Press Releases

Sinu Blog: Playing with Sand

  • Friday

    Apple Pay: A new "painless" way to spend money?

    Remember your first credit card? That feeling of power and of acceptance into a new financial world, soon enough followed by your first credit card bill – a sometimes harsh reality of that new financial world.

    According to a recent report by Business Week, "Researchers have long found that shoppers spend more the further they get from handling actual currency and tend to better remember cash transactions. These tendencies help explain why credit card balances tend to bloat and why casinos use chips in place of money... Behavioral economists have a term for this dynamic: decoupling. The card or app or casino chip mentally separates the consumer from his bank account. The payment is both delayed and bundled with other charges so it doesn’t seem so painful."

    Which brings us to the new Apple Pay.BusinessWeek reports that Apple Pay should excite retailers because of the psychology of human behavior. The further someone is from paying actual cash, the more they are inclined to spend, they say. Photo from Bloomberg report, "Why Retailers Will Love the Apple Pay Era," 10/17/14

    Hiawatha Bray, the Boston Globe tech writer, got it right when he began a report stating that “my iPhone 6 just turned into a credit card.” But he might have added that it turned into a different kind of credit card – a seamless, virtual payment system detached from the psychology of handing over cold hard cash or a piece of plastic. iPhone in hand, Bray admitted that he "went on a rather pathetic spending spree – French fries at McDonald’s, another candy bar at the Star Market on Morrissey Boulevard [in Dorchester, MA]. Always, the experience was instantaneous, and painless."

    Quick and painless spending is why Apple Pay may prove to be a welcome boon to retailers who have long understood that separating the immediate gratification of a purchase from the harsh reality of payment can unleash powerful spending patterns. Writing in the “Retail Therapy” blog for Psychology Today, Scott Rick, Ph.D notes that “... research also suggests that credit cards can stimulate overspending: People are often willing to pay more for the same product when using credit than when using cash. Certainly, outside the lab, there are many trait-based explanations for such a ‘credit card premium’…”

    The “credit card premium” and the strong psychology of buy now, pay later are very real, and what’s being missed in the whiz-bang story of Apple Pay is that these mobile payment systems offer a new world of convenience – along with some of the problems of the old world of credit card spending. So while it may be a blessing for retailers, is the ease of just waving your iPhone near a register going to increase the usual problems associated with managing credit, particularly for millennials who tend to be early adopters?


    Two-Factor Authentication “No Longer Optional” 

    As a follow up to our previous blog, we wanted to share a very helpful ZDNet article by Ed Botts who provides step-by-step instructions on two-factor authentication for cloud credentials to help protect online data.

    Bott argues that two-factor authentication (2FA) is “no longer optional” to mitigate risk for cloud services, and he has provided a series of images that show exactly how to enable two-factor authentication for some of the most popular cloud-based services including Microsoft Exchange, Google Docs, Office 365, Dropbox, Facebook and Twitter.


    While it may take an extra step or two to set up two-factor authentication, Bott says “…the assurance that your secrets will remain safe even in the event of a password breach is worth a few seconds of extra verification.”

    We could not agree more. It is critical to Sinu’s mission to keep our customers’ data safe, and we are constantly monitoring network security. We regularly advise that with a little effort, Facebook, Google, or other cloud-based accounts, need not be a weak link in security protocol.


    Attn Mr. CEO: Your IT Partner Is Your New Best Friend

    For smaller businesses and nonprofits, every penny counts. We’re sure you’ve noticed that, too. That’s why many small businesses and nonprofits have responded to the need to do more with less by outsourcing whatever they could – including their IT department. Managed IT solutions, like Sinu’s Technology Management services, are the new way of ensuring maximum uptime at a minimum spend.

    Of course, IT support is necessary for your critical business operations and applications to continue running smoothly. But it costs both time and money to hire the right IT professionals, pay them a full-time salary, and provide the necessary training they need to stay up-to-date on emerging technologies. Although it’s critical to have day-to-day IT support and data backup, that’s still time, effort and resources you’re taking away from your core business goals.

    Predictable performance and a predictable IT spend

    For that reason, Sinu provides an all-inclusive IT solution for small businesses and nonprofits that offers a lot of peace of mind for one fixed monthly fee. Whatever you need to do to run your business, whatever your organization’s goals are, we make sure you have the support you need at a predictable monthly price based on the number of people in your organization. That helps you with budgeting, it’s scalable as your business grows, and it mitigates worry about being hit with unexpected IT costs.

    For instance, Sinu’s all-inclusive service includes full-time help desk support, anti-malware and anti-spam solutions, data back-up and security, regular software upgrades and patches, and email setup and support. (You know, all the things you usually need a tech person for.) 

    Sinu also provides business intelligence reporting tools, as well as seamless remote-user solutions for your business or nonprofit that help your employees stay connected when on the road or working from home. Our Sinu Magic network monitoring system helps us identify potential issues and address them before they become a problem.

    An all-inclusive IT solution that helps you focus on what’s important

    Whether your organization is a small business or a nonprofit, our technology management services save you time, training and money. You need an IT solution that supports your productivity and allows maximum uptime for your mission-critical applications, but doesn’t cost any more than it has to – and that’s what you’ll get from Sinu.

    Sinu can also save you money because we don’t believe that small businesses and nonprofits need to invest heavily in in-house technology infrastructure, which can be expensive to purchase and maintain, as well as high-risk to operate. That’s why our technology management includes a file server appliance that eliminates the need for a server in-house. That’s just one example of the many ways we find to deliver safer, less expensive IT solutions to our customers.

    Sinu takes care of your IT needs so you can get back to running your business or working to fulfill your nonprofit’s mission. We think that’s reason enough to say that with Sinu, your new IT partner is your new best friend!