The 15 Minute Loan Signing "Control the Uncontrollable"

The 15 Minute Loan Signing "Control the Uncontrollable"

In order to make the most of your time and energy as a loan signing agent you may want to lean the fifteen minute close. Some advanced techniques to control the environment of a courtesy loan signing. As signing agents you will find that sometimes you are in situations where the environment is not ideal! For these conditions speed and technique play a major role in the outcome of a successful signing. This quick guide will review the fifteen minute loan signing practices below.

You will find three main elements of a quick signing they are cadence, control, and speed. When you marry speed and cadence you will maintain the "control". Without control, the catalyst of my fifteen minute methods you will not have success. Note, this is not a method for beginning notaries. These are advanced techniques that seasoned signers should use if they understand the ins and outs of every page of loan documentation and can answer any and all questions that may arise at the signing table with conviction.

The notary always sets the tone and tempo of a loan signing, if you want to compel your cohorts to keep a steady pace from the moment you sit down you must elicit control. After your introductions are done dive right into notarizing docs. If your state does not require a journal then do not use one, they are time vampires. In order to keep the fast pace and timing use these tactics to do so, first things first! The cadence, when explaining the docs it should be exciting fast and fun! Be confident and astute put the first doc out and wait. Hem in any small talk with explanations of terms, this will deflect chatter. When singing docs start with the HUD slowly then progressively increase the speed of your cadence. If borrowers stall and start dissecting doc verbiage then slip in a few questions that will draw attention back to the controller. For example, what is your favorite place to go on vacation or what do you do for work. They will answer and most likely try to elaborate. Now this is critical! Let the borrowers give the answer but if they start diving into the details simply move your pen to the place they should sign, and look up at them with a well-timed smile. Mobile notaries have a few good tools, the pen, nod, and smile. Now, If the borrowers still are talking in response to your question move the pen back to the signing area smile, nod and tap once, then continue your cadence. When you have completed notarizing you docs and are now tossing papers slip in a few jokes and ask them about the details of their life. Be sincere and use that well timed smile! Remember to have fun and laugh. When you are funny, add sizzle, and maintain excitement your audience will follow having fun as well.

The fifteen minute closing will allow you to effectively and efficiently elicit control of all signings while being thorough and fun in tough environments. For example, agitated spouses, Individuals returning from crisis, noisy Starbucks, ferry terminals, the smoking man, polluted homes, or borrowers that like to throw things like- pens and paper.

Borrowers in most cases will want to get through the documents in a timely manner. As a loan signer it is your responsibility to explain the documents in an expeditious manner while respecting people's time. The whole process from start to finish in some instances can take the borrowers well over three months and they are most likely will have a fervent understanding of the terms and details precluding your arrival. So make this a fun and fast experience and let them return to what is really important, their families. Time is the most valuable asset on this planet and a precious commodity. Please Value the borrowers time and yours during this transaction and the hiring party and borrowers will most certainly thank you.

Save Money Online - 5 Easy Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Major

Save Money Online - 5 Easy Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Major Purchase

Each person's definition of a Major Purchase is different, yet we all want to save money when we buy. Maybe you need new living room furniture, a new or a "new to you" car, or a refrigerator. Whatever it is, there is a simple process that you should go through to maximize your value and minimize your cost.

Follow these 5 Steps to Avoid A Major Mistake on Your Major Purchase.

  1. Plan Your Major Purchase

When looking to save money online, first is determining what you need. Consider how you will use the item. How long does it have to last? What is your budget? Are there any extra or repeating expenses (fuel, energy costs, maintenance) that you need to take into consideration?

  1. Pay Cash

Paying cash may be an opportunity to negotiate a lower price on your major purchase. Regardless, paying cash will eliminate finance charges. Generally, financing adds a considerable amount to the cost without any real benefit. So unless you are in the middle of an emergency and you have no choice, pay cash.

  1. Avoid extras and the Up Sell.

Optional equipment that you will not use or want may be a great deal for what it is but if you don't need it or want it, then it has no value (to you) so why pay for it?

Extended warranties are generally sold by a third party not the store, brokerage, manufacturer or dealer where you made your purchase. You can get them anywhere and it really pays to check out your options.

Some consumer advocates suggest that people are better off skipping extended warranties, and putting the money they would've spent in a savings account. If you need repairs, you'll have your savings to fall back on. And if you don't need repairs, you'll have extra money in the bank.

  1. Avoid buying more than you need.

This goes back to the first step. Knowing what you need and how you plan to use it. If you are thinking of taking a camping trip with your family and have little knowledge of how you will like it, maybe you should rent a camper for your next vacation to check it out before you opt to buy one.

Another consideration - How good does it have to be? If you are a gourmet cook and use a set of pots and pans every day, you are probably better off buying one really good set rather than 3 cheap sets that burn the food and warp within a few months of use. Conversely, if you cook rarely a less expensive set may serve you well.

  1. Investigate Online or Through Buying Clubs or Co-ops. Shop Around.

Once you zero in on a brand and model, read consumer review online and check pricing through various websites and regular stores.

Buying clubs, membership sites and co-ops also serve as ways to save on many if not all the items that you are likely to purchase. In some cases, these savings are far greater than you could imagine. And, in some cases, you can even be paid when you refer friends and help them save money as well.

Should You Sell Your Stocks

Should You Sell Your Stocks

Much has been written about how to evaluate stocks in order to buy them, but less has been written about what you need to do before you decide to sell your investments. To every investing equation there are two sides - the buying side and the selling side... or the opening transaction and the closing transaction.

So, today, I want to give you a shortlist of tips on how to make good selling decisions, so I referred to an article recently titled - "When Do I Sell Stocks?" by James deMasi on a website called

We all know the best time to buy a stock is when its price is attractive relative to its future earnings and growth potential, a price that delivers true value with significant growth potential. But selling a stock isn't an easy decision because you fundamentally have to ask yourself - do I sell this now or do I stay invested for longer?

And I think many of you might actually have experienced this firsthand had you invested, for example, in companies like Google at its IPO or Apple over the years. Perhaps you bought shares of Google at $100 and delightfully watched them double, triple, quadruple and so on, yet at every $100 threshold you were likely unsure whether to hold or sell. I know from speaking with many of my friends they also faced this dilemma with shares of Apple.

Here's another common scenario. Say you buy a stock and it shoots up 60% in just three months, way sooner than you expected and perhaps with a momentum that you might feel is unsustainable. What then? Do you take your gains now and perhaps buy the stock back again if it drops to where you think it's become a value stock again-or do you wait until it reaches your target sell price and then offload?

So How Should Investors Make Their Selling Decisions?

The fundamental question you've got to ask yourself is this: "does selling make sense given everything I know about this company?" That is the single most essential question that you have to ask yourself before you push the sell button. Sometimes you might just find that you actually do not know enough about the company and need to do more research - and that's never a bad thing because it'll only make you better informed on the insides of a company that you're invested in.

