As smartphones and tablets become more and more prevalent in the market place, mobile payment methods are a more viable solution for small businesses and entrepreneurs to manage their money.
Square, a dongle based credit card swiper for the iPhone, was an advancement in technology that demonstrated the potential the smartphone had for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Since it’s introduction, some businesses have been able to get rid of cash registers entirely and shift their entire platform to tablets and mobile phones. Square is trying to remain on the cutting edge by getting rid of the hardware and enabling geofencing, making payment possible by proximity over rather than actual card swiping.
While security issues are still being sorted out, Square has remained on the cutting edge of mobile payment technology. Behind them, PayPal is attempting to pick up the slack and offer new ways to pay by phone, as well. PayPal here again offers a physical device to swipe the card with, but doesn’t have a dedicated app for iPhone or iPad.
Intuit GoPayment offers a similar device as Square. It plugs into your phone and requires swiping the card. One major benefit of using the Intuit method is that the transaction syncs automatically with your Quickbooks software.
Many different companies are offering ways to turn your mobile device into a cash register. Is the mobile wallet going to be the new trend? Several credit cards, banks, and cellular carriers got together to form Isis, a place where standards could be set for mobile payments.
The biggest concern that remains is security. All the information is flying through the air. How can we be sure no one will pick it up? Some researchers are even devoting their time to punching holes in any wall that Square builds.
While mobile payments are a great way to take your business with you anywhere, you need to make sure you are up to date on security issues. You need to protect yourself and your customers before going mobile.
What are some of your concerns? What would keep you from or encourage you into using mobile payment?
Small business employment continued to show growth in December with hours worked up and wages flat.
“We might expect that after months of high hours per employee, that businesses would hire and hours would fall back to normal. Instead, we see hiring up and hours worked up also. These are good signs for the recovery.”
Those were among the results of this month’s update of the Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq:INTU) Small Business Employment Index. The monthly report found that small business employment grew by 0.3 percent in December, equating to an annual growth rate of about 3.4 percent. This translates to approximately 57,000 new jobs created nationwide. The Index is based on figures from the country’s smallest businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll.
“Small business is still the most vigorous sector of the employment picture,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “We generally see a rise in employment for all businesses in December, but this year it is unusually strong. We can hardly see the recovery in overall national employment, but among small businesses, the recovery, albeit slow, is unambiguous.”
Based on this latest data, the employment growth rate for November was revised upward to 0.4 percent, equating to 73,000 jobs added for the month and a 4.4 percent annual growth rate. Since the growth trend first began in October 2009, small business jobs have increased by a revised estimate of 880,000.
Compensation Flat, Hours Worked Up
Total compensation per employee was flat in December while hours worked were up, compared to November.
Average monthly pay for all small business employees was $2,607 per month in December, a nearly 0.1 percent decline, which is considered flat, from the revised November figure of $2,609 per month. This translates to wages of about $31,300 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees.
“The weakness of the overall employment picture is still reflected in small business compensation,” said Woodward. “Though small businesses are hiring and asking their people to work longer hours, they don’t have to pay more to get people. While compensation is flat, these numbers don’t mean that people didn’t get overtime and bonuses in December – they did. But on a seasonal and trend adjusted basis, compensation is not up.”
Small business hourly employees worked an average of 107.5 hours in December, translating to a 24.8-hour work week. This is a nearly 0.2 percent increase from the revised November figure of 107.3 hours.
“Hours are still strong,” added Woodward. “We might expect that after months of high hours per employee, that businesses would hire and hours would fall back to normal. Instead, we see hiring up and hours worked up also. These are good signs for the recovery.”
Small Business Employment by Geography
The Intuit Index also breaks down employment by census divisions and states across the country.
“All divisions continued to show employment growth except for the West North Central division, which continued to see job losses for the sixth month in a row,” said Cameron Schmidt, vice president of Intuit’s Employee Management Solutions division. “Most states saw increases in employment with Washington seeing the strongest increase month over month.”
|U.S. Census Division||Percent Change in Employment|
|East North Central||+0.2%|
|West North Central||-0.2%|
|East South Central||+0.3%|
|West South Central||+0.4%|
Small Business Employment by U.S. Census Division continues to grow in most parts of the country except for the West North Central division. The data reflects employment from nearly 60,000 small business employers who use Intuit Online Payroll. The month-to-month changes are seasonally-adjusted and informative about the overall economy.
|State||Percent Change in Employment|
Small Business Employment by State is up for many states across the country with the highest increases month over month in Maryland and Washington. The states above reflect those for which Intuit Online Payroll has more than 1,000 small business firms represented. The month-to-month changes are seasonally-adjusted and informative about the overall economy.
About the Index
The Intuit Small Business Employment Index is based on aggregate and anonymous online employment data from nearly 60,000 small business employers, each with fewer than 20 employees. These small businesses use Intuit Online Payroll from Intuit, the No. 1 payroll provider with more than 1 million customers. These smallest employers are important to the economy as they comprise 87 percent of the total U.S. private employer base and employ nearly 20 million people. More information is available at: www.intuitinc.com/payrollindex.
Intuit reports data for three categories: small business employment, compensation and hours worked. Intuit analyzes and publishes the data at the beginning of each month. The Index also includes employment data broken down by geography. As with the government data, there may be revisions to the Intuit Index numbers. These revisions are partly due to calculations using the latest month of new Intuit data. These calculations include re-computing seasonal factors and the moving average process used to obtain the curve, which can change the values for previously reported months. Changes to the data are also due to revisions to the government employment data, which is used to calculate the Intuit Index.
While the Intuit Small Business Employment Index offers macroeconomic insight about the economy generally, it does not indicate or represent changes in Intuit’s business results for any period.
The Index data reflects monthly employment activity in small businesses, and is adjusted to account for changes in Intuit’s Online Payroll customer base. The percent change is measured monthly using the change in employment for existing Intuit Online Payroll customers from one month to the next. The set of customers changes each month so the measurement is the change, for each pair of months, for customers who are present in both the earlier and the later month.