Five reasons for small retail business to install a card machine

As the festive season approaches, with the influx of domestic and international tourists, as well as celebratory food and gift spending, retail business increases significantly.
Five reasons for small retail business to install a card machineAccording to SA Tourism, tourists spent around R31bn in the first quarter of 2016. Around R4bn of that was spent on food and drink and around R6.5b on retail – and that’s just international tourists. Furthermore, on average, a customer spends more if paying by card as opposed to cash, which can make a substantial difference to a small business that doesn’t offer card payment facilities.

Yoco, a South African point-of-sale payments venture that gives SMEs the tools to accept card payments, gives five reasons to install a card machine:

1. Go global

International tourists may not necessarily have much cash, or not enough to cover all of the things they want to buy. Having a card reader means businesses can accept card payments from both local and international visitors, meaning the tourists can save their forex and the business make the sale.

2. Cards are convenient for everyone

Having to search around malls and markets for an ATM and then standing in a long queue to withdraw cash is painful, especially during the busy season period. Not only is it an inconvenience to carry cash, but it poses a security risk to both the business and its customers. Cards are hassle free and easy to cancel with a simple phone call if they get lost or stolen.

3. Make bigger sales

If someone desperately, desperately wants something from an establishment but does not have enough cash, giving them the option of a card payment means the business can still take the sale and make the customer happy. Customers spend on average 30% more when paying by credit card than when paying with cash.

4. It leaves a trace

Card payments make cash up easier (especially if linked to a POS system with a smart back-end) as they leave a clear trail of what amount was spent with each transaction. The days of going to the bank to deposit a large sum of money – worrying about your safety – should exist no longer. Card payments clear in 1-4 days (depending on the provider) so small business will get the benefit of good cash flow without the hassle of banking hall madness.

5. Cards are safer

Cash can be lost, stolen or destroyed, and businesses that are known to have high volumes of cash on the premises become a target for local criminals. Then there is the issue of counterfeit currency. Card payments have none of these hassles, even if someone loses a slip, the data is all on the machine, or immediately sent to a point of sale system.

Enabling tourism SMEs to make the most of peak season with card facilities

Tourists spent around R31 billion in the first quarter of 2016 according to SA Tourism with around four billion spent on food and drink and around R6.5 billion on retail. As we enter the peak summer holiday season, these numbers are likely to rise significantly.
Enabling tourism SMEs to make the most of peak season with card facilities
Image Source: Yoco
Small businesses play a huge part in catering for overseas visitors. In fact, on a national level, SMMEs contribute around 42% of South Africa’s GDP, and 43% of them operate in the trade and accommodation sectors, both of which rely heavily on tourism.

Giving small business access to card payment facilities

A sad reality is that many small business owners find it difficult to capitalise on this huge influx of international and domestic tourists, largely because it is too expensive for them to invest in payment structures like card payment and other support services.

However, things could look differently for many such businesses this season. One homegrown company, Yoco, is looking to change this, by offering small businesses the ability to affordably accept card payments. Since it was launched in 2015, Yoco has provided card readers to over 4,000 small businesses, most of which previously did not have access to these facilities.

On average, a customer spends 30% more if paying by card, as opposed to cash, which can make a substantial difference to a small business. But the process for acquiring a card machine from a traditional institution is time consuming and costly. This is something that Yoco has turned on its head.

Time is money

“Our goal is to get you set up and accepting card payments within four business days, on average two,” says Yoco CEO Katlego Maphai. “We know that running a small business is time-consuming, and season means harder work, longer hours and even less time to focus on growing your business. Time is money, so we mean it when we say, we’ll get you up and running fast.”

The Yoco card reader allows merchants to accept all Visa and MasterCard cards, including international cards. For your consumers, there’s no change in behaviour. They hand you their card and you dip it on the Yoco terminal. But the real time saver is in the Yoco Business Portal that allows merchants to track sales, pull and export performance data. This allows owners to manage their businesses with less fuss and time-consuming administration.

With smart devices connected to smart software, cashing up at the end of the day can be dramatically reduced, and paperwork all but removed. Business data can be visualised in an easy graphical interface to help plan better and make smarter decisions. Businesses can get real time feedback on their sales, and use information such as what their best-selling items are and what their peak times are, to help their company grow.

“Over seventy-five percent of adults in South Africa have cards,” says Maphai. “For businesses, accepting cards is no longer a luxury – it’s an absolute necessity.”

