dime, but it can make a world of a difference for your profits. Studies show that acquiring a new customer can cost five times as much as retaining an existing customer. Plus, the success rate of marketing to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while it’s only 5-20% when marketing to a new customer. 

If you haven’t been making great customer service a major priority in your boutique lately, now is the time to change that. 

Read on to learn 25 powerful (but easy!) customer service tips every retailer should try implementing in their business.

(If you’ve hired someone else as the main customer service rep for your boutique business, send this article along to them as a reminder!)

Top 25 Customer Service Tips

Focus on the customer in front of you

As a boutique owner, you’ve constantly got about a zillion and one thing that need your time and attention. But when it’s a customer you’re dealing with, zero in on them and their needs. Nobody likes feeling unimportant – make sure you give them your undivided attention while they’re talking to you, whether it’s over the phone, in person, or in your site’s live chat.

Be empathetic

Chances are, you’ve been in the exact same situation your customer’s in right now – whether they’re trying to figure out what size shoe to purchase or they’re trying to initiate a return for something that didn’t turn out the way they’d hoped. Do your best to see the situation from their perspective. You’ll be able to provide a better customer experience if you’re in touch with their needs and emotions.

Make an extra effort

Work tirelessly to solve your customer’s problems. If a customer wants a certain size that’s out of stock, double-check your inventory, let them know when they can expect that item to come back, offer them alternatives, or give them a discount code for their trouble. Your customers will appreciate you going the extra mile for them.

Improve systems

Customer service isn’t just about making your customer feel valued while you’re speaking to them – it’s also about providing a great all-around customer experience. Do a quick audit of your website and make sure it’s user-friendly. Is it easy to check out? Browse new arrivals? Search for specific items? Purchase using the payment method they prefer? If not, set aside some time to make some adjustments.

Identify their needs

There might be all sorts of things you could be doing to provide a better customer experience that you don’t even realize yet. Put together a short survey to send out to your customers about the checkout process and their past customer service experiences. It’ll show you what’s going well and what you could improve.

Use their name

Simple, but effective. Whenever a customer reaches out to you, take note of their name and use it. It’ll give your communications a more personal touch. (Don’t forget to introduce yourself by name, too!) Bonus points if you remember other personal details about them for next time.

Smile

Yes, even if you’re not talking to the customer in person! Make an effort to be friendly and positive, even if you’re just sitting at your desk at home – you can totally hear a smile through the phone, and it makes a difference.

Be generous

If you could spend $5 to secure a customer who’s loyal to you for life… would you do it? Sometimes, that’s all it takes. When a customer reaches out to you, your priority is to make them happy – offering free shipping or accepting a late return can do just the trick. And that’s not just common sense – research shows that accepting someone’s generosity makes you feel indebted to them, which can translate to return business.

Don’t say “I don’t know”

Sure, you’re not gonna immediately have the answers to every single one of your customers’ questions… but it’s kinda your job to know. So, when you tell a customer “I don’t know,” what they hear is “I don’t care.” Not exactly the message you’d like to get across when you’re on the phone with a customer! Practice saying “Let me check on that for you” instead.

Celebrate birthdays

Acknowledging your customer’s birthdays is a surefire way to make them feel valued and appreciated. Ask your customers for your birthday as they sign up for your mailing list, then send them an email with a promo code for a free gift or a discount right before their special day.

Be clear about your policies

Your customers aren’t mind-readers – if you don’t let them know, they have no idea about how long shipping should take, where you ship to, or under what circumstances you accept returns. Be sure your shipping and returns policies are clearly stated on your website to avoid confusion. It’ll answer some questions before they’re ever even asked!

Honor your promises

Your customers need to know that they can trust your boutique to deliver the value it promises. Stick to the shipping and return policies you have listed on your website (unless you choose to go above and beyond them, of course!) Honor coupons and discount codes for as long as you said you would. Post any giveaway winners publicly in your stories. Trust is key!

Acknowledge frequent customers…

Let your return customers know how much you appreciate them! Whether you throw a quick handwritten thank-you note into their next order or you offer a discount code that’s good for their next purchase, it’ll definitely make them want to keep coming back.

But make sure new customers feel the love, too!

It’s a big leap to order from a company you’ve never purchased anything from before – make sure new customers feel super welcome. Acknowledge new customers by offering free shipping on their first order, sending a promo code when they sign up for your mailing list, or even sending a quick thank-you email for taking a chance on your shop.

Be transparent

Running a business is tough, and sometimes extenuating circumstances make it even tougher. Be open with your customers about the hurdles you’re currently going through, especially if it will affect shipping times or restock dates.

