May 2021


The Key Players Involved In Credit Card Processing

Accepting payments almost certainly means processing credit cards. But how much do you know about the process after your customer clicks the ‘pay’ button? The payment is routed through many systems in the milliseconds that follow. If it is successful, the customer can go about their business, but if it isn’t, it can be frustrating for everybody.

The more you know about credit card processing, the more control you have over its outcome.

Key Players


A bank cardholder obtains a credit or debit card from a card issuing bank. They then present the card to a merchant to pay for goods or services.

Issuing Bank (Cardholder Bank)

An issuing bank issues credit cards to consumers. The issuing bank is also a member of payment card associations such as Visa and MasterCard card. They transfer funds to the acquiring banks for purchases that their cardholders make. Afterwards, the cardholder is responsible for repaying their issuing bank according to the agreement they signed.

Card Associations (Visa and MasterCard)

Visa and MasterCard aren’t banks. Instead, they function as the governing body of a community of financial institutions, ISOs and MSPs that work together in association to support credit card processing and electronic payments.


Merchants are businesses that maintain merchant accounts that allow customers to pay them with credit or debit cards for goods or services provided.

Acquiring Bank (Merchant’s Bank)

Often referred to as a merchant bank, acquiring banks contract with merchants to create and maintain accounts (called merchant accounts) that allow the business to accept credit and debit cards. Acquiring banks provide merchants with equipment and software necessary for accepting credit cards as well as handling customer service concerns regarding card acceptance. They also deposit funds from credit card sales into a merchant’s account.

To conduct and monitor the day-to-day activities of their merchant accounts, acquiring banks often enlist the help of third-party independent sales organizations (ISO) and membership service providers (MSP).

How Does Credit Card Processing Look In Motion?


  1. Cardholders present their cards (or other secure methods) to merchants in exchange for goods and services.
  2. An authorization request is sent to the payment processor by the merchant.
  3. The payment processor submits the transaction to the card association, eventually reaching the issuing bank.
  4. Authorization requests are sent to the issuing bank, which includes parameters such as CVV, AVS validation, and expiration date.
  5. The issuing bank approves or declines the transaction.
  6. Once the approval or denial status has been determined, the issuing bank forwards it to the card association, the merchant bank, and then to the merchant.

Settlement and Funding

  1. Batches of authorized transactions are sent by the merchant to the payment processor.
  2. Transaction details are passed to the card associations by the payment processor. They then communicate the appropriate debits with the issuing banks in their network.
  3. Cardholders have their accounts charged by the issuing bank for the amount of the transaction.
  4. The issuing bank then transfers the funds for the transaction to the merchant bank, minus interchange fees.
  5. Money is deposited into the merchant’s account by the merchant bank.
read more

5 Benefits of Using a Mobile Banking App

The development of mobile applications has transformed the way the banking industry operates today. A mobile banking app is good enough to offer important benefits such as:

  1. Access your bank accounts on a single platform

There are only a few banking apps that enable you to access multiple savings accounts on their platform, and manage them by transferring money from one account to another or making payments. The user-friendly tools on the app offer an option, which may be something similar to ‘transfers’. To link external bank accounts, you are required to add a new account by selecting the option and providing essential bank information. After the verification, you can have the link validated, and use it to access your account to make payments and check the balance.

  1. Manage your finance

An online banking app can help build trust by customizing services to the customers’ needs. It helps them with unique money-saving tools that can take care of their financial future. The ‘invest’ option offers you to make investments in mutual funds, either in equity funds or debt funds. It gives you a range of direct investment options like small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap, index, thematic and multi-cap equity funds. Other than the debt mutual funds, which include short-term, liquid, income and dynamic bond funds, you can also invest in hybrid mutual funds through a systematic investment plan (SIP).

The app also facilitates stock trading through a 3-in-1 account of savings, Demat and trading account. You can invest in currency, equity and commodities using this account. The other investment options are depositing your money in fixed or recurring account for a fixed interest rate.

