Tag: companies

Credit Card Companies Are About to Invent New Fees for Consumers

Good news! Some of those annoying fees on your credit card may soon be getting smaller. Bad news! Banks and credit-card companies are almost certainly trying to figure out where else they squeeze money out of you.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced last month that it had finalized a rule capping credit-card late fees at $8 for the first violation, cutting them down from the typical $32. Later that month, Mastercard and Visa reached a $30 billion settlement with US merchants agreeing to cap credit-card interchange fees — fees charged to retailers every time you swipe your card at their stores — for a handful of years.

Much of the industry’s reaction to the late-fees limit has been of the sky-is-falling variety, with the Bank Policy Institute, an advocacy group, declaring that such charges are “essential to efficient functioning of the market.” The response to the interchange-fee settlement has been a bit more muted: The Electronic Payments Coalition, which represents Visa, Mastercard, and other credit-card companies, said it was OK with the swipe-fees cap. This sanguine approach, however, is likely in no small part because the agreement is much less aggressive than legislation floating around in Congress. Taken together, it’s clear that many companies in the credit-card business would rather not be dealing with this situation.

For consumers, the changes could be a decent deal. By the CFPB’s calculation, late fees cost American families $14 billion a year, and it says the rule will save people some $10 billion annually. The swipe-fee cap will save merchants some money for a while, which could, in theory, be passed on to their customers, though it’s unclear how much that will happen in practice.

Banks will always be able to find other places to recoup revenue for things like this

But there’s

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Accenture Acquires Axis Corporate to Help Spanish Financial Services Companies Reinvent their Businesses

Founded in 2005, Axis Corporate is headquartered in Barcelona, with offices in Madrid and Boston. It has long-standing relationships with many of the largest financial services firms in Spain, with expertise primarily in retail and commercial banking, consumer finance and payments. Axis Corporate’s approximately 110 specialized professionals will join Accenture’s Strategy & Consulting practice.

The company provides a wide range of advisory services, including operating model and cost transformation, talent and culture, finance, and sustainability. It also has strong risk management capabilities, with a special focus on helping banks better manage and recover non-performing assets and loans.

“As banks and other providers navigate a continually changing and highly competitive landscape, the need to transform their businesses to offer hyper-personalized and impactful digital customer experiences has never been greater,” said David Cordero, who leads Accenture’s Banking industry group in Europe. “Axis Corporate’s proven operating model expertise across the entire financial services value chain will bolster our ability to accelerate continuous reinvention at scale for our clients.”

Casimiro Gracia, executive chairman at Axis Corporate, said: “We have been a trusted partner to major financial services firms and other industries in Spain for almost 20 years, helping them to accelerate growth and operate more efficiently locally and globally. By joining Accenture, our people can expand their skillsets and participate in new large-scale transformation programs, including around core banking and risk, with clients across the world.”

Mercedes Oblanca, market unit lead for Accenture in Spain and Portugal, said: “With this acquisition, we will be in an even stronger position to help our financial services clients in Spain manage risk, adapt to change and deliver new services. We are delighted to welcome Axis Corporate’s talented team, with its strong track record of enabling companies to accelerate their digital strategies to maximize competitiveness.”

Terms of the

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Cheapest Credit Card Processing Companies of April 2024

To find the cheapest credit card processing company, you’ll want to consider your business’s industry, sales volume, typical transaction size and whether you process payments in person, online or both. Because credit card processing companies often have different pricing structures, no single provider is the cheapest option for all businesses, but these factors can help you estimate and compare credit card processing fees.

In addition to the processing fees themselves, remember to factor in monthly subscription costs and hardware expenses if you plan on accepting card payments in person. To further narrow down options, you can make a list of extra tools and capabilities your business requires.

Here are some of the cheapest credit card processing companies and why they stand out.

Our picks for cheapest credit card processing companies

Helcim: Best for volume discounts

Why we like it: Helcim is a fantastic choice for small businesses looking for low rates and no monthly subscription fees. Its interchange-plus fee structure is a cost-effective option, especially for businesses with high sales volumes, and its website makes it easy to find pricing information. The company’s volume discounts, which are applied automatically as the amount you process increases, are a nice perk to have as your business grows. Read our full Helcim review.
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72 Top Big Data Companies to Know in 2024

The term big data is used in the business and tech world pretty frequently. In a nutshell, it’s the process of taking very large sets of complex data from multiple channels and analyzing it to find patterns and problems, all with the goal of gaining actionable insights. Big data is very valuable, but also a lot to handle for traditional software — which is where professionals come in to unravel it all.

Top Big Data Companies To Know

  • Alteryx
  • FourKites
  • Google
  • IBM
  • Oracle
  • Salesforce  
  • SAP
  • Splunk

A number of companies have emerged to provide ways to wrangle huge datasets and understand the relevant information within them. Some offer powerful data analysis tools, while others aggregate and organize datasets into charts, graphs and other data visualization formats. 