Giving small and medium sized businesses access to card readers as well as real time business information, could be the push many of these entrepreneurs need to get them to the next stage of their business growth. And, as statistics show, if they grow, so does South Africa’s economy.

Why point-of-sale breaches remain a lucrative endeavour for cybercriminals

Most of the customers in the queue for Wendy’s, in Nebraska, only intended to grab a burger or a coffee. Luckily for the customers – they did manage to get their food and drinks. But unluckily, by the time they left the café, cybercriminals had also accessed the point-of-sale (POS) system and stolen thousands of card records.
(c) philipus –
(c) philipus – 123RF.com

How could something like this be possible? Obscurely, the fast-food chain actually had a security solution installed on its POS, but this hadn’t been updated on time – something that ended up putting customer data and the entire business’s reputation on the line.

Attacks on POS systems have been growing over the past few years, with new breaches such as Code Red, SQL, and Slammer moving in, affecting both small retail shops and large hotel and restaurant chains. According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report 2016, 525 POS breaches disclosed data in 2015 alone, not to mention the Target breaches of 2014 – which took over 100,000 victims.

So, why do POS breaches remain a lucrative endeavour for cybercriminals?

The primary motivator for cybercriminals is often profit. The physical point of sale contains the all-important information found on the magnetic strip of a credit card, meaning it can be cloned and used for fraudulent purchases. Payment card data can also be sold on the dark web markets and so-called ‘dump shops’, such as McDumpals, where criminals can even geographically filter cards, making their crimes all the more convenient.

(c) tuthelens –
(c) tuthelens – 123RF.com

With a considerable number of POS terminals still relying on the magnetic stripe developed 30 years ago, they remain a very soft target. The fruitful combination of POS systems, with Internet access and default passwords, makes it easy for attackers to compromise this technology. If they are not protected with specialist software, POS systems have four basic weaknesses in their architecture:

Data is stored in the memory
Non-encrypted data in transit
Non-patched operating systems
Configuration (default passwords)

How to safeguard a business from a POS attack

Taking these precautions, provided by cybersecurity company, Kaspersky Lab, will help safeguard your business from a POS attack.

Employee training. According to the Verizon Breach Report 2015, social engineering is becoming increasingly popular as a tactic employed by cybercriminals attempting to breach POS systems. Simple calls to trick employees into providing the password data needed, can allow a criminal to gain remote access to a POS. Make sure your employees think twice about their behaviour around your POS systems and ensure that they understand that casually clicking on social media links and email attachments in the workplace, especially on any POS-equipped machines, is unacceptable.

Password maintenance. Once a POS system is installed, make sure you change from the default system password. Also, ensure that each employee has their own login to the machine, that individual passwords are not shared, and that these passwords are changed regularly. If an employee ceases to work for the business, make sure their password is removed from the system.

Lock-down connections. Ensure any Wi-Fi systems in your business are password-protected, and each Internet connection has a firewall.

Limit physical access. Since cybercriminals only need a short window of time to tamper with a POS system, make sure the POS machine is staffed at all times. Install a physical barrier around the POS machine to limit a customer’s ability to interact with any credit card readers or USB ports on the POS machine.

Ensure the core operating system of each machine is updated. When educating employees, make sure they know that prompts to download Windows system updates and application updates shouldn’t be ignored.

Install the best specialised POS security software you can find. Attacks on retailers are driven largely by sophisticated malware, so POS-dedicated protection is vital. To safeguard businesses from the tricks of POS fraudsters, Kaspersky Lab has introduced Kaspersky Embedded Systems Security – a solution designed to protect payment card systems. It’s also important that any security software is kept up to date, so ensure that all patches or database updates are downloaded promptly.

Manage web access. It’s a good idea to completely block employees from browsing the Internet on the POS machine. When internet is needed, access to certain websites can be limited. For example, with Kaspersky Small Office Security, business owners can prevent employees from visiting certain types of website (e.g. social media) and from downloading programmes.

Encrypt and back up. In many countries, any business that saves customer data is required by law to encrypt it. Even if not required, encrypting sensitive payment data is always recommended. In addition, make sure that all business-critical records are backed up to an external hard drive or cloud repository. Encrypting these backup files can also prevent accidental deletion.

With more countries, including the USA, moving to EMV cards, the world is becoming more secure. This gives hackers reasons to target ill-prepared POS systems. To avoid being on the list, retail and restaurant organisations should ensure they have done everything possible to make their customers’ card data safe and sound.