The article on, gives us an example of the "should I sell?" decisions that Mark Zuckerberg - the founder of Facebook - had to make as he was growing his company. In 2004, Zuckerberg received a $10 million offer to sell that he apparently did not consider for even a minute! Then, just a year later - in 2005 - MTV made a $75 million offer for Facebook which he too rejected. Then, another year later, he received not one but three offers - from MTV, Yahoo and AOL - all above $1 billion... and guess what; he said "no, I think my company's worth a lot more. I may never have an idea as good as this again, so I'm not interested in selling."

In confidently refusing these offers, Zuckerberg was sticking to his circle of competence because no one knew Facebook better than him, and that clarity of its business model and true worth gave him the confidence to reject a $1.5 billion offer - that's pretty incredible, when you're in your mid-20s and someone dangles over a billion bucks! Saying no takes guts and reflects an unshakeable faith in yourself and your company. And his refusal to sell has of course worked out really well for him because Facebook is now worth over $65 billion and Mark's interest alone ---has a net worth of around $10 billion.

So if you do not fully understand the business that you're invested in, you'll depend on the market to give you a sense of its value, and a market of buyers will always want to undercut you on price - remember, everyone's looking for a deal.

So when should Zuckerberg sell? If he listens to Warren Buffett, the best time to sell is never. As Buffett puts it, only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold should the market shut down for 10 years. And Buffett has that confidence because he makes sure he fully understands the business and long-term economics of a company he invests in.

Much like Buffett, when you're doing your research on shares you might want to buy, imagine you're buying a private company that will not go public for at least five years or more... and then ask yourself, what do I need to know before I lock myself into the stock for five years? You'd want to know who runs the business, what their past experience and successes are, what their weaknesses are, what the company's business model is, how well it's competitively positioned within its industry, its strengths / weaknesses / opportunities / threats, its supply chain, the profile of its customers and so on.

But let's also be real, not everyone has the background or the mental makeup of a Warren Buffett. Moreover, businesses often change over time--- and long-term ownership may not always be practical, especially in industries such as technology where obsolescence and growth go hand in hand at a very rapid pace.

Another investing legend Philip Fisher, outlined the following three conditions on when you should sell:

1. When you realize that your initial analysis was materially wrong.

2. When shares no longer qualify as a good investment because of a material deterioration in the company such as management complacency, exhausted growth opportunities, product obsolescence and so.

3. When you clearly have a better opportunity for higher returns. --- But on this last point, ---you must be absolutely sure of your analysis to justify a switch even after factoring in the possibility of your analysis being 20% to 30% off the mark.

So be thorough in your analysis and that will give you the confidence and the insights on when to hold and when to sell. And remember... it takes many, many years for those great investments to evolve, so when you do buy a company, Make sure to stay invested for the long run.

Steve Pomeranz is a Managing Director for United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC, "United Capital", and owner of On The Money. On The Money is not affiliated with United Capital.

What Is Your Fiduciary Responsibility As Plan Administrator?

What Is Your Fiduciary Responsibility As Plan Administrator?

It can be very beneficial for a business owner to set up a 401(k) plan to reward its employees, as well as be able to help employees save money for retirement. This can improve employee retention. Also, when adding a profit sharing or matching contribution to the plan, your company has the opportunity to benefit from some tax savings. Note of caution: By setting up a 401(k) plan, you open the door to another source of liability - fiduciary responsibility toward your employees. Consider these factors.

First, let's clarify who is a fiduciary. At the most basic level, a fiduciary is anyone that has discretion in administering and managing the 401(k) plan or controlling the plan's assets. Ordinarily the fiduciaries would consist of the trustee, investment advisor(s), the plan's administrative committee members, and the people who elect people to fill these roles. It is important to note that simply deciding to have a plan, determining what benefits to include, amending a plan, and terminating a plan are business decisions, and thus do not make a person a fiduciary - it is the person who takes the action to implement these decisions that is the fiduciary.

The responsibilities of these fiduciaries include:

- Taking action solely for the purpose of providing a benefit to plan participants and beneficiaries

- Performing their duties as described in the plan documents

- Following the plan documents

- Offering diversity in the plan's investment options

- Paying reasonable fees for the administration of the plan

How can you limit your liability?

- Document every decision, the process used to carry it out, and the reasoning pertaining to fiduciary responsibility.

- Give participants the ability to control the investment decisions in their accounts, but make sure to give them sufficient information to make informed decisions!

- Monitor the investment manager periodically to ensure that he is handling the plan investments prudently. This is required of an employer.

- Monitor the fees being assessed and make sure they are reasonable by having a plan comparison performed

The above steps are just a few ways to make sure that you enjoy all the benefits of providing a 401(k) plan to your employees and to prevent the plan from becoming a burden. There are, of course, other factors and concerns in maintaining a 401(k) plan, and you should contact your provider with any questions to make sure you have all of the information you need to make informed decisions.

Keeping Your Portfolio Balanced Is A Wise Hedge

Keeping Your Portfolio Balanced Is A Wise Hedge

No one really knows which way the markets will move. So how do you survive market moves? You hedge your bets. That goes for both professionals and responsible investors.

Markets present opportunities for anyone to participate in owning or lending money to the producers of our goods and services. Producing goods and services is our collective livelihood. Their total value represents our wealth.

Aside from earning our own working income, we can expand our own wealth - our savings- by helping others through participating in the market. The market compensates us for the use of our money and for the increased value of the goods and services produced.

But the demand for goods and services changes for a variety of reasons and in complex ways. Changes in unemployment, interest rates, fads and fashion, technological capabilities, international worries and weather are examples that influence demand - and the demand for some goods and services versus others.

Anticipating what changes are ready to occur and how they'll affect the market is very difficult - or impossible. But the markets will change - quickly or slowly - and that creates opportunity to make money - big money - in the markets.

Professionals count on market moves - up or down - to make money. They may bet on 'up' but will hedge their bet by an offsetting bet on 'not up' or simply 'down'. They'll let their winnings grow but keep any losses small. They know that putting all their eggs in one basket (up or down) is a prescription for financial suicide.

The average investor doesn't have time to play every little market move. He takes a long term view to investing. He must last through the markets' bull and bear cycles - cycles whose beginnings and endings are known only in hindsight.

A wise investor watches the markets and is ready to make adjustments or set stop losses where he can. But he balances his portfolio somewhere between equity investments and income investments according to his investment horizon time, which depends on his age, as a hedge against sudden and prolonged market moves.

During bull markets his equity investments grow. In bear markets hopefully his equity doesn't lose too much or he stops out before excessive losses. But his income investments pay him money in either a bull or bear market. He might lose some gain in those bull markets for not having all his eggs in one basket - the equity part of his basket - but if the market goes south, he doesn't lose his whole basket of eggs.

Prepare you portfolio (basket) balance so market moves - unpredictable as they are - won't destroy it. And keep it balanced so it can still serve your needs.

Hedging means that maintaining wealth is as important as growing it.

