Businesses today are very different from 20 years ago and advances in technology have changed the way businesses operate. Some of these advances have become industry standards, and some have become federal law. Here are four ways modern technology standards have changed how we do business.
Mobile Payments Are Gaining Traction
Image via Flickr by Vodafone Germany Corporate Communications
Thanks to near field communication (NFC) technology, customers can pay with the convenience of a credit card without having to actually use their card. Both Apple Pay and Google Wallet use NFC technology enabling people to wave their cell phone over a sensor to pay for purchases.
By using NFC technology with Apple Pay or Google Wallet, a consumer’s personal information isn’t revealed when making a purchase. Personal information is a sensitive topic and using mobile payment takes the onus off of vendors to keep this information safe. This type of technology may become more prevalent as consumers embrace advanced ways to protect their personal information.
Credit Card Information Security Is Getting Tighter
Credit card companies took matters into their own hands to protect consumers (and themselves) from fraud. The five major credit card companies (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and JCB) have established standards for data security regarding customer payment information.
All vendors who deal with these card companies need to comply with payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS) or risk losing the privilege to accept credit card payment. For a vendor, failing to meet these standards could even mean being kicked out of credit card processing networks.
Cloud Computing Is on the Rise
Having access to resources when you need them is important for managing any business. The rise of cloud computing has enabled small businesses to compete with larger ones thanks to cloud technology.
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cloud computing enables “convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources.” Basically, using the cloud means a business can pay for IT services on a monthly basis, instead of keeping up an expensive IT department.
According to the New York Times , the rise of cloud use for business has lead to situations where “two or three people can build something on a global basis.” That makes cloud computing valuable for small businesses with big ideas.
Encryption Could Become a Requirement
The safe storage and transmission of customer data has always been important for businesses, and encrypting data is one way to ensure this valuable information is safe. The organization that holds businesses accountable for keeping information safe is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Under the FTC Act, the FTC is charged with investigating when a customer information is leaked or stolen.
According to FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, the FTC is supportive of data encryption to protect customer information, and the future may see data encryption as a requirement rather than an industry best practice.
Technology standards affect both multi-national corporations and local shoe repair shops, making it necessary for every business to keep up with changes. Embracing new innovations can help a business grow, and may even help with legal compliance when technology advances become legal requirements.