“SEO is a marketing function for sure,
but it needs to be baked into a product,
not slapped on like icing
after the cake is baked.”

Duane Forrester

Facebook’s Social Graph Pushes the Envelope

Before I get into Facebook’s newest feature, Social Graph and Graph Search, let me say that Blog.Waspit.Me is not a news source. We do not offer breaking news, but rather attempt to lend advice and commentary to financial practices or social routines that are prevalent to our target market, college students. We center a majority of our posts around ways to save money and be fiscally responsible and ways to make your lifestyle more efficient. Although we usually focus on the former (because we are, at the end of the day, a financial service aimed at bettering college students’ lives), using new technologies to make everyday tasks and routines more efficient is something what really gets us excited.

And if tech efficiency gets the Waspit Team excited, you can imagine how we took the news when Facebook’s new “Social Graph” was released Tuesday afternoon. Some of the features Facebook is unveiling in their new update push the boundaries on what Internet users have only imagined up until now. “Social Graph” enables us to search the Facebook world by searching for specifics like keywords in a person’s profile, employment history,  age, etc. That’s right, finding the girl you spoke to for thirty seconds at a party once just became that much easier.


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Smart Card Alliance Mobile and Transit Payments Summit 2011

Richard Steggall will be representing Waspit at the Mobile and Transit Payments Summit in Salt Lake City next week.  He has been chosen to sit on one of the panels with other high-level peers who will discuss the future of these two intersecting spheres.

The event, which started as the meeting of the Alliance’s Contactless and Mobile Payments Council and Transportation Council, has grown quickly, attracting high-level participants from payment brands, issuing banks, payments processors, mobile operators, mobile device manufacturers, mobile services providers, transit operators, transit fare payments solutions providers, systems integrators, and more.


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Accepting payments should be easy, right?

Our lives are increasingly maintained through our electronic devices.  Whether from a PC or a smartphone, our obsession with performing routine daily tasks remotely is now becoming a way of life.  Online commerce, be it your simple grocery shop or keeping up with current fashion, is no longer an activity for early adopters.  Again – it’s now a way of life for many, and takes away a need to head down to the High St.

Along with this trend emerges even greater growth in online commerce, including mobile commerce and the new, and highly touted, social commerce.  There is one common theme amongst those entrepreneurs entering these markets; “how can we accept payments?”

Sure, PayPal and other methods are out there and do provide an alternative to the traditional sources, but let’s face it; the market opportunity is much larger than the customer base of PayPal.  New entrants want to accept payment from their customers using the same methods Harrods accept!


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Barclays answer to Contactless Payments for a limited few

I am sure you are all aware of the official launch of Quick Tap last week in the UK.  Barclays Bank and mobile network operator Orange joined forces to provide their customers with the ability to make mobile contactless payments.

Apart from coming up with a great product name, Quick Tap only allows Orange customers who have a Samsung Tocco Quick Tap handset, and who have a Barclays bank accounts to use the rather lack-lustre contactless mobile wallet application.   To further limit their market, customers can only load up to £100 onto their phone and make payments for purchases up to £15.

Quick Tap is using the MasterCard PayPass terminals, and simply allows those fortunate few to swipe their Samsung Tocco to pay for the peanuts at the pub – after all, if it your turn to buy a round of drinks, are you going to get them for under £15?


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PayPal and now Google – Is big business always best?

If you had a sense of déjà vu when watching the much-anticipated launch of the Google Wallet this week, you wouldn’t be the only one.  It was only last October that the then VP of Platform, Mobile and New Ventures at Paypal Osama Bedier hosted the PayPal Mobile X conference and touted the “ground-breaking” relationship between Bling Nation and PayPal.  This relationship was, according to PayPal at the time, going to see mobile wallets and contactless payments become mainstream.

In fact Eric Duprat, previous General Manager of Mobile at PayPal, made a comment at the Alternative Payments Solutions Innovation conference only a week earlier that “PayPal is going to own the mobile space”.  He was referring to the emerging mobile wallet applications being discussed.


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Small businesses do count!

We live in a world of small businesses, and apparently they are the driving force behind a successful economy.
Last month, the British Prime Minister boldly stated emerging businesses are the way of the future, saying Britain needs to “back small firms. Boost enterprise. Be on the side of everyone in this country who wants to create jobs, and wealth and opportunity.”

Granted, politicians love to say this perennially, but figures speak louder than words. According to the UK Small Business Association, over 99% of registered businesses in the United Kingdom are considered small to medium businesses. Likewise, the US government’s Small Business Administration cites 99.7% of US companies are small businesses. These small companies are set to create jobs, create wealth, and bring the world back to its prosperous self…assuming we treat them well.


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Waspit in the USA

Waspit has spent the last two weeks in the USA, and it has been a very educational and successful trip.   Most of our time was spent in New York establishing our operational relationships and hunting for office space! Waspit intends on officially opening our New York office within the next two months.

Everyone we met was so helpful and there was a lot of positive response to Waspit. It was very encouraging and exciting.

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Payment Solutions Support for Small Businesses Meet-Up

Last night Waspit hosted an event for small business, giving them information and help with payments solutions. 

It was a fairly informal event, in the function room at our local pub.  Everyone arrived about 6.30 after battling the rain and headed to the bar!

There were 3 speakers, Daniel Robertson from Skrill which is a PSP and e-wallet provider here in the UK.  They generally work with larger companies and international payments.  Daniel spoke about what processes each SME needs to go through to set up a payments solution and how Skrill are your acquiring bank as well as providing additional support and security.  This gave the start-ups and potential e-merchants a much clearer idea of what a more agile and technology focused PSP can provide, as opposed to PayPal and your High Street banks.


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Choosing The Right College Degree [INFOGRAPHIC]

Going to college is a smart move no matter what you decide to study. However, like we examined in our first infographic, simply obtaining a college degree doesn’t have the same advantage as it used to – so how do you get ahead? What you study and to what extent you study will greatly dictate your income down the road. We did our homework on how to get the most out of your college education. The numbers may surprise you.

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