House And Land Packages Offer First Time Buyers Plenty Of Perks

House And Land Packages Offer First Time Buyers Plenty Of Perks

Buying your first place is an exciting time in your life, but it can also be quite daunting. First time home buyers may have to contend with what's available versus their expectations of having a dream house, particularly if they are on a budget or have specific opinions on the design and function of each room. One way to minimize the headaches and find the right home in the right neighbourhood while saving money is to purchase a house and land package that in most cases will also save them money. There are several advantages to this approach, including:

Choosing A Floor Plan That Works For Your Family

Every family is different, and it can be difficult to find a property that has a layout that will have the right room configuration and traffic flow for your needs. If you buy from a company that builds new homes, however, you can choose from a variety of blueprints and have some input into the floor plans. Want to convert a walk-in robe to a sitting room? No problem. Don't like the way the children's bedrooms are separated from the master suite? You can ask for changes. Buy building rather than buying an already standing residence you can also pick features like tile designs, paint colours and fixtures.

Properties Guaranteed To Fit Your Home

There's been a trend toward longer, narrower lots in recent years and some builders simply can't keep up with the demand for quality, affordable residences. Others fall back on the traditional floor plans they've used for years, but many of these don't fit well on the new lot sizes, leaving you with an awkward layout that's unattractive, impractical or both. When you buy a house and land package, you know from the beginning that your new residence will work perfectly with the land you're interested in because it was designed specifically for a longer, narrower property. It will be aesthetically pleasing and practical.

With House and Land Packages, You Decide Which Element to Choose First

Many young families focus on location, location, location because they know they will be living there for years and want to be near work, schools and amenities like pools and parks. For these people, selecting a plot of land may be their first decision. Once they've found the perfect lot, home builders can then offer them a variety of floor plan options that will work well on their property. Other first time buyers may be more interested in having a house built that has all of the features they long for, like a media room, an al fresco dining area or office space. After they choose the perfect house and floor plan, their home builder can show them a variety of land options that will fit both the floor plans and dimensions and the owners' living needs, including yard space and convenient locations.

In-House Financing Options

When purchasing a house and land package, it's so easy to get the right financing from the home and land company you're working with. These companies usually offer internal financing packages that are extremely affordable with low interest rates in order to assist their customers. This local financing eliminates worries about cost overruns because the builder knows precisely what is needed to finish each job.

Transparency - Follow Every Step Of The Building Process

Many first time buyers are nervous about the process of building. It's understandable to want to visit the job site periodically to see how things are moving along, but some builders discourage new homeowners from coming to the job until it is finished. There are some excellent house and land packages, however, that include free access to every area of new construction so that their customers can ask questions, get answers and enjoy watching their dream home become a reality.

The Importance of Working on Your Business, Not Just In It

The Importance of Working on Your Business, Not Just In It

When you start a business you always have an ideal in mind that you are reaching for. You think about the glorious future when you will be able to sit back with your feet up and delegate all responsibility, sitting back to manage everything and relax. Yet somehow it never quite works out that way - or at least not in the time frame you had in mind.

Five years, ten years, fifteen years after startup if you find yourself still working hard at making ends meet in your business it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate. Some people start a business in a particular field because they enjoy that industry, others because they think it will be a profitable field and still others find themselves inheriting a business in a field they know nothing about. Any of these situations can be profitable with the right attitude and plan.

The biggest mistake that many business owners make, no matter how long they have been in business, is working too hard in their business and not on their business. There may be times especially during the early phases of a startup when the owner must work hard to get the business off the ground. However, the ultimate goal and responsibility of every business owner is to be the puppet master working to keep everything going.

Without someone to manage the overall productivity, profit margins and strategies that the business puts in place, it is hard to reach the ultimate level of success. In fact, without delegating responsibility and taking time to work on your business, you may never be able to retire. That aside, your business will not be as successful as it could be without regular maintenance, and when the business owner is too busy working in the business to work on it there is no one to maintain the company.

When you have been working for so long it can be difficult to relinquish control, but it is in the best interest of your company and your sanity for you to do so. If you aren't fully ready to start delegating work to others, then think of it as a trial period. Set an amount of time that you are willing to relinquish control of daily job responsibilities to your employees so that you can focus on improving the business overall and managing everything. You may be surprised by just how much more efficient your business is.

Take a step back and really evaluate what happens when you give your employees more responsibility. When you take the time to figure out what works best for your business, it can catapult your results to the next level. Being open minded about how you do business and willing to delegate some responsibility can change your productivity, profits and your overall quality of life.

Introduction to Internet Banking

Introduction to Internet Banking

The industrial revolution has come up with a very important current: the banking phenomenon. This has been happening for a long time, but in various forms. A couple of thousand years ago, people haven't purchased or sell products, but they exchanged items. In this case, the products had a certain value and they were exchanged according to this.


When the currency appeared, the necessity of banks has started to be even more important. This was because people made their profits and obtained an income, which could not be stored at home. No one believed that it was a wise decision to keep so much money at home, since security was not exactly the number one thing in those times. This is the main reason why banks appeared and developed. Nowadays banking can be done through the Internet, since lots of banks are operating online and transform transactions into easy and accessible operations.

Online banking

This phenomenon started only a couple of years ago. The heads of the corporations and business owners had to transfer their money fast and in a safe manner. But before the applications of online banking existed, the phenomenon was used mainly between the countries that wanted to transact high amounts of money between partners. But now, the Internet banking has grown in such a rhythm that everyone, no matter where they are, have heard of it. But what are the benefits of it?


This is the first advantage when it comes to online banking. You can access it from anywhere and you can make payments or transfer money from the comfort of your own house. Or you can do business on your computer while you are flying to take care of other business. This is why Internet banking is great, because it mixes the power of the Internet with the advantages of a bank. The Internet has changed the way people bank, but it has also modified the manner in which the banking operations are done. Some time before, the banks needed to hire lots of people to take care of their auditing needs, but now, due to database systems that use powerful updates, this sector does not need to depend on a large manpower to operate.


The banking services are handled by big computers that operate on multiple servers, keep track of all the purchases that are made by people at stores or in different locations using credit cards. The elements mentioned are examples of the multiple forms of Internet banking that happen nowadays. The Internet is very important when talking about this type of operations. So don't forget to check out the multiple online banking opportunities that can give you maximum advantages for your day-to-day needs.

The Most Ridiculous Things to Ever Be Insured

The Most Ridiculous Things to Ever Be Insured

Insurance is not just for homes and vehicles, but can also protect you financially against the loss of... your tongue. While this may seem ridiculous, people-from athletes to actors-have taken out policies to protect the body parts they need to make their living.

The accident-and-health underwriter at Lloyd's of London, Jonathan Thomas, estimates that body-part insurance premiums could total as much as $2 million. Here's a few of the most ridiculous things ever to be insured.

Taste buds

A food critic, Egon Ronay, insured his taste buds with Lloyds of London back in 1957 when he first published his Egon Ronay Guide to British Eateries. Ronay-or his taste buds-were so influential that a bad review could break a new restaurant, and a glowing review was worth his tongue's weight in gold. Ronay insured his taste buds for $400,000.

