Rajan Krishnan of Oracle: AI Should Take Us on a Journey from Hindsight, to Insight, to Ultimately Foresight

Earlier this spring at CRM Magazine’s annual CRM Evolution event, I had the absolute pleasure to moderate an all star panel on how artificial intelligence (AI) is and will impact customer engagement. The panel consisted of executives at some of the leading vendors in the CRM industry, including:

  • Marco Casalaina, vice president of products at Salesforce.com’s Einstein division
  • Volker Hildebrand, Global Vice President at SAP Hybris
  • Rajan Krishnan, Group Vice President of Applications Product Development at Oracle
  • Michael Wu, Chief Scientist at Lithium Technologies
  • Kishan Chetan, principal PM manager of Microsoft CRM Dynamics 365

Below is an edited transcript of just a portion of this great panel discussion that really dug into some meaty topics. To hear the full session click on the embedded player below. Unfortunately due to a low volume on his microphone I wasn’t able to get good transcript of Kishan Chetan’s valuable contributions to the panel, but I’d advise you to crank up the recording and check them out on the recording.

* * * * *

The Impact of AI on Customer Engagement

Small Business Trends: Can you share your general definition of AI?

Rajen Krishnan: AI has been in hibernation for about 20 years. Now there’s a coming together of cloud access to data, large-volume datasets, unimaginable global compute capabilities. Our infrastructure is distributed across 21 data centers around the world … bringing this all together; and it opens a realm of possibilities that did not exist.

Yes, there was one-to-one marketing, but this truly takes it to the Nth degree where it’s possible to deliver on the promise. But at the same time we need to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves, dial back a little bit, look at what options truly exist from where we start, and where we can potentially go. We could go in a hundred different directions. This is all exciting stuff. Great time to be in AI across the board, and not just within CRM, I’m speaking both from a CRM/ CX standpoint and broader enterprise standpoint.

Marco Casalaina: We have just reached an inflection point. We have a critical mass of data and metadata in the cloud. At the same time we have a critical mass compute capability so we can apply this massive compute to the data we already have and we can make AI work much better than it ever has before. That’s what we’re doing with Salesforce Einstein. it’s AI for business

Small Business Trends: Compare and contrast Machine Learning vs. Deep Learning

Michael Wu: Machine learning is just the process of using data to come up with the model. Traditionally when you’re trying to make any predictions you create a model right. Additionally these models are created based on our expert knowledge, and we believe these things should be weighed this way or that way, so you create a model out of your expertise. But machine learning is simply to take more of an inductive approach. I’m not going to assume anything. I’m going to plug in a lot of data and then let the data constrain my model. So you’re using the data to help you define or create the model.

Deep learning is basically a class of neural network. Neural networks have layers of neurons and it’s trying to mimic what our brain is doing. Our brain has hierarchical processing at the lower layer of our brain basically processing very simple features. And then as they go up on top it processes more complex features. So traditional neural networks can only process maybe two or three layers with the computing capability we had and the data that we had.

But now we can compute on the order of tens to hundreds of layers. So that’s why they’re called deep networks because there are many, many layers. There are so many layers deep. Deep learning is essentially deep neural networks. That’s what it stands for.

Small Business Trends: What goals are being set for AI in the context of customer engagement?

Volker Hildebrand: There is a lot of focus on automating things. I think that’s only half the picture. Yes, AI can help fully automate a very repetitive task, whether it’s simple things like checking accuracy of travel and expense report, or accuracy of invoices, or providing answers to comparatively simple questions. To a certain degree you can automate it and also scale it.

Yes, I want to automate, I want to reduce costs. Yes, let’s face it, you can replace human beings with machines and have human beings do other stuff. I think what’s important in that context is the business outcome.

When it comes to things like customer service I think if you take the approach of, yes, let’s automate things and try to cut costs and deflect incoming customer service calls to the virtual agent; but that’s actually the wrong approach. You’ve got to think about how you can improve the customer experience, that should be the objective.

Is this going to be more convenient for my customer? Is it going to provide a faster answer? Is it going to provide a more reliable, accurate answer? Focusing too much on automation and efficiency is the wrong thing. In fact I believe the greatest potential of machine learning or artificial intelligence may not be in the automation but actually in teaching humans entirely new ways of thinking. I think that’s the real potential that goes way beyond smart automation.

Small Business Trends: What are some misconceptions of AI?