  1. Make Bill Payments

One among the few easiest ways of making payments is through a mobile bank application. The adoption of QR codes for quick payments has led to its widespread usage by several people. With an online banking app, you can pay your credit card bills instantly by using a BHIM app or UPI-enabled app. You have to just enter the credit card details and the specific amount in the ‘Payments’ option, open the UPI-enabled app, scan the code and make the payment.

Making a bank credit card payment through the UPI QR code is highly secured and reliable for there is hardly any chance for error.

  1. Avail Instant Personal loans

Mobile applications have eased the personal loan process with minimal documentation. The option ‘Loans’ helps you to choose any types of loans from personal to motor vehicles, smart devices and household items. The application process is simple by providing personal details and uploading supporting documents. Instant personal loans are offered at a lower interest rate in a few hours, without any collateral security. However, you should have a good credit history.

  1. Quick and Timely Support

The use of mobile banking apps has helped improve customer relationships for most banks. The use of AI-powered chatbot in the app facilitates the user by having quick and timely assistance anytime. The smart features such as push notifications and alerts remind customers or bring to their notice unusual account activity or low balance, which trigger an action.

read more

Why Is Foreign Exchange Risk Management Essential?

For businesses operating across borders, it is a priority to assess the degree of Foreign Exchange risk that the organization is exposed to. Ignoring FX management is one of the most expensive mistakes a company can make. Increased trade flows, outbound M&A growth opportunities, expansions, and access to foreign currency (FCY) borrowings subject corporations to fluctuating FX rates. Impacting different areas of the balance sheet and cash flows in various ways, quantum, and frequency, these activities can have a material impact on a company if they aren’t managed properly.

What is FX Risk Management?

Foreign Exchange Risk Management policy, also known as FX Hedging Strategy, refers to any of the measures devised by companies or investors to shield the value of their cash flows, assets, or liabilities from unfavorable exchange rate fluctuations.

The markets are constantly changing, and volatility can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line without warning. Without an FX risk management plan, you will only be able to act after the damage has been done, and some of your initial response time will most likely be spent strategizing on how to respond properly.

Why do you need a Foreign Exchange Risk Management policy?

In the absence of an FX management policy, a business is unprepared to control the possible negative consequences of currency movements, which could result in higher costs, decreased market share, and lower profit margins. Companies should develop and document a policy statement that outlines the company’s attitude, goals, and acceptable responses when handling FCY foreign currency exposures in order to prevent these negative outcomes.

How to build an effective FX risk management policy

An effective policy requires a clear corporate strategy and objectives. It should begin with the identification of what key metrics can demonstrate the successful execution of a strategy to its stakeholders.

It should include:

  • Your business’s foreign exchange risk capacity and timeframes.
  • Risk mitigation tools your organization will use.
  • A company’s decision-makers for FX risk.
  • A robust system for managing currency risks on an ongoing basis.
  • Strategic planning over the long-term (as opposed to daily developments).
  • FX risk management measures and actions that can be shared with a team so the burden is not solely on one individual.

Recognizing that reducing currency volatility to zero is both unrealistic and impossible, FX managers must prioritize the risks and implement a policy and strategy that aligns with the corporate’s target goals, view, risk tolerance, and budget.

If businesses and the operating environment transform, so should risk management policies to ensure they are fit for purpose and contribute to the maximization of shareholder value.

read more

How to invest at different life stages to target your goals

Change is inevitable. We all through different life changes and so do the people surrounding our professional and personal lives. After every few years, the priorities in our life change but one need always remains constant in most scenarios, the need to create wealth. Our need to create wealth constantly reminds us to keep saving and investing in different investment avenues to create long term wealth through adequate diversification.

To understand how you can invest your finances appropriately at different life stages, continue reading:

Young professional (High risk appetite)

Someone who has recently graduated and have kickstarted their professional career, such individuals generally do not have liabilities or responsibilities and can take risk with their finances. A young individual can invest in stocks or equity mutual funds keeping a long term investment horizon in mind. Equity funds are a high volatile investment but generally offer decent returns over the long term. If you are saving 50% of your income, you should invest at least 30% of it in equity. At this point of time, one can avoid considering conservative schemes. Small caps and ELSS can be ideal for investment at this stage in life.