Natural Skin Care For Teens

Acne and skin blemishes are very common among teenagers as well all know, which is why at this stage in one’s life skin care is very important. At this time, natural skin care may not be attainable, but one can still get rid of the acne and blemishes by using natural methods. To start, it is important to know more about acne and why it appears. Understanding why the condition occurs will help guide you toward using natural skin care to get clear skin.

The cause of acne can be attributed to the sebaceous glands in the back, chest, and face being overproduced. The overproduction results from hormonal changes typically experienced by teenagers at the start of puberty. The condition can worsen if bacteria exists to promote infections, which then leads to scars and inflammation.

With that said, skin blemishes and mild acne cases can be treated by natural skin care. Companies promote products they claim to be natural for acne treatment, but sometimes these products only have a small amount of natural and consist of chemicals to rid of acne.

Be Careful What You Eat

Consuming fatty and greasy foods at the start of puberty, when one is most susceptible to acne, may also contribute to the cause. Anything that is consumed by the body, such as food and drinks, can have an affect on the presence of acne. By having a well balanced diet and limiting the consumption of fats and grease, this is a natural skin care method that can be effective in the prevention of acne.

Another natural technique is to drink the required amount of eight glasses of water each day. This will assist in cleaning out the toxins and impurities that contribute to acne. High sugar levels can also be a factor leading to acne, so limiting the consumption of drinks high in sugar is encouraged.

Herbs

Acne can also be managed and controlled by the utilization of ointments and herbal washes. For instance, one herb is tea tree, which has properties that are antibacterial and slow the advancement of bacteria in the skin. This will help in the prevention of pimples, which are are oozing and full of pus.

Other natural skin care herbs include lavender and chamomile. These herbs have anti inflammation and antiseptic properties, which help to rid of mild to moderate cases of acne.

Using products with burdock root, pine pollen extract, and burbinella extract is another natural method. These herbs have properties that assist with the healing of skin lesions and manage the spread of bacteria.

Tips To Avoid Food Poisoning While Travelling In Nepal

This, unfortunately, is in no way going to guarantee that you don’t get sick if you follow my suggestions step by step, but it may stop you from getting a bad case of Dysentery or even a mild but embarrassing case of Diarrhoea. I myself have been caught out in Nepal a few times before following the steps below, and it wasn’t local food that got me the first and the worst time, it was my passion for chocolate croissants that had me in bed for two days, and very ill for the following week or so. Light cases have come at me when eating dried Buffalo meat, salted and hung in the open doors, and unfortunately, it’s just as easy to develop an upset tummy just from feasting off plates that have been washed in untreated water. Here are a few tips to make the dreaded bug a little less potent and certainly helps me out when travelling.

Water Worries: It’s very simple, just don’t drink the stuff out of the tap at all if you have a weak stomach or you’re just worried. Use treated or boiled water to brush your teeth, and try not to get too much in your mouth when taking a shower. It may sound over excessive but the best precaution is over doing it.
Trekker’s Miracle: When asking many seasoned trekkers how they stay healthy while trekking through the Himalaya and dining at local teahouses etc. They often say that having a bottle of coke with all meals is a good way to kill off any bacteria that may be slipping past the radar and into your stomach.

Hand Sanitisers: Fabulous invention, the hand sanitiser that does not require water, is a great way to make sure those germs you have picked up, from perhaps patting a cute puppy on the road to touching untreated water. Remember in Nepal most dogs will be carrying some form of parasite or another. In most cases food poisoning does occur from simply eating with dirty hands.

Ice and Cold Food: Although these days most tourist restaurants will use treated water for their ice, it’s probably better to just avoid ice all together, even in your alcoholic beverage. If you want to drink, then drink bottled beer, or coke and your spirit of choice, no ice. Cold food on the street is pretty much a big no no, if it’s not piping hot or cooking on the spot then don’t put it in your mouth! Also make sure your salad has been washed in treated water if you’re going to eat it.

Peel ‘able Fruit: Another wise choice for untreated water washed fruit, if you can peel it, then you can be more sure you are peeling the possible bacteria off, things like bananas, dragon fruit, oranges and lychees, try to avoid apples unless you wash them yourself with treated water or peel the skin.
Treatment when it’s too late: Most people take something like Imodium with them. In actual fact, this can block up the bacteria along with your embarrassing problem and drag it out longer. Go and see your doctor and ask what’s best for you, most Doctors will give you an actual antibiotic that will get in and solve the problem not trap it. But remember your Doctor is the best person to decide what’s best for you and the above information in merely a guide to possible avoidance to these unwanted travel nasties. Also, drink a lot of treated water and hot water, keep hydrated and wash it out at the same time.