Rajen Krishnan: We are seeing customers really all across the spectrum when it comes to AI. All the way from customers who think that AI means something like a robot running operations for them to customers that have some experience and probably some more sophistication as it relates to the data.

We have five billion profiles, about three trillion dollars of transaction data, about 750 trillion data points added on a monthly basis and about 110 million U.S. households are picked up by that data.

So customers that are used to data intensive processes, whether it’s marketing, targeting and so on, moving to the next phase with data, data signs, machine learning, decision signs to further automate and predict those offers or actions is one set of customers.

The other set of customers who probably don’t have as much experience with data, and by extension data signs, the expectations with AI are all over the place. But fair to say that, as we move along this journey, we’ve come from a framework of hindsight with just the OLTP (online transactional processing) systems to a bit of an insight driven model with analytics, and where AI can go is a foresight model. So the journey across the board will be say, moving from hindsight, to insight to ultimately foresight.

Marco Casalaina: One of the main reasons that is today is that chatbots will just work out of the box. Training is the new coding. So nowadays like to get these AIs to work we need them to have the data. And to get a chatbot to work, you basically need to have successful conversations talking about the same stuff that your agents would be talking about with your customers. And those are hard to come by. A lot of times you’re not recorded. They’re not actually text format. And also who is labeling them as being successful. How do you know this agent didn’t give a totally wrong answer. So labeling and training data sets is now one of the most difficult parts of doing AI; being able to train your AI to do what you want it to do.

Volker Hildebrand: Well I think it really depends. There are a number of customers who feel like hey, we have no clue what it is but everybody’s doing it so we need to do it too. There’s definitely that kind of category. There are others with very very high expectations, and I think this is really where when we’re talking to our customers, we have conversations about how much can you actually; do you actually want to automate a certain process or other things. Because there’s definitely a lot of use cases, and it’s not necessarily the case that whatever AI comes up with as a result is 100% accurate. And so there’s a certain confidence level that the predicted outcome, if you will, is the right outcome.

If this is in the range of 70 or 80%, that might sound good. Or even if it’s 90% that might sound great. But then you need to look at the use case. If you use it, for example, to score leads or opportunities, 90% accuracy of which opportunities you should be focusing on as sales rep, it’s a pretty good outcome and you’re probably doing a better job than you did before.

Now if you have a use case where it impacts directly the customer experience, like in a service scenario, if the answer of an artificial intelligence virtual agent, as an example, if that’s a 90% accuracy it’s probably pretty bad because it means that one out of ten customers will be pretty mad because they get the wrong answer all the time.

So I think that’s really an important thing to understand. What’s the use case? What am I trying to achieve?

Small Business Trends: What will be the impact of AI on CRM?

Volker Hildebrand: I’m also glad we kind of moved a little bit away from focusing on just the service and Chatbot use case, because that’s kind of the sexy use case that everybody likes to talk about. But they’re potentially so much bigger ones, and you’ve already heard some of those. Predictive maintenance, by the way, is really already huge. So it’s across sales, service, marketing, commerce.

Part is automation, part is prediction, part is just better decision making. Making recommendations … identifying untapped opportunities.

Another increasingly important data source will be the whole IoT area. That’s also tied to predictive maintenance so I think there are opportunities in that space, because there’s going to be a ton of data and all of a sudden, you will not only have customer attributes or behavioral clicking on the web, or what were they hovering over? What were they doing there? And combining it with transactional data, and all of a sudden, you have information about how your customers are using their products, which makes a huge difference and will have a significant impact on the quality of the learning and the outcomes.

Marco Casalaina: I keep saying that a critical mass of cloud is not just about CRM itself. It’s also about the fact that companies are moving to Office 365 to G-mail and so more and more of their data is going into cloud and cloud accessible spots. And that allows us to automate a lot of the data entry that would otherwise have to have been done manually. So you’ll see more of contact auto creation from your email; or detection of buying signs and things like that from e-mail which is something that we do called opportunity insights. You’ll see more information filled in; you’ll see more predictive forecasting stuff like that. So a lot of these things that have traditionally been very manually driven by a whole bunch of edit boxes on the screen, are suddenly going to start being filled in automatically from other data sources that you also have in the cloud that you just connected together. And that’s one way I think that AI is going to change CRM subtlely. But quickly.