The following companies all work with big data in some way, enabling other organizations to make better sense of their businesses and take new steps toward problem-solving.


72 Big Data Companies to Know

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

More than 350 brands representing industries ranging from financial services to media and publishing use BlueConic’s customer data platform to provide them with actionable insights based on consented first-party data. Its customizable solutions serve marketing, data science and other growth-focused teams from companies such as Heineken, Hearst, Mattel and Franklin Sports.


Location: Fully Remote

Arity works to bring greater safety and efficiency to the transportation industry by using data and analytics to build solutions with applications for auto insurance providers, marketers, public sector entities and mobile app developers. For example, its crash detection solution relies on proprietary algorithms to enable mobile apps to detect vehicle collisions so that emergency services can quickly be notified to respond and app users can be connected to other helpful resources.


Location: New York, New York

Caden serves as a two-sided data

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Best Payment Processing Companies of 2024

When selecting a payment processor for your business, there are several features you’ll want to consider.

When selecting a payment processor for your business, there are several features you’ll want to consider.

Pricing and Fees

All card associations establish rates based on numerous factors, including the card brand (Visa or American Express), type (rewards or store card), and the merchant’s industry. These rates are variable and non-negotiable. The payment processor subtracts these fees from funds paid to your company from customers.

In addition, the processor takes a portion to cover their costs. This may be a flat or variable rate. Some merchant account providers will negotiate rates and consider factors like years in business, credit history, and processing volume. Others provide flat fees to all merchants processing less than $250,000 annually.

On top of per-transaction costs, providers may have fixed monthly subscription fees and add-on charges for services. For instance, you may pay extra for virtual terminals, payment gateways, hardware, and PCI compliance. Most merchants incur chargeback fees when customers dispute payments. Also, payment processors may charge administrative fees for batch settlements, statements, account setup, or early cancellation.

Security and Fraud Protection 

Any individual or company that accepts, processes, stores, or transmits credit card data must follow Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Sudhir Khatwani, director of The Money Mongers, Inc., says businesses should complete a “thorough examination of the vendor’s security measures and adherence to industry standards is crucial to safeguard against potential breaches.”

Joseph Braithwaite, managing partner at EvolveThinking, suggests looking at “how financially stable” the vendors are and their data retention practices. “For instance, many banks can meet PCI’s data and process requirements, but they retain their data for too long, leaving them open to massive legal actions if they are ever hacked,” he notes

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20 Top Generative AI Companies Leading In 2024

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Generative AI companies are popping up everywhere and quickly. They range from established companies adding generative AI to their software products to new generative AI startups.

As generative AI rapidly develops, it can be difficult to distinguish between the leading generative AI companies and the hundreds of others that are beginning to tap into this AI technology and explore its vast potential.

To assist, this guide covers the top 20 generative AI companies, detailing their products and potential use cases. We’ll also provide analysis into how and why these generative AI companies are growing in popularity so quickly.

Top Generative AI Companies Compared

Each of these generative AI companies offers unique product portfolios and solutions that set them apart from their competition; therefore, instead of comparing them across the same core criteria, we’ll instead take a look at their key business stats, products, and market value.

In this table, we’ve covered the 10 best generative AI companies, while the rest of this guide will look at these organizations plus 10 additional generative AI leaders.

Headquarters Founded Company Size Key Products Market Cap (as of March 2024)
OpenAI San Francisco, CA, USA 2015 200-500 employees GPT-4, ChatGPT, DALL-E 3, Sora Private company valued at $80 billion+
Microsoft Redmond, WA, USA 1975 220,000+ employees Microsoft Copilot, Copilot for Microsoft 365, Microsoft Copilot Studio, Microsoft Copilot in Bing $3.01 trillion
Alphabet (Google) Mountain View, CA, USA 1998 180,000+ employees Gemini, Vertex AI, Gemini for Google Workspace $1.72 trillion
Amazon (AWS) Seattle, WA, USA 1994 1.5 million+ employees Amazon Bedrock, Amazon Q, Amazon CodeWhisperer, Amazon SageMaker $1.79 trillion
NVIDIA Santa Clara, CA, USA 1993 29,000+ employees NVIDIA AI, NVIDIA
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With Predictive Analytics, Companies Can Tap the Ultimate Opportunity: Customers’ Routines

If knowing what customers need is marketing gold, pinpointing exactly when they need it may just be platinum.

Services that become part of a customer’s routine may deliver advantages beyond repeat business for a company, Harvard Business School Associate Professor Eva Ascarza and colleagues find in a new working paper.

“We find that routine customers have higher value to the organization, even after controlling for their level of consumption,” Ascarza says.

These customers may also tolerate price increases better and even stay loyal longer when things go wrong compared with customers who haven’t made a service part of their routines, the authors find.

These findings come as companies such as Procter & Gamble, Adidas, and McDonald’s are trying to collect more consumer data to hone their marketing messages. With artificial intelligence (AI) opening new possibilities in the noisy world of digital marketing, companies are looking for new ways to gain an edge with fatigued customers. Harnessing customers’ routines may offer a compelling new opportunity.