Inflation even effects body-part insurance. In 2009, the chief coffee taster for Costa Coffee, Gennaro Pelliccia, insured his tongue for $16 million.


Bruce Springsteen insured his voice with Lloyd's of London for $5.7 million. But the insurance firm, and Springsteen's publicist, remains tight-lipped about any details. This policy is rumoured to date from 1988.


A wine producer needs his nose like a food critic needs his taste buds. Ilja Gort, who owns the Chateau la Tulipe de la Garde winery in France, insured his nose in 2008. The policy covers a complete loss of sense of smell.

The policy-for an undisclosed amount-has some restrictive clauses. Gort is not permitted to ski, or box, for instance. But as he says, his sense of smell and the wines he produces have resulted in "a chateau of people hanging on my nose."


Movie star Betty Grable's famous legs were insured in the 1940s, for $1 million per leg. Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart also insured her legs, for $1 million in total.


An NFL football player had his hair insured in what is likely a publicity stunt. Pittsburg Steelers Troy Polamalu is often seen on TV-in shampoo commercials! Head and Shoulders insured the huge athlete's long curly hair for $1 million.

Insuring the taste buds, voice, and nose all make economic sense. But is there a good economic argument for insuring sperm?


David Lee Roth took out an insurance policy on his sperm in his Diamond Dave heyday in the 80s. This $1 million policy was to protect him from paternity suits!

In addition to actual body parts, insurance policies have been taken out on a fantasy player.

Fantasy Adrian Peterson

There's real money in fantasy sports. Fans' fortunes ride on their fantasy pick, so if a real player has a bad season the fan can lose their investment. Fantasy Sports Insurance insured NFL Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for $1,500, for a policy which cost $150. As it turned out, Peterson had a good season, finishing fifth in the league.

The Importance Of Directors Duties For Any Company

The Importance Of Directors Duties For Any Company

No company can run without the proper staff and that includes the management team and the director, as well as all the other staff that are needed, right through to the canteen lady and the janitor. Each person has their duties and responsibilities that if done well will all become part of the fabric of the company or organization. Directors duties are probably one of the most important as without a director, the ship is virtually rudderless.

So what does a director do? They don't just walk around ensuring that everyone does what they are supposed to. In fact, that is the managers' job. The director has many other things to attend to and one of the most important is to know what the financial position of the company is at all times, not just at the end of the financial year.

When the director knows what the cash flow is and what the financial position of the company is, it will aid him in making certain decisions that are going to cost the company money. If he - or she - does not know they may well agree to something that costs more than the company can afford. This is highly likely to cause insolvency.

While the director does not need to do the actual record keeping, it is certainly his duty to avail himself of the facts and details about it all. This can be as simple as talking to the company's accountant. Such knowledge must be used to the best effect to bring into the company all that is needed to make it a going concern and keep it powering on into the future.

In addition, with such governance comes great responsibly to act in the best interests of the company, but also to not use such a position to gain benefits for yourself or anyone else, or to cause anything detrimental to happen to the company. The director's position is one of trust and responsibility. They are the recipient of a great deal of confidential information and so must be people who can be trusted to keep that information away from the eyes of others.

Such information could be used in many ways to either benefit themselves or others and to cause harm to the company, its employees and its shareholders. The director must be completely trustworthy and be such a person who will not allow this to happen. It is also important to keep a good record of each meeting minutes so that everything discussed can be seen easily.

7 Advantages of Using Advanced MICR Check Scanning for Check Clearing

7 Advantages of Using Advanced MICR Check Scanning for Check Clearing

There are a number of benefits and advantages for businesses and personally, of using MICR Check Scanning for the clearing of checks.

Your Cash Flow will be greatly improved because Online Payment Solutions like eRemitpro are able to scan your checks to an account of your choice.

Operational efficiency is improved because it is no longer necessary to waste time depositing your checks and handling paper remittances for your business transactions. Invoice Presentment can also be done using this scanning method.

In the same way that Recurring ACH Payments are a smart solution, MICR Check scanning is another smart solution for your business. A Remote Check Deposit Service will simplify your operational methods and accelerate your receivables.

This Remote Check Deposit Service enables you to save time while focusing more on your daily business operations.

You will no longer have to prepare your checks for physical delivery to the bank. Overnight postal service and couriers no longer have to be used for deposits. All you have to do is scan the checks at any time that suits you. The images will be transmitted to the bank. You will also be able to make additional deposits into your bank account for ledger credit, due to generous cut-off times.

The management and predictability of your cash flow will be improved because of the generous availability schedules. It only takes two days for your funds to be available to you, from the time of deposit.

Improved and Increased deposit accuracy is another advantage because the user-friendly technology provides very accurate amount comparisons and enhanced image quality. Deposits are balanced and check images must meet check clearing. This is checked by Easy-to-use correction screens, to ensure that there are fewer errors and deposit adjustments.

All the check images are stored and available to view for up to forty-five days. There are also deposit reports which contain sixty days of historical information which you can access. Immediate access to all records will be given to you during this time period, should you have any questions about a check deposit. This process makes deposit reconciliations and customer inquiries easy to resolve.

The eRimtpro software is easy to install and can be integrated with your current operational systems. You will be able to customize the software to meet your customer's requirements.

The program is secure and your information is protected. You will be given excellent service and support if you need assistance.

Which Helps You Better When Starting a Hedge Fund - An MBA or a CFA?

Which Helps You Better When Starting a Hedge Fund - An MBA or a CFA?

Although in many respects, investment professionals may have it made in life, they still do work in a highly competitive field and need to keep updating their resume. For personal-finance advisors and hedge fund managers, a choice often emerges between getting either a Chartered Financial Analyst's certification or a Master's in Business Administration.

An MBA and a CFA are two completely different ways to approach gaining investment expertise. While MBA degrees do allow students to concentrate on various areas of business - manufacturing, finance and so on - the knowledge they offer tends to be somewhat broad-based.

A CFA, on the other hand, is far more specialized - it is specifically directed at analytical expertise. It grants the investment professional the highly technical skills needed in jobs at private equity firms or for starting hedge funds. It is much more demanding and can take an individual years to finish.

The kind of job each prepares you for
The CFA Institute, the authority that conducts CFA examinations, hasn't been around for long. Businesses aren't as familiar with this degree as they are with an MBA. With an MBA, you gain access to a wider range of jobs. Should you ever wish to move out of the investment profession, an MBA would help you better than a CFA.

Since the CFA concentrates on a narrow set of skills, there is less demand for it. They do make more, though. CFA's have the analytical skills that are very useful to investment firms. Demand is expected to pick up soon. At this time, Wall Street-type businesses are in cost-cutting mode and show a slight preference for MBAs.

What these degrees cost
Depending on where you go for your MBA degree, getting one can be as expensive as $90,000 each year (at Harvard, Yale or Columbia). In comparison, the CFA is unbelievably affordable - under $3000 for each test. These tests are so tough, though, that only between 30% and 50% of test takers pass. Statistically, you would need about three attempts to get through. Since there are three levels, you would need about nine attempts to make it. At $3000 a test, it would cost you in the region of $27,000 to get your certificate.