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This article, “Rajan Krishnan of Oracle: AI Should Take Us on a Journey from Hindsight, to Insight, to Ultimately Foresight” was first published on Small Business Trends

Rajan Krishnan of Oracle: AI Should Take Us on a Journey from Hindsight, to Insight, to Ultimately Foresight

Total Solar Eclipse a Total Nightmare for Small Businesses in the Trucking Industry

Impact of the Eclipse on the Trucking Industry

The Great American Eclipse next week may be anything but great for the hundreds of small business owners across the country who could be adversely affected — especially those in the trucking industry. And that could impact yet more businesses in terms of when they can expect to receive shipments.

But the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, which will last just two or three minutes per location, could also be worth millions in tourist dollars from Oregon to South Carolina. So small businesses along the path of the event — along a path crossing through a total of 14 states — could certainly gain as well.

However, the major rush of tourists is expected to cause big headaches for trucking companies who use the road every day. Experts are warning of closed roads, congestion on busy routes and even communication issues due to intense mobile phone usage during the event.

Impact of the Eclipse on the Trucking Industry

Trucking companies are already anticipating temporary lost revenue.

Traffic Delays Coast to Coast

One of the major issues trucking companies are worried about is traffic volume.  To start, the heavy traffic that’s expected in places on the eclipse’s path even has state officials warning about possible gas shortages. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials are expecting long lines at the pumps in that state as well as possible shortages during the eclipse.

Here’s how that situation might affect truckers in that state alone.  Interstate 24 and Interstate 69 are two of the major highways that run through Kentucky. Pennyrile Parkway and the U.S. 68/KY 80 corridor in the western half of the state are also important to moving goods and services.

Officials have already warned these major roads will be congested before during and after the solar eclipse. The American Transportation Research Institute reports congestion highways in the U.S. cost the trucking industry $63.4 billion two years ago.

Departments of transportation in each of the states affected by the total eclipse expect these kinds of major traffic delays.

For truckers, there are at least two states that might not be considered friendly during the eclipse. For example, Nebraska is one of two locations that will have special ordinances in place. Oversized or over-dimensional loads will not be permitted to haul through that state from sunset Aug. 18 to sunrise Aug. 22. The only way you’ll get around these temporary laws is with an overweight permit.

Oregon’s Department of Transportation has already advised companies to reschedule their delivery plans. And the possibility exists of gasoline shortages in areas where there are many people gathered and only a few filling stations.

People stopping their cars on the side of the road to watch the total eclipse will be one of the biggest safety issues for trucking companies. Oregon has taken a proactive step of informing motorists that parking on the shoulder will be still considered a illegal during the total eclipse. If they do it anyway, their cars will be  towed and they’ll be fined.

Impact of the Eclipse on the Trucking Industry

Cell Service Limited, Road Construction Stalled

Another possible issue for trucking companies involves communication. Quite often drivers will need to stay in touch with dispatch through mobile apps. This is even the way they inform their companies if a load is going to be late or they need mechanical assistance.  The kind of tracking systems these companies use are also based on satellite connections.

Reports from northern Wyoming are already warning about the possibility of cell service going down. Local companies have already made it clear they won’t boost signals during the event.

Most states in the path of the eclipse are also suspending road construction for the dates involved.

The Path of Totality

Still, the total solar eclipse on August 21 is special. According to NASA, Monday’s total solar eclipse will be the first of its kind since 1918. Research suggests 12.2 million people live in the path of the eclipse and 88 million can drive to see it in a day. The eclipse takes place during one of the most popular tourist travel months. So it could translate into lots of cash for small businesses along its path.

The next solar eclipse in America will take place in April of 2024 so the opportunity for your business to benefit from this event doesn’t happen every day.

Solar Eclipse Photo via Shutterstock
Big Rig Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Total Solar Eclipse a Total Nightmare for Small Businesses in the Trucking Industry” was first published on Small Business Trends

Total Solar Eclipse a Total Nightmare for Small Businesses in the Trucking Industry

Pinterest Pinstyle Report Gives Small Boutiques and Beauty Salons Trendy Post Ideas

2017 Pinstyle Report from Pinterest Gives Small Boutiques and Beauty Salons Plenty of Trendy Post Ideas

If you’re in the fashion or beauty industry, you know keeping on top of trends is what keeps customers coming through the door. But knowing what’s popular at any given moment can be difficult.

That’s where the 2017 Pinstyle Report may be helpful. The report details the top searches on the site for these two specific industries.