Happily, ever after

When you enter marriage and exit adulthood, your responsibilities increase, and this is the phase when you may face financial difficulties. What is better to do is to discuss all the financial responsibilities and divide them with your spouse. Then you can evaluate your existing wealth, consider the new liabilities, evaluate your existing investments, and then reshuffle your investment portfolio such that investing every month doesn’t affect your monthly expense budget. Living live as a young professional with roommates is different than living with your spouse and sharing responsibilities.

Starting a family

This is the stage in your life where you probably would want to reconsider your risk appetite and add / subtract investment schemes from your portfolio. If you are a parent or parent to be, there will be several expenses including frequent visits to the doctor. However, it is essential that you ensure that you save at least 30% or your total earnings. When investing at this stage, you may have to change your investing to goal based investing. If you are planning to have a child, you will have to start building a corpus that will take care of their nurture and upbringing. Goal based investing is recommended at this point of time as you will have start saving enough to take care of their school and college education fees.

Saving for your golden years

Once your children are old enough to take care of themselves, you enter the stage or are near to retirement. Retirement is something which every hard working individual looks forward to as they are free from all the responsibilities and want to spend the rest of their days tension free. By the time you near retirement you might have built a decent corpus to help you take care of all your expenses. Since you won’t be earning anything, you won’t be able to save and mostly will be living on a fixed budget. Ensure that you learn to keep your expenses to minimum so that you have enough corpus to tackle life’s unforeseen exigencies.

If you smartly invest at different stages of life and wisely utilize your money you will never run out of money. Diversifying your investment portfolio with mutual funds can be a good idea and as your responsibilities increase you can decrease your investments in equities and increase your investments in debt. If you adequately diversify your investment portfolio you might be able to create wealth at every stage of your life.

read more

Investment portfolio of a debt scheme doesn’t get affected by equity markets. Here’s why

There are several mutual fund types each of which have a unique investment objective and asset allocation strategy. Those who are new to mutual funds, they might find it quite tasking in choosing the right type of scheme. This why it is better to do some research and understand the qualities and features of all fund types before making an investment decision.

Most financial advisors recommend investors to make a financial plan. The very first and important step of financial planning is determining your life’s immediate as well as long term goals. Having a clear perspective might help investors with a clear investment objective. If you carry some risk appetite and do not mind investing your money in market linked schemes, you can consider investing in mutual funds. But not all mutual funds invest in the stock market and it is necessary for people to get this notion out of their thought.

If you wish to earn returns by investing in mutual funds but do not want to expose your finances to market volatility, you can consider adding debt funds to your investment portfolio.

What is a debt mutual funds?

Out of the many mutual fund categories, equity and debt funds are some of the most sought after investment avenues. While equity scheme invest majority of its investible corpus in equity and equity related instruments, debt funds are mutual funds that aim at generating capital appreciation by investing in fixed income securities. The debt fund manager builds a portfolio of fixed income securities that generally have a short maturity period. The investment objective of most debt fund is to offer stable returns with minimum investment risk.

Investment portfolio of a debt scheme doesn’t get affected by equity markets. Here’s why

Depending on the investment objective and asset allocation strategy, the underlying securities of a debt fund may vary. For example, a liquid fund invests in securities that mature within 91 days. A short term fund invests in fixed income securities and money market securities such that the duration of the fund portfolio is between 1 and 3 years. Some of the debt securities and money market instruments in which a debt fund invests are treasury bills, government bonds, commercial papers, debentures, GOI securities, cash, and cash equivalent etc.

Debt funds aren’t entirely risk free. Yes, it is true that the underlying securities that comprise of a debt fund portfolio doesn’t get affected by the fluctuations in the stock market. That is because debt funds do not invest in equity and equity related instruments. However, they do invest in fixed income securities and debt instruments that are prone to interest rate risk and credit risk. A debt fund which invests in AA- or other low credit rating bonds may get affected if the company isn’t able to repay credit on time. A spike in interest rates can affect the performance of debt instruments as well.