How do you make the choice?
If you are interested in devoting yourself to a career in investment, holding both a CFA and an MBA should give you the best opportunities and pay. The median income for someone starting out in investment banking with both certifications hovers in the high 80s. Individuals with a higher appetite for risk who opt for starting their own hedge funds can earn exponentially more, but can also suffer massive losses too.

Whether or not you should study for CFA certification depends entirely on where you wish to work. If your interest lies in stock analysis and stock picking, a CFA qualification is your only choice. If you aren't particularly attached to analyzing the stock market, an MBA could be a more sensible choice. Given the costs and effort required to attain either a CFA or an MBA, students should carefully evaluate their options and consider which course of action will enable them best for the career of their choice.

Trust Your Neighbor - Tie Your Camel

Trust Your Neighbor - Tie Your Camel

In my last article, I introduced the topic of trust based credit... or how to make money without money. In today's G'man dominated world, only fringe economic activities like street vending of umbrellas escape the all-smothering regulatory blanket. But imagine if the whole world economy could run on 'trust based credit'... and escape the 'vampire squid' actions of the Bankster and the G'man... impossible you say? Just a pipe dream?

Well, the historic reality is that prior to the madness of WWI... the 'War to End All Wars'... the world economy did indeed run on such a credit system, with the reality check of 'trust your neighbor but tie your camel' in full effect. So effective and efficient was this system of credit, that world trade volume seen before WWI was not matched till the nineteen seventies; almost three quarters of a century later, despite huge growth in population and wealth.

To fully understand the trust based credit system and the enormous and deadly ramifications of its destruction during WWI, we need to understand how the principles employed by the street vendor and umbrella wholesaler apply in the whole world economy.

We all know what a bill is; a paper record of what we purchase... in restaurants the bill is called a check, in bars a tab... but the idea is always the same. We buy some merchandise; a meal, an umbrella (in a retail store) or a pint of brew, get presented with the bill or check or tab, verify the bill... by confirming that what it claims we bought is true... then we accept the bill, and pay it.

The only difference between a retail bill and a commercial bill is the term; retail bills are COD... to be paid immediately. Commercial bills are almost never COD, but give terms; time to pay. Terms are like 30 days net, 60 days, 90 days etc. Thus, while a retail bill is paid immediately, and is 'retired'... i.e. paid in full and only kept for bookkeeping purposes... the commercial bill stays 'open' or in effect until the due date, when it is paid... and only then retired.

A big trailer truck carrying 30,000 Liters of gasoline backs up to the gas station, fills the underground storage tank... and the driver heads to the gas station office to complete the paperwork. Suppose gasoline costs $1 per Liter... do you imagine the station attendant will pay $30,000 in cash? Not likely! Nor can the attendant write a check... he simply signs (accepts) the bill or commercial invoice. The invoice specifies that 30,000 L of gasoline have been delivered, and that payment will be due in say 60 days from the signing date.

Until paid in full, this bill represents value; the value of the 30,000 L of gasoline delivered, and the value of the payment that will be made in not more than 60 days. The holder of the bill, the gasoline wholesaler, may simply hold the bill till it is paid... in his 'accounts receivable'... or may use it to pay the refinery that produced the gasoline. If he does this, he will assign the bill to the refinery, so that when the gasoline retailer makes payment, the payment will be made to the refinery, not the wholesaler.

This is the crux of the commercial credit system; goods are placed on consignment, a bill written and accepted, and payment made as per the terms of the contract... the bill. Notice credit is granted, goods change hands, but there is no borrowing involved. No borrowing, no interest charges, no collateral... simply trust that the retail gas station will indeed sell the gasoline delivered, and use the proceeds of retail gas sales to pay the bill when due. The bill thus created can circulate, that is clear credit... make payments. Such a bill, one that circulates, is called a Bill of Exchange.

Suppose the retail gas-bar makes a profit of 8% on gasoline sales, and the prevailing interest rates are 4%... reasonable enough assumptions under normal economic circumstances. The retail gas-bar owner has three choices to fund inventory; use bank credit i.e. borrow the funds; use his own capital; or work with 'trust based' credit. Today, most retailers except fringe operations like street vendors, and 'vertical' transactions within one industry like petroleum products, have only the first two choices available to them.

To make an 8% annualized profit, the gas bar owner will make a 2% profit by re-selling the gasoline in ninety days; he then buys another batch of 30,000 L... makes another 2% profit in the next 90 days... and repeats this four times a year. Four times 2% is 8%, the annualized profit. Now consider this; if the interest rate is 4% per annum that translates to 1% per quarter... the 90 day period that the 30,000 L must be funded. Isn't this incredible; net profit is 2%, and cost of interest is 1%... half the profits go to pay the Bankster!

The second alternative is to fund the purchase with cash, the retailer's own capital; this plays up the 'you need money to make money' rule spread by the Bankster... and yes, if the retailer has the cash, he can indeed fund the purchase... but then he falls prey to opportunity costs. The cash invested in gasoline inventory could have been invested in a bond that pays 4% annual interest income; so, the retailer is still hit.

With borrowed funds, he pays ½ his profit to the Bankster. With cash payment, the retailer loses 1/3 of the profit he could have made using the third option, trust based credit to fund the gasoline... and investing his own capital in something else. If he makes 8% on gas sales, and 4% on interest earned on his capital, that is a 12% per annum income on the $30,000; not bad at all, is it?

Now we start to see the benefit of 'trust based credit'... cost of doing business drops drastically. Indeed, there are many enterprises... and job opportunities... that remain 'in potentia'; they never materialize because the cost of doing business on a cash or borrowed funds basis is too high. These 'phantom' enterprises actually did exist under Gold, when all retail business not just the fringe ones took advantage of trust based credit. This is one major reason there was no structural unemployment under the Classical Gold Standard.

But really, we have just scratched the surface of the magical benefits of 'trust based credit', often called the Bills of Exchange system... or the Real Bills Doctrine of Adam Smith. The full vertical and horizontal circulation of Bills, the international BiIl market, the discount rate... these all depend on the free circulation of Gold and Silver coin. Much G'man and Bankster effort goes into suppressing Gold and Silver money, in order to suppress the Bill market... and to keep the world economy hooked up to the 'vampire squid'.

Once the Fiat paper regime collapses and real money makes its comeback, circulation of Real Bills will again arise. Monetary debasement will be replaced by constantly increasing purchasing power of money. Structural unemployment and the dole will be replaced by full employment. Financial speculation will be replaced by real wealth generation.

I can hardly wait.

Best Money Saving Ideas - During Your Time of Debt

Best Money Saving Ideas - During Your Time of Debt

The average person has to admit that the past couple years have been some the toughest. Not only are we counting the nickels and dimes but we are losing homes, prized possessions, and even life savings. Just as Hurricane Sandy took the northeast by surprise, the recession swept the carpet from underneath so many people's feet. Of course, we can only blame our selves; we should have been saving money instead of splurging like there was no tomorrow. The recession is no excuse for money woes. Although the past is important, the future is where change lives. Learning to consume smartly and to live self-sufficiently are great ways to get a bigger bang for your buck. If we do a little planning and consider the future, saving money while in debt will become second nature.