Last but not least, if you’re not sure about where to eat, or what to eat, by no means should you avoid eating great local food, after all it’s all part of the travel experience. A good travel company that is actually based in the country is a great way to go, as they should be able to suggest fabulous and clean local eateries and restaurants. Another good way to tell is if the restaurant is full of locals, it generally means the food is delicious.

What Is Constipation

Constipation is having a bowel movement fewer than 3 times per week. Constipation causes stools to be unusually dry, hard, small in size and difficult to eliminate. Is it painful for you to have a bowel movement? If so then you probably have experienced bloating, and straining during a bowel movement. Constipation is a symptom and not a disease. At some point in their life most people have experienced constipation. In addition, constipation is temporary and not serious.

Causes of Constipation
Constipation isn’t caused by a lack of dietary fiber, but by opioid peptides in wheat and dairy products and beta carbolines in prepared food (proteinous prepared food in particular). In order to properly get rid of constipation we should consume as little prepared food as possible including wheat and dairy products.

The causes of this medium-term Constipation include a low-fiber and high-fat diet (dairy products, meats and eggs), not drinking enough liquids, excessive use of dehydrating liquids like coffee, tea, cola and alcohol, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, usage of medications like antacids, antidepressants, antispasmodic drugs, iron tablets, anticonvulsant drugs, painkillers or prolonged medication for some other chronic condition which causes Constipation as a side effect, old age, pregnancy, abuse of laxatives and repeatedly refraining from having a bowel movement when the urge is there (for example, due to continuous travel or in order to avoid using public toilets)

Food Constipation
The food we all eat has to be broken down into smaller parts or nutrients before the body can utilize it. In all the humans, proteins must be broken down into amino acids, fats into fatty acids and glycerol’s, and starches into simple sugars. Furthermore, the fluid that our body’s need comes from the food and water we consume. The digestive system is made up of the alimentary canal, liver and the pancreas.
What foods cause food constipation?
Dairy products- milk, cheese, yogurt
Wheat products- bread, pasta, cookies, pastries
Supplementary Iron
Prepared Proteinous food- (cooked, fried, baked) fish, meat, beans grains and soy.
It is also important to know that fats and sugars help to move the bowels, and help to decrease food constipation. Moreover, you should consume as much fruit and some fresh raw animal food like sashimi or egg yolk. More on the subject of food constipation is revealed on my website located at the bottom in the resource box.

Home Remedies for Constipation
1) Fiber is brilliant for largely intestinal health and for alleviating chronic constipation so try to include fibre in your diet. .
2) 8 ounce of milk should be mixed with about 3 ounces of prune juice in addition to little drops of licorice extract and should be taken in morning to treat constipation as soon as possible. This is simple and effective Home Remedy for Constipation.
3) Drink each morning on an empty stomach, humid water mixed with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and half a lemon juice.
4) One good Home Remedy for Constipation is to Drink lemon juice mixed with warm water two to three times a day.
5) Another remedy is to drink one liter of warm water and walk around for a few minutes instantly after waking up early in the morning.
6) Immerse 10-12 big raisins in a cup of milk and bring to boil, first eat the raisins then drink the milk.
7) Mix 2 tsp husk seed (Isabgol) in 1/2 a cup of hot milk and drink instantly. This is effective Home Remedy for Constipation.
8) Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Epsom salt to 1/2 a glass of water and drink (bitter but wonderful).
9) Mix 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder with a pinch of asafoetida and a bit of black salt in a little warm water and sip it. This is simple Home Remedy for Constipation.

Scotland Alcohol Industry Booming As Scots Drink On Empty Stomachs

Scots have since the past been advised to fill their stomachs with food before taking a drink but it all seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Wines and spirits industries in Scotland are making a lot of money with booming business; in fact the leaders say that latest research shows that the English were influenced by what they view as a healthier continental attitude to alcohol as compared to Scots. The French, Italians and Spaniards traditionally take dinner as they take a glass of wine; the Scots on the other hand prefer taking alcohol on empty stomachs.

The SNP administration together with other proposals, which include minimum prices, wants the Scotland government to end what they believe to be irresponsible promotions of food and drinks, which health experts believe to be driving Scots to unplanned purchase of drinks. The drinks industries on the other hand believe that the promotions are necessary to promote their products.

Supermarkets however, differed with the ban on cross promotions and therefore led a charge against them. For them, they believe that the government together with the industries should organize a campaign to pass a message to the Scots on the best way of taking alcohol and the various advantages of taking the drink after taking a heavy or a reasonable meal. Basically, the government should be finding a way out to solve the current problem instead of banning cross promotions.

