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

1 —AMC theaters will start accepting Bitcoin this year.

According to recent reports, AMC will begin accepting Bitcoin for tickets and concessions at all of its theaters in the country by the end of the year. The CEO of AMC —Adam Aron —wasn’t clear about how the payments would be made but added that theaters in the U.S. should also be set up to accept and support Google and Apple pay for purchases made online by the end of 2021. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

Digital currencies continue to work their way into mainstream commerce and now AMC is joining other larger organizations, from Microsoft and PayPal to Etsy and Starbucks in accepting digital payments. As their volatility decreases and public acceptance widens this form of payment will continue to catch on. If you’re running a small business you should be planning to accept digital currencies like Bitcoin in the not so distant future.

2 — Amazon is giving consumers an easier way to file complaints for faulty goods from third-party sellers.

This past week Amazon announced an update to its return policy to make it easier for consumers to report an issue or complaint regarding purchases from third-party sellers. While the current policy suggests buyers directly contact sellers to address issues, under the new policy consumers will be able to contact Amazon with a property damage or injury claim and then be connected with the seller of the faulty product. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

Millions of small businesses sell on Amazon, accounting for half of the products shipped from their platform. Amazon’s support of their small merchants is strong but they also realize that problems do occur and so they’re stepping up both their refunds and enforcement processes to ensure that third party sellers are doing a good job. If you’re selling products on Amazon be aware that the company is re-focusing on your speed, timing and quality.

3 —Osome raised $16M to automate repetitive accounting tasks.

Osome —an accounting platform that is powered by AI — recently raised $16 million in funding. The platform —which is based in Singapore — primarily offers accounting services online for small businesses in the ecommerce field. The company plans to use the funding to expand its international footprint to build new products.  (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Customers have their documents converted into reports and tax filings by accountants who then help check deadlines and compliance. Osome can tag, store, and categorize the documents to ensure they can be traced.

4 — Google is making a play for the VPN market.

Google recently announced that it will be expanding its VPN (Virtual Private Network) service to more countries. The service — which is coupled with subscriptions for Google One cloud storage — will be available in the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Canada, and Mexico. When the expansion is finished, users in those seven countries will have the capability to enable the Google One app on Android, while an exact timeframe for when the service will be available on Windows, macOS, and iOS has not yet been set. (Source: Tech Radar)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s important that you ensure that you and your employees are using some form of VPN service, particularly when they’re travelling or connecting to an unknown router. The encryption and privacy offered by VPNs significant reduce the chance of data breaches.

5—Wix launched a no-code app builder for $200 per month.

Wix announced this past week that it will be introducing Branded App by Wix, a new product geared toward business owners that will let users create original apps without the need to write code. Wix — which creates tools for businesses and individuals to help run and manage their online activity — will charge $200 a month for the new app as well as an annual fee of $99. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Wix is a very popular platform for small businesses to build websites. It’s easy to use and setup with many templates available. Out of the box and easy to use is great for many small business businesses. But these new tools will significantly help  those small companies that want to do more, like build more specialized, customized sites or integrate with other platforms.

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