So how did we get in debt? Did we swipe the Visa at every mall visit or smoked a cigarette in the Range Rover after every five star meal? Whatever the case maybe, it was a personal choice that got us in this predicament.

Conscientiously consuming would be a great start because in today's world of advertisement, we cannot step out the house without being enticed to buy something. Consuming smartly would be eating home-cooked meals, doing your own hair, hanging clothes to dry and washing your own car. Learning self-sufficiency can definitely help you save money. Stop being lazy and just take a breathe of free fresh air! These are all tasks that we easily pay someone else to do when in fact we can do it our self.

Some aspects of life we cannot completely control, one is transportation. We can choose between public and private transportation depending on our geographic location. Public transportation is obliviously the cheaper of the two choices but not always the best. Not everyone can afford a newer vehicle, therefore we have to make what we have work. If you prefer private transportation you can save money by choosing an eco-friendly vehicle and becoming a defensive driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), defensive driving helps prevent accidents, lawsuits, tickets, and death. With that in mind it will be wiser to stick to public transportation if possible!

Hopefully we never need to visit the hospital due to an auto-accident. Who is your insurance provider? Do you have insurance or do you just pop up in the emergency room with eyes full of hope? If you do, that is not a good idea. Going to the emergency room is an easy way to rack up some debt. Sometimes you just cannot help it, but it would be smart to invest in some healthcare insurance. In the long run you will save money with insurance versus paying out of pocket when the pockets are empty. If the pockets are low you should not be smoking. Cigarettes are expensive and bad for your health; that is a double sentence. If you are in debt, cigarettes are not your friends. The average yearly cost is roughly $3,000 depending on which state you live in. According to the American Cancer Society; that is enough to pay a loan off or to throw in an interest bearing savings account. This can apply not only to cigarettes but also to any bad habit that costs.

The list can go on and on about ways to save money while you are in debt. The recession has taught us that we should plan accordingly for the future because that is where change lives. Self-sufficiency and self-control are tools that will never let you down. When in debt we have to realize that something has to change in order to get back where we use to be. Saving money will enable you to live comfortably while still paying down your debts. You can make it fun by finding things to do that are free and less expensive, it is not as bad as it seems. Simply changing the way we eat, commute, work, and play will save money. Finding alternatives to these everyday activities shows that we are compassionate about life and willing to honor our debts.

Oil Industry Related Businesses Can Profit From Oil And Gas Accounting

Oil Industry Related Businesses Can Profit From Oil And Gas Accounting Services

The petroleum industry can be a very demanding field. Whenever a company is working on exploration, extraction, refining or transporting, there are great stakes and often large financial risks involved. It doesn't matter if a business is drilling into the ground to extract a product or if they are marketing the petroleum products themselves; all companies working in the oil industry should consider using an oil and gas accounting service.

Seeking professional gas and oil accounting services can really help businesses working in any industry focus on their core priorities. Transferring a portion of financial responsibility to an accounting service can help relieve some of the tremendous burden off your company. This allows management to concentrate on the most lucrative parts of the business. Hiring an accounting service can also save businesses a lot of money in the long run because they don't need to recruit, train and pay staff members that they'd otherwise use to handle the accounts. Hiring and training a staff that is dedicated to a company's accounts is a very costly and a complicated process. Accounting for oil and gas should be left to the professionals so that businesses can do what they do best without having to worry if their finances are in good hands.

Professional accounting services can vastly improve productivity levels. Increased productivity often means increased money flow. By transferring the responsibility for accounting to professionals, leaders of a company will be better able to channel that energy into more profitable directions. A business might use these resources to focus on their customers, complete current projects or even explore new areas for revenue in the industry. Whatever a business decides to do with their new productive work environment is up to them; however, it would not be possible without hiring a professional provider of accounting for oil and gas.

By using an accounting service, oil and gas related businesses can become powerful contenders in their field. By freeing themselves from managing even more employees and vital financial records, companies can get more work done and cut down turn-around-time on projects. They can also benefit from an increased customer base. Customer satisfaction builds better relationships and is something that efficient accounting services can surely bring to the table.

It is easy to see how oil and gas accounting can be a worthwhile investment. It not only frees up valuable resources that can potentially make a business earn more, it saves money at the same time. A business can profit from a financial partnership in many ways. Choosing a reliable accounting service can help any business focus on other priorities and help them grow and succeed in a competitive market.

Tips to Help Improve Your Small Business Loan Application

Tips to Help Improve Your Small Business Loan Application

Applying for a small business loan can be difficult if you don't know how to go about it the right way. Regardless, of if you require a loan to purchase real estate, equipment or use as working capital the process is pretty much the same. You will be required to do much more than simply fill out forms. You will need to impress the banker with your loan application in order to get the loan.

Your story is very important

The loan request process has four important phases i.e. purpose analysis, source of repayment analysis, loan management and loan structure. These four phases of the loan process align directly with the five 'C's of your credit i.e. the character of the borrower, the condition of the request, the capacity of repayment, the collateral of the borrower and the capital. So, in a nutshell it boils down to the real story behind what your business is all about. Lenders want to know everything in detail since it will help them decide if this is the right investment or just a sloppy risk. This story will have to be effectively communicated via a well drafted business plan which needs to answer every question related to all 5 C's.

Collateral and Paperwork

The recent credit crunch has changed the lending landscape quite a bit. This being said things have changed for small businesses as well. Small businesses that managed to survive the recession by just focusing on providing great products, reining in their expenses and building cash reserves are now looking to expand. Banks don't see these types of businesses as being high risk but still remain cautious. Today, more paperwork is required in order to show the business's capacity to pay back the loan. Also, more lenders require collateral than they ever did before. While, you may not like to put your possessions on the line to get a loan it is probably the best way to get one at a decent interest rate, plus it improves your chances of getting a loan. If you think that putting your property on the line is risky then chances are that the bank too sees your business as being risky. That being said if you don't have collateral make sure the other 4 C's are ironclad.

Speak to your accountant

Usually startups require funding to support them for 36 months. How much do you need? What is a realistic figure? If you have been putting off your applicant because it always seemed like something that you couldn't handle then it's time to call your CPA. Work with your CPA and develop a scenario and financial statements which then support your need for a loan.

Beef up your credit

You should have good credit! This is one of the 5 C's of credit we discussed above. There are numerous things you can do to improve your credit but you first need to find out what your credit rating is. If it requires improvement you can chart out an action plan to improve it accordingly.

How to Plan Your Finances for an Early Retirement

How to Plan Your Finances for an Early Retirement

Early retirement is a dream that many Americans have. Who wouldn't want to hang up their career suit at fifty, head off to the beach and spend the rest of their lives relaxing and spending time with their family? The reality is that early retirement planning takes great care and might not be a possibility for everyone. You have to make sure that you're debt free and that you can cover all of your expenses with retirement income. If full retirement isn't realistic for you, there is also partial retirement.