Debt funds are ideal for those who have an investment horizon of 12 to 24 months. Investors can either make a lump sum investment or start a monthly SIP in a debt scheme of their choice. Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is the simplest way of investing a fixed sum at regular intervals in debt funds. SIPs are also ideal for anyone who wish to inculcate the discipline or systematic and regular investing. Retail investors can also refer to SIP calculator, a free online tool that let’s you determine the gains that you may receive at the end of your SIP investing journey.

read more

How is online mind mapping helpful in doing your work:

Mind mapping is an essential tool to organize and represent your data graphically. Mind mapping for presentation is used in organizations worldwide. It is a better way to present the information for a brainstorming session, or for taking notes. Those days are gone when a pen and paper were used for mind mapping. Technology has provided us with the accessibility of making mind map online. An online platform is much better and accessible these days as nobody can think of surviving without the internet.

Let us discuss mind mapping software in detail.

Mind mapping software:

The software makes the process of mind mapping quick and easy. It contains all the necessary features to carry out the process effectively. Once you get to know the interface of the software, it seems easier to create a mind map online. The best part is that everyone from beginner to expert can use it according to their needs. There is no restriction of age, type of work, and expertise. It is reliable for everyone.

Following are some of the benefits of mind mapping software:

Fast and easy:

It is fun to make a mind map online as you have access to every feature. Even if you are a beginner and do not know much about technology, its simple interface is easy to use. You can increase your creativity by adding visuals, colors, and different templates. The work gets completed in less time by using the drag and drop feature or shortcut keys from your keyboard.


All of your work is stored in a cloud so it is accessible anytime. The app is not dependent on the platform and using it on any available device is not a problem anymore. Since working remotely is becoming a norm, you need such software to save your time.

Offline availability:

Although you build a mind map online, you can save your work offline too. By using the offline feature of the application, you can work remotely and make amendments even if you do not have internet. You can sync your offline work to your online one with just a click when you get access to the internet. This feature is perfect for working remotely because time is money and you don’t want to lose it.


Integrating your work with any other feature or app sounds cool to everyone. It is just amazing to integrate two applications you are working on. For example, if you are doing your office work and working on words but you have to build a mind map online too, you can integrate the two apps for your ease. Similarly, you can use a whiteboard or animation along with a mind mapping app for your schoolwork.

History of work:

The playback history feature in the app helps do work in groups. You can check the history and evaluate the effort and editing done by everyone in the group. It helps to draw results and assign marks or awards to each contribution. This is the best way to evaluate performance so far.

Who needs the mind mapping app:

Yes everyone needs to build mind maps online to ease their work or solve problems. But following persons need this app mostly because of many reasons:

  • Mangers
  • Designers
  • Consultants
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Marketing analysts

And the list goes on.

It is beneficial for everyone, even for personal work. It just simplifies things for you and saves your time. Taking notes has become an old and boring way to note down things. You can add fun to your little activities and add to your productivity by mind mapping.

read more

Incentivize Your Workers With A Time Card App

Motivating a team can be hard work; it is not always easy to be a great leader. However, owning or managing a business means that it is part of your job to lead. As an owner, you have to find ways to motivate your team and energize them. This helps keep your employees happy, which can be felt by customers and gain loyalty. One way to motivate your team is by giving them incentives to work for. But how? One of the best ways to create incentives is by using a time card app.

By adopting a timekeeper app, you will be able to track all employee’s hours, see progress on projects, see who works on shifts that continue to get good reviews, and more. Based on the data collected with the time card app, you can create incentives, which will help motivate your team.

Suppose you have been searching for methods to motivate your team and create incentives. This is your chance. A time card app allows you to track, record, and prioritize essential data. It is safe, secure, and will help your business grow and succeed. Time tracking is necessary for all companies and can help you adhere to labor laws which may be the most significant incentive to adopting this program.

Track Hours And Rewards

If an employee keeps calling in, it’s essential to track how many times this occurs so you can adequately remedy the problem. With the help of online timesheet software, you will be able to track all hours. You can reward those who have never missed a day of work and understand why certain people keep calling out.

