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Square Wants To Replace Your Bank…And Other Small Business Tech News


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

1 —Square may soon offer small business checking and savings accounts.

Bloomberg shared this past week that Square is preparing to roll out a checking and savings account option to their customers who own and run small businesses. According to the information, Square does not plan to charge overdraft, minimum balance, or service fees on the checking account. With its savings account, Square will offer an interest rate of 0.5% through this year. Small business owners will be able to immediately have access to funds in their checking account from transactions conducted in Square. (Source: Banking Dive)

Why this is important for your business:

The banking industry continues to be disrupted by payment providers like Square. This means more options for small businesses along with lower transactional costs.

2 — Microsoft is pepping up its Edge browser speed with sleeping tabs and startup boost.

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With browser performance remaining an integral part of computing— particularly on personal computers— Microsoft announced that its Edge browser is getting a boost in speed with its new sleeping tabs feature. Sleeping tabs allows tabs users are using actively to have priority while idle or background tabs are paused, allowing for improved speed. The new and improved browser will also open and start much quicker than before. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

Google Chrome dominates the browser market but Microsoft is looking to change that. And its strategy is to not only make its Edge browser omnipresent on all Windows devices but to make it fast, fast, fast. Who doesn’t want to get things done quicker?

3 —Firms are dialing back on video calls to avoid ‘Zoom fatigue’.

Major firms—such as Citi and HSBC— have started to implement “Zoom-free” days to give employees a break from video conferencing. The trend comes as “Zoom fatigue” starts to set in and companies work to remedy the situation. Research conducted by a professor at Stanford supports the fact that too much video conferencing can cause physical, emotional, and social fatigue and exhaustion due to staying in one spot for too long, looking at the computer screen for too long, and struggling with deciphering non-verbal cues through the screen. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

Everyone’s trying to figure out just how pervasive work-from-home will be now that the pandemic is receding. One of the factors is the impact virtual and video tools have on employee’s productivity, physical and mental health. I think this is one of many reasons why most companies will be bringing their employees back to the office sooner rather than later, and requiring them to be at their desks more often than at home. We’ll see!

4 — Warehouses are looking to robots to fill labor gaps and speed up deliveries.

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With the surging demand of online purchases, many businesses are turning to automated solutions such as robots to help meet the needs of supply chains, from frozen food to furniture. More and more machines are replacing human workers and pulling, organizing, and sorting goods in warehouses to speed up deliveries. Similarly, many operators are experimenting with testing equipment that workers can operate remotely, which would open up the labor market for employers to hire all over the country. Automation has become front-and-center as business owners share that they are struggling with hiring enough workers quickly enough to meet demands. (Source: WSJ)

Why this is important for your business:

Hmm…higher labor costs, more regulations, increased worker demands, administrative headaches. And that’s when you can actually find a good employee in this time of very tight labor! The answer is to replace people with machines and that’s exactly what’s happening all over the country.

5—Yext is launching Support Answers to streamline the resolution process for customers.

With an increasing number of individuals looking to independently find solutions online, AI search company Yext, Inc. launched Support Answers this past week. (Source: PRNewsWire)

Why this is important for your business:

Support Answers—a search solutions suite for customer support teams—will allow businesses to provide more robust self-solution options for customers. Support Answers will provide solutions through several AI powered features that can derive meaning from questions customers ask as well as provide answers directly from manuals, articles, and more.

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