Determine Your Cost of Living

One of the most important things to consider about life after retirement is your cost of living. Knowing your expenses will help you determine whether or not you will have enough money coming in to live comfortably. Your retirement cost of living might actually be slightly lower than your current cost of living for a few reasons. If you are a commuter, you'll be driving less and spending less on fuel. Those hour-long commutes five days a week add up to around 250 trips to and from work, which could cost several thousand dollars per year. If you own a home, depending on the time you took out mortgage, you could see a drastic drop in your cost of living as your mortgage is paid off. Other expenses, like food, could be cut down sharply as you will be home more often and can save money by cooking for yourself.

Expenses Versus Income

Once you have an idea of your cost of living after retirement, you need to do a little math to see if your retirement investments will cover all your bases. If you have a retirement savings plan set up at work, you probably have a 401k or Roth IRA that you're making regular contributions to every week. Think about how long you will be retired for - if you want to retire at 50, you might need to plan for 30 or 40 years of retired life. 40 years of retirement means you'll be taking 2.5% out of your retirement investments per year - which is $25,000 if you have a million dollar retirement portfolio. The less years you plan on being retired, the more you can withdraw each year.

Take Care of Any Debt

If it seems like your expenses are going to be too high for early retirement, perhaps you have some debt that can be taken care of before retirement. Credit card and loan debts should all be cleared up before you even think about early retirement. Make sure you look at your credit reports on a frequent basis and work on keeping your credit score healthy. The better credit you have, the better rates on loans you'll get which means more money in your pocket down the road when it matters. Find a good place to order your credit report and score and make intelligent decisions on borrowing and charging. Being debt free when you approach retirement will save you money and stress.

Think About Work After Work

For many people full retirement won't be a possibility, at least in the beginning. Taking on a part time job can supplement your retirement income and give you more financial comfort. Some might view this in a negative light and not consider it "real" retirement, but you can see it as an opportunity to pursue a line of work that appeals to your interests instead of your bank account. If you love animals, you could get a part-time job at a zoo or wildlife sanctuary. If you've always wanted to make pizzas, work a few nights or days at a pizzeria. Since a large portion of your income will be from your retirement portfolio, lower wages doing interesting work won't hurt you.

Before you start making plans for living the retired life in your fifties, take some time to carefully review your situation. Think about what you can do today to make things easier for yourself in the future. Carefully manage your finances, keep your credit and investments healthy, and keep heading toward the finish line.

Keeping Your Life Insurance Is Not An 'All-Or-Nothing' Decision

Keeping Your Life Insurance Is Not An 'All-Or-Nothing' Decision

Perhaps you bought life insurance years ago with the expectation of not needing it at retirement. But, as you begin retirement, you find that your savings are less than you expected. So, what should you do about your life insurance?

If, as a couple, you have enough retirement savings so if one of you dies, the other has enough to live on, then you don't have to rely on life insurance to supply extra 'savings' with its death benefit. Your large saving is a form of 'self-insurance' for both of you.

That's the circumstance that many boomers hoped they'd be in at retirement when they bought term insurance years ago. But stock and real estate market turndowns and other unforeseen circumstances may have significantly undermined their savings.

So, they may have to work longer to increase their savings. They could also cut back on other expenses to save more for the few years left to their retirement. And speaking of expenses, what should they do about their life insurance as its term coverage comes to an end?

Savings' shortcomings have left a need to maintain life insurance coverage. But being 10 or 15 years older than when you first bought your policy is going to mean significantly increased premiums to maintain the same coverage. That'll further aggravate trying to cut down on expenses.

What could you do in such a circumstance?

Recognize that maintaining life insurance coverage doesn't have to be an 'all or nothing' decision. If you're in such a situation, you can opt for a half-way measure that keeps you insured while not increasing your present life insurance expenses. Here's how...

First off, you probably don't need the extent of coverage you needed some 10 or 20 years ago. Perhaps your kids are out of college and independent. And further, your savings - though less than what you'd hoped for - are probably much larger than before.

Secondly, premiums may be less than you think. There's been a lot of competition between life insurance companies selling term insurance over the last 20 years. This, along with increasing life expectancies, has fostered more economical premium rates.

Settling for lower life insurance coverage and for a shorter term may solve your problem. Though you're older, you may be able to maintain or even lower your current insurance expenses.

If you've got a cash value policy but are still paying premiums on it, you may opt for converting it to a paid-up policy of lower benefit. That way you'd have some coverage and eliminate any further premium payments.

So you see you probably have a way to maintain the safety that an insurance policy gives you while you continue to increase your savings for retirement.

Why Do You Need an Auditing Company, Cost Reduction Consultants and
Overhead Cost Decrement?

Why Do You Need an Auditing Company, Cost Reduction Consultants and Overhead Cost Decrement?

An organization's financial basis is strengthened on inclusion of expert auditing services in the marketing plans. Though it is obvious for clients to doubt the credibility of existing audit firms, some key points can be examined to find the apt auditing company for your business requisites. The characteristic feature of a professional audit firm is supervised analysis of the following records of an organization:

1. Financial data.

2. Bank statements.

3. Statistical information of the organization's accounts.

4. Surplus sources of financial information.

The scrutiny of these documents creates probabilities of superior financial management. The financial proceedings of the organization must be in accordance with existing bank laws and legal regulations. The auditing procedure of a business firm is considered at par with yearly health checkup of people in terms of necessity.

Efficient audit services are found in company audit services. Skilled auditors of these companies ensure proper incorporation of apt accounting principles to validate the economic statistics of the organization. They ensure precision in the enterprise's financial data and legal certainty of company procedures. A profitable organization is liable to quite a few individuals such as revenue officials and the firm's shareholders. The latter must be imparted appropriate statistical documents and declarations regarding the financial actions of the organization.

A cost reduction company emphasizes on reasonable reductions in various costs accompanying your business. Reduction in costs at the primary stages can earn considerable revenue in the later phases of your business. Investments are directed towards fruitful sectors of the business. Reaping maximum incentives from minimal investments is a major utilization of cost reduction. Many enticing prospects of investing in latent sources of profit are eliminated. The budget of a company plays the pivotal role in the profitability of the same. More the planning of your budget more are the probabilities of your enterprise's viability. Business firm owners would never risk capital investments on reprehensible aspects of their business. Cost reduction consultants are trained effectively to achieve desired results at such instances. Their job is to provide your organization with the benefits of cost reduction. Escalation of the organization's income after implication of cost diminution methods is evident. However, a prominent side benefit of cost reduction is elevated cash influx. Minimizing all costs corresponding to the firm's business dealings brings in considerable capital.