Use Data to Reach Your Customers

Pinterest says its users are looking at the site to help build their personal style. So businesses offering products in the fashion or beauty market can use the report to figure out what most Pinterest users are looking for on the platform.

What’s more, savvy marketers can use the data to determine how best to present their products based on popular searches already going on.

For example, small businesses selling products like scarves and leggings might create posts on how to wear these products since this seems to be the context in which most Pinterest users at the moment are searching.

On the other hand, small businesses selling formal wear intended for weddings, concerts and other special events might wish to post content aimed at another set of users.  These are potential customers already seeking information on what to wear to such occasions. And interest in these types of products on the platform is currently also quite high.

Finally, small business owners can simply use this information to get noticed on Pinterest. For example, you could use the information to create strong pin captions on highly popular topics to help you gain more exposure and drive sales.

Here’s a quick look at the main highlights of the study.

2017 Pinstyle Report

Top How-To Searches

In the how to wear category, top searches included:

  • Leggings
  • Boyfriend jeans
  • Distress jeans
  • Booties
  • Scarves
  • White
  • A maxi skirt
  • A bralette
  • High waisted denim
  • Overalls

In the what to wear category, top searches include:

  • To a wedding
  • To a concert
  • On a plane
  • To work
  • To an interview
  • On a date

In the how-to category, top searches were for these topics:

  • Curl your hair
  • Curl short hair
  • Contour your face
  • Style short hair
  • Clean makeup brushes
  • Curl hair with a flat iron
  • Cut bangs
  • Do eyebrows
  • Apply eyeshadow

Top style searches included:

  •  Street
  •  Bohemian
  •  Hippie
  •  Classic
  •  Hijab
  •  Grunge
  •  French
  •  Preppy
  •  Casual

Top searches for dress outfits include:

  •  Maxi
  •  Shift
  •  Midi
  •  T-shirt
  •  Slip

Pinners also looked for denim outfits by cut, color and style. Searches included:

Top cuts

  • Boyfriend
  • High waisted
  • Skinny
  • Mom
  • Flare

Top colors

  • Black
  • White

Top styles

  • Ripped
  • Jean jacket
  • Jean on jean
  • Denim dress

Top searches for outerwear include:

  • Leather jacket
  • Bomber jacket
  • Jean jacket (including oversized, blue, white and patches)
  • Green jacket
  • Camo jacket

Beauty Searches include

  • Short
  • Pixie
  • Bob

Top searches in hair colors

  •  Ombre
  •  Balayage
  •  Blonde
  •  Brown
  •  Red
  •  Black
  •  Purple

Top searches in hairstyles

  • Braided
  • Curly

Top searches in nails

  • Matte
  • Black
  • White
  • Nude

Top searches on eyes

  • Smoky
  • Winged eyeliner
  • Eye makeup for eye color (blue, green, brown and hazel)
  • Hooded eye makeup
  • Gold eye makeup
  • Glitter eyeshadow

Top searches on lips

  • Matte
  • Red
  • Dark
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Nude
  • Purple

Pinterest Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Pinterest Pinstyle Report Gives Small Boutiques and Beauty Salons Trendy Post Ideas” was first published on Small Business Trends

Pinterest Pinstyle Report Gives Small Boutiques and Beauty Salons Trendy Post Ideas

47 Percent of Small Business Retailers Struggle to Keep Up with Mobile Marketing Trends

Small Business Retailers Struggling with Mobile Marketing

A new study (PDF) from Texas-based digital savings company RetailMeNot, Inc., finds almost half (47 percent) of small business retailers struggle to keep up with the latest trends in mobile marketing.

Small Business Retailers Struggling with Mobile Marketing

There is a continued increase in small retailers’ investment in mobile marketing strategies. But often the challenge for these retailers is to quickly adapt to changing consumer demand, reports RetailMeNot’s mobile marketing study titled “How Retailers Are Adapting to New and Evolving Mobile Marketing.”

“Part of the evolution of marketing includes a growing reliance on upcoming technology. Often these advancements are created and adopted by consumers so quickly, retailers often find themselves unable to keep up,” wrote RetailMeNot in a quote from its study.

About nine in 10 small business retailers said they will increase their investments in mobile (92 percent) or social (89 percent) advertising in 2017. However, one in 4 (25 percent) of these retailers said they do not have the ability to tie their mobile marketing efforts to in-store sales. This means they are not able to gauge the true success of their current mobile marketing tactics. They are also missing out on key opportunities to provide customized offers or push notifications to help complete the shopper’s journey.