Wine and spirits industries believe that selling food together would be the best way of normalizing sensible and considerate drinking, though health campaigners differ with them that alcohol is not and will never be a normal product, they believe that most Scots are pressured into buying alcohol eve n when they don’t intend, especially when they are completely empty in their stomachs.
The fact that Scots continue taking alcohol as the various alcohol industries continue making profits have been one great issue for the Scottish government. Health campaigners however have congratulated the government’s crackdown on cross promotions among other promotions, stating that it was one way to reduce alcohol consumption in Scotland.

Most health campaigners suggested that it was better taking wine with food rather than drinking without food, it is compared to watching your favorite movie without sound. Wine is basically transformed by food and so do wine on food; it has exactly the same effect on food just like spices do. It is therefore to have a meal before taking alcohol; this is one important thing that the Scottish government is working on, though it has appeared to be a bit tough on their side. The fight goes on, there is no giving up.

Alcohol businesses in Scotland continue to operate at a higher profit rate because of the many customers visiting drinking centers each and every time. The solution lies on the government together with the citizens to ensure that alcohol is not taken before a solid meal is taken. There is hope anyway, that the behavior is going to change with time.

Do Detox Drinks Work

Detoxification drinks are well known to help many people detoxify their body with great convenience. Today, many people are so busy that they are unable to take their meals with ease, let alone cook up meals on their own. Hence, busy people who are looking for a way to detoxify their bodies will usually end up consuming detoxification drinks. Let us move to the main question. Do detox drinks work?

Firstly, you should understand that there are many different types of detox drinks. This includes drinks with laxative effects, drinks that provide your body with great nutrition, drinks that provide with your body with antioxidants and drinks that help you rid the toxins in your body through a combination of different juices and ingredients.

Laxatives promote bowel movement. It is important to keep our bowels moving as they are responsible for clearing the toxins in our body. Our liver filters toxins and processes it to our bowels. Hence, constipation often leads to other complications that cause bad health. Laxative drinks are formulas that can help you eliminate toxins from your body through your bowels.

Antioxidants promote detoxification by neutralizing free radicals that causes health issues. Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that are very good antioxidants. Without sufficient antioxidants, our body will be unable to remove toxins from our body efficiently. Detox drinks usually include fruits that are high in vitamin C. One good example of a fruit that is often used for detox drinks is lemon. Lemon, as part of the citrus family, contains high amounts of vitamin C.

An example of a detox drink is the lemonade detox drink. This drink is made up of spring water, maple syrups, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. A lemonade detox drink is able to help you eliminate toxins, cleanse your liver and kidneys, keep your nutritional level high and relieve nerve pressure.

Detox drinks are highly convenient and simply to follow. However, you must be able to curb your urge for food during the diet. Do detox drinks work? You should not doubt the capability of these simple drinks.

Detoxification drinks are well known to help many people detoxify their body with great convenience. Today, many people are so busy that they are unable to take their meals with ease, let alone cook up meals on their own. Hence, busy people who are looking for a way to detoxify their bodies will usually end up consuming detoxification drinks. Let us move to the main question. Do detox drinks work?

Firstly, you should understand that there are many different types of detox drinks. This includes drinks with laxative effects, drinks that provide your body with great nutrition, drinks that provide with your body with antioxidants and drinks that help you rid the toxins in your body through a combination of different juices and ingredients.

Laxatives promote bowel movement. It is important to keep our bowels moving as they are responsible for clearing the toxins in our body. Our liver filters toxins and processes it to our bowels. Hence, constipation often leads to other complications that cause bad health. Laxative drinks are formulas that can help you eliminate toxins from your body through your bowels.

Antioxidants promote detoxification by neutralizing free radicals that causes health issues. Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that are very good antioxidants. Without sufficient antioxidants, our body will be unable to remove toxins from our body efficiently. Detox drinks usually include fruits that are high in vitamin C. One good example of a fruit that is often used for detox drinks is lemon. Lemon, as part of the citrus family, contains high amounts of vitamin C.

An example of a detox drink is the lemonade detox drink. This drink is made up of spring water, maple syrups, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. A lemonade detox drink is able to help you eliminate toxins, cleanse your liver and kidneys, keep your nutritional level high and relieve nerve pressure.

Detox drinks are highly convenient and simply to follow. However, you must be able to curb your urge for food during the diet. Do detox drinks work? You should not doubt the capability of these simple drinks.