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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Amazon launches drones, PayPal expands BNPL… and other tech news for small businesses this week

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Here are five technology things that happened in the past week and how they’re impacting your business. Did you miss them?

1 —Amazon’s Prime Air service will begin shipping drones in California this year.

Amazon announced last week that it will begin drone deliveries to California later this year as part of Amazon’s Prime Air service pilot program. The service delivers thousands of different items directly to the backyards of Amazon customers in Lockeford, CA, who will then provide feedback on the Prime Air service. Amazon plans to gradually scale the service to easily meet customer needs in other areas. (Source: Engadget

Why this is important for your business:

Slowly but surely, drone technology is spreading across all industries. For a small business, you might consider drones to survey real estate or track work progress in large geographic areas. I’ve also seen a few of my clients start using drones in their warehouses to monitor security and run the inventory cycle.

2 — PayPal is expanding its BNPL offering package with “Pay Monthly” to provide customers with more buying options.

PayPal recently launched its new Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) offering called ‘Pay Monthly’. The new BNPL capability allows consumers in the US to defer payments for up to two years after a purchase. Customers can access Pay Monthly directly through PayPal for greater flexibility and more options to pay for items they need or want. (Source: ZDNet

Why this is important for your business:

Now that Apple is in the game, many of the BNPL providers are looking to ramp up their offerings – and the variety of financing they offer. Your company should consider offering BNPL options for your customers who want a little credit but don’t want to use a credit card.

3 — Dozens of companies and small business groups support a US bill to rein in Big Tech.

Small business groups and companies across the country are rallying support for a US bill that aims to rein in Big Tech giants like Google and Amazon. Dozens of organizations have sent letters to members of Congress over the past week urging them to support the bill. Companies and organizations supporting the initiative include Spotify, DuckDuckGo, Somos, Yelp, the American Booksellers Association, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the Chamber of Commerce and more. (Source: Reuters

Why this is important for your business:

I’m a less-government person, but even I have to admit that our biggest tech companies have too much power over our personal and professional lives. More regulation is needed to ensure that these companies are supervised and that they leave a level playing field for small businesses. In some cases, a break from some of the giants may be necessary. It’s happened with big oil and big phones before in our history. It’s probably going to happen again with big tech.

4 — The once hot fintech sector is facing IPO slowdowns and consolidation.

FinTech firms have begun to pause IPO plans and cut costs as recession concerns mount. These fears have begun to change the way investors view the market, with heads of fintech organizations feeling uneasy about the impact of the financial environment on valuations and fundraising. Many investors and executives shared that rising interest rates and inflation make raising money a challenge for fintech companies. (Source: CNBC

Why this is important for your business:

The fintech industry is running out of money as the cost of capital rises and funding dries up. If your business relies on a fintech platform, you need to ensure that the company behind the platform stays up and running – otherwise you could be affected. Request, research and provide a backup plan.

5— These are the best Microsoft Surface deals for June 2022 according to Laptop Magazine.

Laptop Magazine recently shared its top picks for Microsoft Surface deals for June. After running several performance tests, the best deals are the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 from $799, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 from $899, Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio from $1,399 and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go from $899. Details for each device are to be found here† (Source: Laptop Mag

Why this is important for your business:

I need a new laptop this year and Microsoft Surface is definitely in the running – I know a lot of people who love the device. So maybe this article can help you too, if you’re in the same situation.

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