Sincerely apologize

We all make mistakes – especially when we’re doing huge, crazy difficult things like running a business. If you’ve made a mistake on a customer’s order, own your error, sincerely apologize, and do whatever it takes to make things right. It’s much more professional than shrugging off responsibility or blaming someone else. (Bonus points if you reach out and own up to it before the customer even notices!)

Make it easy to get in touch

Have you ever sent an email to a company’s customer service team… and then never heard anything back? Yeah, that’s the worst. Don’t be that company. Let your customers know the best way to reach you, whether it’s through Instagram DMs, email, or over the phone. If you want to go the extra mile, include a live chat feature on your website that’s available 24/7. (Also, word of advice: if you have a contact form on your website, make sure to check it every so often!)

Offer self-help customer service

If your customers can find their own answers to their questions, it makes their lives easier AND your life easier. Include a comprehensive FAQ page on your website that answers common questions about shipping, sales, returns, and more. For more complicated questions, you might want to write up an entire blog post to give your customers more information. Just be sure your customers still know that they can reach out to you with any questions they can’t find the answers to.

Plan for the holidays

Here’s a hot tip: over the holidays, things get BUSY. Even if you usually don’t have very many people blowing up your inbox about shipping questions, there’s a very good chance you will during the holidays. Make sure you’re prepared with multiple customer service reps helping respond to questions (if need be) and detailed holiday shipping info displayed on your website and social media pages.

Respond quickly

Make it a goal to respond to all customer emails within 48 hours whenever possible. No matter how busy you are, customers want to feel like their concerns and questions are a top priority. As for Instagram DMs, Facebook messages, and comments, try and get in a habit of responding to those right when you see them. (Your customers will like that and so will the algorithm!)

Hire the right people

If you’ve only recently opened your boutique business, you might be the only person your customers ever interact with. But as you grow and add more people to your team, make sure they’re people who are kind, friendly, and pleasant to interact with. Nobody’s perfect, but a positive attitude can make all the difference.

Be polite

Pretend you’re at the dinner table with your strict aunt – say lots of pleases and thank yous. Not only is it common courtesy, but it’s also good business. It’ll also help you still sound friendly and polite even when you’re communicating via messenger or text.

Set clear expectations

Sorry, but you’re not superwoman. When your customers approach you asking when they can buy an item you aren’t planning on restocking, or when they ask if you can make sure the package, they just ordered gets to them by tomorrow, sometimes you just can’t give them the answer they were hoping for. Be realistic in your responses and don’t make promises you can’t keep. Setting clear expectations is also helpful in responding to emails – sending an automated email letting a customer know when they can expect a response is also helpful, even if they were initially hoping for a reply right away.

Be human

There isn’t a robot at the other end of all of those incoming customer emails – it’s bright, bubbly, sparkly you! Don’t be afraid to infuse your communications with your genuine personality. Strike up a conversation with a customer on the phone, ask about their day, say “top of the morning to ya” instead of “hello” when you feel like it. It’ll help forge a relationship with your customers!

Offer suggestions

Have you ever asked a waiter what you should order, only for them to respond, “I love everything on the menu equally!” Yeah, that’s not helpful – don’t be like that guy. When your customers ask for your opinion, politely give it. You’re the real expert on the products you carry – use your insider knowledge to guide your customers to the right decision for them.

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Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller, small businesses expert and CEO of Supplied!
Allison Christensen Illustrates a Music Business Article for 360 MAGAZINE

VEVA Sound X Quansic

VEVA Sound announced Tuesday that users of its platform are now able to register for an ISNI number for free.

An ISNI is an International Standard Name Identifier, a number uniquely identifying an individual in the music industry.

VEVA Sound verifies archived projects for clients. By partnering with Quansic, a leader in ISNI services, to facilitate registrations, it is now easier for creators to get credit and payment for their work.

FX Nuttall, the founder of Quansic, said the partnership made perfect sense for the company, as both Quansic and VEVA Sound share a vision that creators should be able to be identified easily and early in the creative process.

“As this partnership continues into the future, we are enthusiastic about introducing VEVA Collect’s users to our products — starting with ISNI registration before addressing the allocation of ISRC for Recordings and BOWI for Works,” Nuttall said. “We at Quansic are focused on enabling 100% identifier coverage for all, and our friends at VEVA provide an unprecedented opportunity for the independent creative community to do just that.”

President of VEVA Sound Deborah Fairchild said she is excited about the partnership and for the new opportunities for artists and creators who use VEVA Collect for payment for their work.