At the least, overhead costs keep adding to the financial ailments of entrepreneurs. Expenses on factors which are essential for the organization yet contributing zero profits to it are major concern for every cost reduction analyst. Nobody would ever invest in something which does not yield anticipated outcome. Superfluous outflow of capital investments on trivial aspects like wages and electricity diminish probabilities of maximized profits in the future endeavors of the organization. The solution to this affliction of business firm owners is handled by cost reduction professionals who reduce overhead costs. Decline in overhead expenditures encourages entrepreneurs and business owners to infer convenient financial plans and capital management systems. Opting for ace audit professionals and cost reduction experts can levitate your business to cloud nine.

Merchant Services: What Your Business Needs To Know

Merchant Services: What Your Business Needs To Know

When a business owner hears the term "merchant services" they typically think of a generalized idea involved processing credit and debit card transactions. While not entirely wrong, it simply misses the entirety of what merchant services are as well as how they can hep a business grow and prosper.

Any business that accepts credit and debit card payments will need to use merchant services. This is especially so if they want to expand into other payment processing areas such as online or mobile. To do this, a merchant will need to utilize a credible merchant services provider to utilize new technologies and realize new revenue opportunities.

However, it's important for a merchant services provider to know that each business is unique. For example, an eCommerce-based business may have different needs than a body shop. Even though security may be of paramount importance for each establishment, the eCommerce business will have higher security measures versus the body shop. In addition, the body shop will more than likely need a physical payment processor to process payments in person whereas the eCommerce business will simply need a virtual-based one.

So how does payment processing work? It begins with a merchant establishing a merchant services account with a provider. Once this is done then payments can start to be accepted.

When a merchant swipes a debit card, the payment processor simply acts as the traffic cop between the customer, merchant, credit card networks, and banks. The swiped card through the payment processor sends a message to the bank asking to either accept or decline this transaction. It does this by checking the account of the cardholder to determine if their is enough funds to cover the transaction. If so, the bank sends an authorization code to the processor who then passes it along to the merchant to process the payment and print out a receipt gathering the customer's signature (if needed).

However, if the transaction is denied then the processor is notified who then lets the merchant know who informs the customer. The merchant can then ask the customer for another form of payment to complete the transaction.

At the end of the business day, the merchant will send all the authorization codes they've received on that day to the processor. The processor will then send them all in one batch to the appropriate banks for settlement. This process is called batching or batch settlement.

However, because a merchant is dealing with sensitive financial information, it is important to have security protocols in place to prevent fraud. In the merchant services industry, their is a specific protocol called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or PCI for short. Everyone from the merchant to processors to banks have to adhere to these security protocols in order to minimize and prevent fraud when possible. This helps protect everyone involved should a breach of data or fraud occur. Should a merchant not be compliant and a breach occurs then they could face fines and penalties. In addition, they could lose their merchant services account which will have immediate impact on their revenues due to the inability to process credit and debit card payments. As well, they could gain a bad reputation with their customers causing them to lose even more business.

If your business is ready to select a merchant services provider, then where do you begin? A merchant can usually turn to the Internet to do a very simple online search using sites like Google. This will usually tell a merchant of the type and quality of companies that offer merchant services. Visit their websites and even read reviews from sites like the Better Business Bureau to find the best service providers. In addition, a merchant can ask other businesses who they use and recommend as a merchant services provider. Other businesses will usually have quite a bit to say about a merchant services provider whether it comes from a great partnership or awful experiences. In addition, feel free to reach out to the merchant services companies and speak to a rep to learn more about their levels of products and services. Since this is a technology-based industry, it's important for your service provider to be on the leading edge so you have access to the latest technologies you can use to decrease your costs while increasing profits.

Service doesn't simply end once the contract is signed and you have your payment processing terminals. It's important to know the level and kind of customer service given once you sign up with a merchant services provider. Should a need or an emergency arise, you will need to how and when a merchant services provider will address your concerns.

It's important that you know what rates and fees will be applied to your merchant services account. For example, some merchant services providers may tout the benefits of a free terminal which may sound good to a prospective merchant. However, many times their are higher than usual rates and fees associated with these "free" terminals so beware when you hear this.

In conclusion, these services may seem like something businesses might not need to know that much about. However, a properly educated merchant can use merchant services to help them reduce their business operating costs while increasing profits.

100 Billion Reasons to Consider Using BACS Services

100 Billion Reasons to Consider Using BACS Services

BACS, the company responsible for the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of automated payments in the UK, recently celebrated a major landmark:


That's 100 billion. A pretty impressive number, especially when you think that:
• About 100 billion minutes age, the Roman Empire was flourishing and Christianity was emerging.

• About 100 billion hours ago, we were living in the Stone Age (the Middle Palaeolithic, to be more precise).

• About 100 billion days ago, Australopithecus (an ape-like creature related to the ancestors of modern humans) was wandering around the African Savannah.

• About 100 billion months ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. Perhaps hunting in vain for ape-like creature related to the ancestors of modern humans.

• The universe is a mere 13.7 billion years old.

BACS is justifiably proud of its achievements, and has released this infographic featuring some of the statistics associated with the 100,000,000 transactions that have been processed over the years:

Ancient History - 1968 and all that...

So what is BACS, exactly? Let's go back in history (don't worry - we're not going as far back as the dinosaurs again), to 1968 when Dennis Gladwell set up the Inter-Bank Computer Bureau - which became BACS (Bankers' Automated Clearing Services).

BACS was revolutionary - an exciting new method of transferring funds electronically without having to rely on ineffective paper-based transactions between banks.
In 1970, the first Direct Debit was made. BACS continued to invest in the development of debiting technology, which has transformed the way we make payments. In 2012, Direct Debit payments outstripped cash for the first time.

BACS Payment Services - Direct Debits & Direct Credits

BACS is the central payment system used to process several different types of electronic payments. By far the most popular are Direct Debits and Direct Credits:
BACS Direct Debits - An instruction from a customer to their bank or building society authorising an organisation to collect varying amounts from their account. Around 80% of the UK population now have at least one Direct Debit!

BACS Direct Credits - This is a simple, secure and reliable service, which enables organisations of all sizes to make payments by electronic transfer directly into a bank or building society account. Over 90 per cent of the UK workforce is paid via BACS Direct Credit.

Some notable benefits that BACS payment services provide are:

- Automating regular secure payments for goods or services.
- Helping to reduce banking charges by up to 80% (when compared to conventional bank payments such as cheques and cash).
- Reducing administration time spent transferring bulk payments.
- Delivering payments electronically. An extremely cost-effective method.
- Eliminating the risk of delayed cheques - and doing away with the old "the cheque's in the post" excuse.

BACS Approved Software Supplier

Every day, BACS make an incredible 97.6 million transfers. On peak days, they process 6.3 million transactions.
There's no doubt about it, BACS continues to be at the forefront of payment related services, and is a major part of the UK financial system.

That's why our expertise team are proud to be a BACS approved software supplier. We make automating regular payments and debits fast and easy, and give our clients access to all of the payment and debit capabilities of BACS from one central, easy-to-manage dashboard.

The ease, accuracy and affordability of managing BACS payments is something that our clients have come to rely upon. Quite simply, it helps them do better business. Here's to the next 100,000,000,000!

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