When services such as ridesharing are part of a routine—even if that routine isn’t obvious to the user—firms may be able to pinpoint a customer’s motive more precisely than for people who use the service casually or merely as a preference. That may help companies carefully tailor both marketing and service for their most valuable customers, the authors find.

Ascarza teamed with Ryan Dew from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School as well as Columbia Business School’s Oded Netzer and Nachum Sicherman to develop the model that identifies routine users and their value.

Not all rides are routines

To track how targeting routines may work, the authors teamed up with a rideshare company in New York City and tracked some 2,000 users, homing in on passenger usage data between January and November in 2018. After

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Podcast companies see signs of an improved ad market in 2024

iHeartMedia, Spotify, SiriusXM and Acast reported year over year revenue growth in their podcast businesses during the fourth quarter of 2023. During their Q4 earnings calls, company executives noted signs of an improving advertising market heading into 2024.

Spotify and Acast, in particular, are expecting their podcast businesses to reach profitability for the first time in 2024. Execs at iHeart, Spotify and Acast told shareholders in fourth quarter earnings calls this month that they were seeing the ad market emerge from the slowdown in 2023, especially in the second half of last year.

“We expect 2024 to be back in growth mode, as we continue to see signs of improvement throughout our business and the broader advertising marketplace,” Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO of iHeartMedia, said in the earnings call on Thursday.

Podcast revenue continues to grow, despite earlier headwinds

Podcast revenue at iHeart – which is generated from ads sold across its podcast network – was $132 million in Q4 2023, up 17% compared to Q4 2022 (and an increase from $96.6 million in Q4 2021). Full year podcast revenue was up 14% in 2023 year over year.

The company said this growth was driven primarily by increased advertiser demand. Podcasts made up 12% of iHeart’s overall revenue in Q4, up from 10% in the same quarter in 2022. Overall revenue at iHeart was $1 billion, down 5.2% year over year.

While Spotify doesn’t break out podcast revenue from its overall business, CEO Daniel Ek said in an earnings call on Feb. 6 that the company is getting closer to a profitable podcast business (he also said this during a third quarter earnings call in October). Spotify narrowed its loss to about $75 million in Q4 2023, compared to about $291 million in Q4 2022.

“I’m pleased to

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What Companies, Including Small Businesses, Need To Know About A New Federal Law

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, many companies will be required to report information to the U.S. government about who ultimately owns and controls them. It’s the result of a 2021 law, the Corporate Transparency Act—or CTA—which requires reporting companies to file reports with FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The form isn’t yet available, but FinCEN has been rolling out guidance—including new information posted as of Dec. 12, 2023. Here’s what we know so far.

Who has to report?

Companies required to report are called reporting companies. Your company may be a reporting company and need to report information about its beneficial owners if your company is a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or other entity created by the filing of a document with a secretary of state or any similar office in the U.S., or a foreign company formed under the law of a foreign country that has registered to do business in the U.S. by filing of a document with a secretary of state or any similar office.

A domestic entity like a statutory trust, business trust, or foundation is a reporting company if it was created by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office. The specifics of whether certain entity types, such as trusts, require filing a document with the secretary of state or similar office to be created or registered depend on state law.

Is a sole proprietor a reporting company?

No, unless a sole proprietorship was created (or, if a foreign sole proprietorship, registered to do business) in the U.S. by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office. A good rule of thumb? A company qualifies as a reporting company if it was created (or, if

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Capital One to buy Discover for $35 billion in deal that combines major US credit card companies

NEW YORK — Capital One Financial said it will buy Discover Financial Services for $35 billion, in a deal that would bring together two of the nation’s credit card companies as well as potentially shake up the payments industry, which is largely dominated by Visa and Mastercard.

Under the terms of the all-stock transaction, Discover Financial shareholders will receive Capital One shares valued at nearly $140. That’s a significant premium to the $110.49 that Discover shares closed at Friday.

The deal marries two of the largest credit card companies that aren’t banks first, like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, with the notable exception of American Express. It also brings together two companies whose customers are largely similar: often Americans who are looking for cash back or modest travel rewards, compared to the premium credit cards dominated by AmEx, Citi and Chase.

“This marketplace that’s dominated by the big players is going to shrink a little bit more now,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit card analyst at LendingTree.

It also will give Discover’s payment network a major credit card partner in a way that could make the payment network a major competitor once again. The U.S. credit card industry is dominated by the Visa-Mastercard duopoly with AmEx being a distance third place and Discover an even more distant fourth place. It’s unclear whether Capitol One will adopt the Discover payment system or may set up a payment network that allows parallel use of Discover and a second payment network like Visa.

“Our acquisition of Discover is a singular opportunity to bring together two very successful companies with complementary capabilities and franchises, and to build a payments network that can compete with the largest payments networks and payments companies,” said Richard Fairbank, the chairman and CEO of Capital One, in a statement.


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