“FX Nuttall is widely respected in our industry, and we are proud to avail his expertise to our users through Quansic,” Fairchild says. “We believe it is imperative that we empower creatives with every resource available to receive authenticated credit for their work.

VEVA Sound was founded in 2002 and works to spearhead the movement to define, create and implement the standards for how sound is preserved and monetized. They now have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville and London where they work with clients to verify and archive audio and metadata.

To learn more about VEVA Sound, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

You can learn more about Quansic by clicking right here.

Illustration for 360 mag by Kaelen Felix

ShinePay Laundry Payment App

By Hannah DiPilato

The new app ShinePay brings laundry payment to your pocket with the new convenient app. This is a way for apartments or laundromats to easily add phone payments for their customers. 

Customers download the ShinePay app and add a payment method. Each washer and dryer will have a unique QR code that customers will scan to view prices and submit wifi. Funds are then transferred to the owner’s ShinePay account which can be securely withdrawn.

ShinePay installs with new or existing units with ease and the ShinePay Bluetooth Spark installation can be completed in just a few minutes. The ShinePay Bluetooth Spark installation can work by itself or be installed to work in conjunction with other existing ways to pay. The system does not require wifi or any equipment besides the customers’ smartphone. There’s even a video that shows how easy the installation is. 

The ShinePay Bluetooth Spark only costs a one-time payment of $149 per unit for the price of each hardware. The transaction fee, which only applies to electronic transactions, is 3.9%. ShinePay also helps to reduce the cost of coin transportation when transitioning to a coin-free laundry service. 

ShinePay also brings a new level of safety and security to the laundry room. By going coinless thieves have nothing to steal, so you can own your machines with peace of mind. The company also keeps data security as a top priority and keeps all customers’ data safe. ShinePay also stores, decrypts, and transmits customers’ card numbers in a hosting infrastructure that is entirely separate from ShinePay’s primary services. 

Certified to the most rigorous Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), ShinePay ensures security. The company has also obtained global regulatory licenses. The payment technology the company uses has a PCI DSS Level 1 certification which is the most stringent level of certification in the payment industry. There is also advanced fraud detection put in place to protect against imposters. 

Support is given to both owners and customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone, chat and email. This provides around the clock support for any questions regarding ShinePay. The brand is always improving its platform and continuously adds new features. 

ShinePay has also introduced ShineKiosk, a payment system where customers don’t need to download an app. This system is perfect for hotels, laundromats or apartment buildings where people are just passing through. The ShineKiosk requires a one-time hardware payment of $899 and a monthly cost of $25. There is the same 3.9% transaction fee for ShineKiosk transactions. 

Customers can type their card information into the secure system and payment is wirelessly sent to the selected machines. All you need to host a kiosk is a wall, power outlet and internet connection. ShineKiosk has the same security as the ShinePay app, so all credit card information is secure. 

For more information on the ShinePay products visit their website, call +1-510-570-1866, or email hello@shinepay.co. You can also follow ShinePay on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

THE ECONOMIST x OPEN FUTURE

The Economist, a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, today announced “Open Future”, an editorially driven initiative (www.economist.com/openfuture) which aims to remake the case for The Economist’s founding principles of classical British liberalism which are being challenged from all sides in the current political climate of populism and authoritarianism.

“Although the world has changed dramatically since James Wilson founded The Economist to fight against the Corn Laws, the liberalism we have championed since 1843 is as important and relevant as ever,” said Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, The Economist.  “Yet the core tenets of that liberalism—faith in free markets and open societies—face greater resistance today than they have for many years. From globalization to free speech, basic elements of the liberal credo are assailed from right and left.”

Content for Open Future will be developed and organised around five themes: Open Society (diversity, and individual rights versus group rights); Open Borders (migration); Open Markets (trade, markets, taxes and welfare reform); Open Ideas (free speech); and Open Progress (the impact and regulation of technology). In addition to content from The Economist editorial staff, the Open Future hub will feature commentary from outside contributors, including from those with dissenting points of view.

The initiative launches with a debate between Larry Summers and Evan Smith about no-platforming and free speech at universities. Mr Summers is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and as the Director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. Evan Smith is a Research Fellow in history at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia and is writing a book on the history of no-platforming.

A special report on the future of liberalism written by editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes will appear in the newspaper’s 175th anniversary edition dated September 15th. And on that Saturday, the newspaper will host the Open Future Festival, to be held simultaneously in Hong Kong, London and New York. There will also be an Open Future essay contest for young people; surveys and other data visualizations; podcasts; social-media programs and new video from Economist Films.