Mobile Marketing Partnerships Helping Track In-store Sales

One way retailers (53 percent) are overcoming the challenge of tracking or tying their mobile marketing efforts to in-store sales is partnering with marketing companies that have expertise in this area. Partnerships with mobile marketing companies like RetailMeNot are also helping retailers provide mobile offers to customers through owned and partner apps.

“Marketers should not underestimate the influence mobile marketing has on purchases made in all channels — in-store, online and on mobile devices,” said Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer of RetailMeNot, Inc, in a release announcing the study. “Equally as important is the ability to attribute sales back to mobile marketing efforts,” Tarleton added.

RetailMeNot’s study was conducted by global insights and strategy consultancy Kelton Global via email invitation and an online survey between April 14 and April 20, 2017.

Businesswoman Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “47 Percent of Small Business Retailers Struggle to Keep Up with Mobile Marketing Trends” was first published on Small Business Trends

47 Percent of Small Business Retailers Struggle to Keep Up with Mobile Marketing Trends

Yikes! 97 Percent of Your Employees May Not be Able to Identify a Phishing Email (INFOGRAPHIC)

Your Small Business at Serious Risk -- 97% Can’t Identify a Phishing Attack (INFOGRAPHIC)

When you think of cyber attacks, you may imagine complex campaigns against major corporations and governments. The reality, however, is far more common and serious – especially for small businesses.

Phishing Attacks Pose a Huge Threat to Your Small Business

Hackers often trick well-meaning employees into giving access to their business systems by getting them to unwittingly click on a link in an email. This method of cyber attack is known as phishing — and it’s on the rise.

But what’s perhaps even more worrying is that most employees may not even be able to identify phishing. That’s according to data published by Texas-based eLearning company, Inspired eLearning.

Statistics reveal 97 percent of people cannot identify a sophisticated phishing email — putting confidential business data at risk.

Consequently, businesses end up losing a lot of money. The study suggests phishing scams cost businesses about $500 million a year. For a small business, the impact is understandably much bigger.

Protect Your Business Against Phishing

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) found phishing attacks have been dramatically rising since 2004 with a 65 percent increase from 2015 to 2016.

The ever-increasing threat of phishing scams makes it even more important for small businesses to revisit their security features.

The next step is to boost the security features at your business to prevent data breaches. Investing in a robust data security infrastructure will help you monitor for suspicious activity on the network and protect your business.

Train Employees to Identify a Phishing Attack

But the most crucial aspect to be considered is employee education, as 91 percent of hacking attacks start with phishing emails. It pays for businesses to train employees to identify a phishing attack that arrives via email. Emails asking for sensitive data such as passwords and personal information are most likely phishing emails that employees must recognize.

Want to know more? Check out the infographic below:

Your Small Business at Serious Risk -- 97% Can’t Identify a Phishing Attack (INFOGRAPHIC)

Images: Inspiredelearning.com

This article, “Yikes! 97 Percent of Your Employees May Not be Able to Identify a Phishing Email (INFOGRAPHIC)” was first published on Small Business Trends

Yikes! 97 Percent of Your Employees May Not be Able to Identify a Phishing Email (INFOGRAPHIC)

The Latest Trend: Management by Misdirection?

Misdirection Business Cartoon

Although I worked in the traditional business world for years, I don’t carry around a lot of memories of my time there. I don’t know if it’s an optimistic outlook or just blocking out the bad stuff, but I’ve just come to accept it. Still, I do remember a handful of situations quite clearly and this cartoon alludes to one.

It was common knowledge in a particular office that our manager was having an affair with their manager. Although they tried to hide it, they just weren’t very stealthy and it was plainly public.

So, of course, office gossip followed and, of course, that gossip found its way back to the canoodling couple.

What followed was a series of meetings with the staff involving shouting and crying and threatening and explaining that left everyone clearly informed that this affair was officially NOT A THING.

Then, three months later one manager quit, the other got divorced, and an engagement was announced.

Listen, I hope everyone ended up happy, and to each their own, but I couldn’t help but think back to those meetings when I was writing this cartoon.

This article, “The Latest Trend: Management by Misdirection?” was first published on Small Business Trends

The Latest Trend: Management by Misdirection?

