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Twitter Is Planning A Newsletter Service…And Other Small Business Tech News

By January 31, 2021February 1st, 2021No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 —Twitter acquired a newsletter company.

This past week, Twitter announced that it acquired the newsletter company Revue. With newsletters skyrocketing in popularity, Twitter is making strides to keep up with social media platforms who currently permit their users to make money based off of their followers. Twitter has been working to acquire more start-ups over the last couple of months in an effort to broaden what they offer and make up the revenue lost from advertising dollars since the start of the pandemic. (Source: NY Times)

Why this is important for your business:

As a Twitter user, I like this! It would be great to capitalize on my following and send outbound emails with educational information to those that opt-in. Other small businesses and entrepreneurs may also feel the same. If done the right way, this could be a great marketing option…and something I’d pay for.

2 — Plastiq announced the first end-to-end Intuit QuickBooks online integration in the payments industry.

Plastiq announced that Intuit QuickBooks Online is now completely integrated into its payment system. With the new integration, businesses will be able to save money and time thanks to a more efficient, automated, and seamless approach to settling bills, invoices, and payments without the need to enter information into their system manually. Invoices will be able to be directly imported from QuickBooks, allowing important information to be identified and populated quickly and efficiently. (Source: CPA Practice Advisor)

Why this is important for your business:

Plastiq is a client of my company, but I have not been compensated to include this news here. I am including it because Plastiq is one of many great fintech platforms that are making it easier for small businesses to pay their bills – whether via credit cards or by other digital means -to suppliers, both domestic and foreign, regardless of whether those suppliers accept those forms of payment. Many of these fintech payment providers already integrate with accounting services like QuickBooks and we’ll see these options expand for small businesses in the months to come.

3 —Cashier-less tech could detect shoplifting, but there are bias concerns.  

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we shop, cashier-less technology is becoming more and more prominent in brick-and-mortar stores. New information indicates that—in addition to simply providing a way to limit human interaction during checkout—the technology may also be able to detect shoplifting. However, experts are expressing concerns that—based off of recent errors made by machine technology when it came to identifying and labeling subjects in photos— the technology used to detect shoplifting and read images may contain biases and unfairly target people of color or shoppers with disabilities. (Source: Venture Beat).

Why this is important for your business:

So…would you rely on these technologies to minimize your costs related to thefts if it could expose you to bias lawsuits? That’s a tough question, but one that many retailers – both large and small – will be facing in the near future as these types of technologies become more common.

4 — Smart grocery carts are coming to change the way we shop.

Kroger recently announced that it has enlisted in the help of the startup Caper to implement smart grocery carts in its stores. Caper and Kroger have partnered up in order to roll out a pilot program at the grocery chain’s Madeiira, Ohio store. The pilot program— named KroGO—will use several technology features to help shoppers navigate the store and leave without waiting the traditional checkout line.  (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

According to the CNET report, the cart contains a touchscreen to see recommendations and promotions, a built-in scale and camera to help scan and weigh items, and a card reader for shoppers to scan their card when they are ready to checkout. Clearly a great tool for customers and one that any good retailer will need to consider.

5—Expensify upgraded its invoicing feature to help manage AR.

Expensify, known for its expense management applications, rolled out updates and improvements to its invoicing feature. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

The company’s new SmartScan technology will allow users to create and send invoices and receive payments through the platform. Using the same infrastructure that drives expenditures, businesses will also be able to transmit information from supplier bills both to approve and send payments.  Is Expensify going to take on its accounting software partners? Will general ledger and payroll be next? My take: if it makes life easier for a small business, then I’m all for it.

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