Small Business Owners Can Now Use Their Smartphones as Virtual ATM Cards

Cardless ATM Cash Access - Turn Your Smartphone Into a Virtual ATM Card
While walking her dog one evening in San Francisco, Melinda Hickman suddenly realized two things. She needed to get cash to pay her house cleaner the next morning — and her bank card was back at home in her wallet. Unfazed, Hickman signed in to the Wells Fargo app on her smartphone. After a few taps, the app generated an eight-digit code. At a nearby ATM, she punched in the code and her PIN and was able to withdraw the money.

“It was simple and convenient,” she recalls. And because no swipe was involved, the transaction was more secure than a standard withdrawal.

Cardless ATM Cash Access

Convenience and security are two big reasons banks believe consumers will embrace cardless ATM access. Indeed, 2017 is shaping up to be the year cardless ATMs catch on. Since March, when Wells Fargo debuted app-based authentication at all of its 13,000 ATMs in the United States, customers like Hickman have carried out more than 1 million cardless transactions.

Payments-research firm Crone Consulting recently estimated that by fall 2017, 25% of the nation’s 425,000 ATMs would accommodate cardless access. Some examples:

  • Bank of America plans to have all of its ATMs equipped for cardless access by the end of 2017
  • Chase tested a pilot version of cardless access last year. Its system suffered some security lapses. This year, having tightened up account access, the bank is trying again with 600 machines in certain Florida, California and Ohio cities.
  • Smaller banks, including BMO Harris, Bank of Hawaii, Illinois-based Wintrust Financial and Boston-area Salem Five, have been providing this ATM option successfully for the past few years

How Cardless ATMs Work

During ordinary ATM transactions, you establish your identity with your PIN and the data stored on your card’s magnetic stripe. With cardless withdrawals, your phone takes on that task, which it can do in one of two ways:

  • App-generated code: Some codes, such as Wells Fargo’s, are numerical. Others, such as those used by BMO Harris and Bank of Hawaii, are two-dimensional bar codes, also known as QR codes. At the ATM, you enter the numerical code or scan the QR code, proving your identity and authenticating your upcoming transaction. In many cases, you’ll have to enter your PIN as well.
  • Near-field communication: This involves tapping your phone against a sensor attached to the ATM. A chip in your phone emits a signal by which the NFC-enabled ATM confirms your identity. (Apple Pay, Android Pay and similar digital wallet apps use NFC.) You then select the virtual debit card info stored in your app or digital wallet, enter your PIN and conduct your transaction.

Capital One uses NFC for its CashTapp system at brick-and-mortar locations in Boston; Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Austin, Texas; and Richmond, Virginia. Bank of America’s cardless ATMs use NFC as well. Wells Fargo has announced it will add NFC capability to all its ATMs this year; more than 40% already have NFC enabled.

Security is the Motivation

Why the push for cardless ATMs? Convenience is a big factor, though you do lose the flexibility of being able to use every ATM, as you can with a card. More significantly, app-enabled ATM access lessens the risk of having your card data stolen.

Card data are most commonly pilfered with skimmers, hidden devices that read and store account information when someone swipes a card at an ATM. When those data are combined with PINs that have been recorded with pinhole cameras or fake keypads, fraudsters can create and use counterfeit cards for those accounts.

Skimming accounts for more than 98% of ATM fraud losses, according to security firm TMD Security. The Secret Service estimates that consumers and banks lose $8 billion to skimming each year. In 2016, FICO reported, the number of compromised ATMs and point-of-sale card readers rose by 30%.

Consumers are aware of the danger. In one recent survey, 34% of ATM users in the U.S. said they were “very concerned” about card skimmers. In a different poll, 28% of American cash machine users said they wanted ATM authentication to be more secure.

What You Can Do to Be Safer

Cardless access definitely helps, but it’s not the only answer. A few crooks have already managed to hack the new system. As reported by computer security expert Brian Krebs, at least some of last year’s Chase account breaches occurred after thieves stole login details for the victims’ accounts, then altered the accounts’ authentication details to gain access.

“Layers of security need to be added to make it harder for the thieves, but users should also practice good identity hygiene,” says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego. The ITRC recommends adding more authentication factors to your app, such as a fingerprint or second passcode; using antivirus software on your phone; and avoiding links in texts from unfamiliar sources.

The goal is to ensure that if you don’t swipe your card, fraudsters can’t swipe your data.

Smartphone Payment Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Small Business Owners Can Now Use Their Smartphones as Virtual ATM Cards” was first published on Small Business Trends

Small Business Owners Can Now Use Their Smartphones as Virtual ATM Cards