Being able to track employee attendance accurately is necessary for any business. By acknowledging good behavior, you can show your team you appreciate their hard work, and this will encourage them to continue putting their best foot forward.

Progress On Projects Plus Profit Details

With a time card app, you can create projects or specify locations where people can punch time. This can help you track how a project is coming along and reward those who have been the most productive.

Through the online timecard system, you can also see which project is the most behind and assign productive people to the team to help speed it along. The ability to oversee producitivty can be in everyone’s best interest and help teams feel more successful, reflecting well on your business. This can be a great way to help you see who deserves rewards and incentivize your workers.

Reviews From Customers

If you notice that one shift gets a lot of customer complaints, but you can’t figure out the cause, this could be disastrous for your business. When groups of people are punched into a shift, you can quickly identify who is getting the worst reviews and ask if there are any problems that you can help sort out.

The good news is that you can also see who is getting the best reviews. If multiple people have good reviews, you can spread them out through each shift in the time and attendance app to see if they can help with damage control and reward those who get good reviews on every shift.

When you reward your team for the excellent and hard work they put into each shift, it will motivate them to be better. Incentives can be good for an entire team and motivate your employees to do better. This can help your business grow in unexpected ways and help your team feel happier. Using a time card app may help your turnover rate for your company and attract new loyal team members when necessary.

read more

2 Tips to Start a Household Debt Management Plan

Household debt rose to a record-breaking $14.6 trillion during 2020, the first year of the pandemic. There were many reasons for this record, including consumers relying on their credit cards to live on after a job loss. But the main contributors were student debt and mortgage debt. Student debt only showed a small rise because of forbearance programs, but mortgage debt rose a staggering $10 trillion.

If you were one of the consumers who had to rely on their credit cards to make it through 2020, perhaps to make up for the shortfall in your income after an unexpected job loss, there’s good news.  Effective household debt management plans are available to pay off your debt completely this year. Besides paying off your debt completely this year, you could also improve your financial situation by learning how to invest your income and make it grow.

Tip #1: Restructure Your Debt

We live in a society where debt is almost inevitable because of the discrepancy between income and the rising cost of living. Unfortunately, it’s easy for debt, especially credit card debt, to get out of control, resulting in difficulty keeping up with monthly payments. When this happens, high interest rates force household debt to grow at an astronomical rate.

One great tip for bringing down your credit card debt to a zero balance is to get a debt consolidation loan. This type of loan, of course, does not eliminate your debt but transfers it to another creditor at a lower interest rate to make it easier to pay.

By consolidating debt through a loan from a lender like Hawkeye Associates, almost all the stress you experienced paying down your credit cards disappears. Payments suddenly become manageable.

Tip#2: Learn to Trade Stocks

Unlike many other types of investments, learning how to trade stocks is something that you can do through self-study because there are plenty of online resources available to teach you how to trade stocks.

There are limited hours in the day for you to trade your time for dollars. As an investor, you will put your money to work for you and end up earning far more than through unstinting hard work alone.

Here are some suggestions on how to learn to trade from scratch:

  • Open up a stock brokerage account to practice paper trading, a simple way to learn without risking any money. You will learn how to read technical indicators to understand how the market moves.
  • Read recommended books and articles written by famous stock traders. These will give you an understanding of how successful investors think.
  • Study the psychology of stock trading. How you feel about buying and selling stocks plays a significant role in decision-making.
  • Network with mentors and fellow students through social media channels and forums. You will learn from other people’s experiences and share your own.
  • Follow the stock market to get a good grasp of how the market works. Read news outlets that provide extensive stock market coverage.

Initially, use these resources to learn at your own pace, then, at a more advanced stage, consider paid subscriptions, going to live online classes, taking online courses, and attending live seminars.

In conclusion, 2020 may have been a difficult year for you, but there are many ways of rebooting your household finances this year, including using consolidation loans to pay off your debt and learning how to invest in stocks to earn money to supplement what you earn from your job.

read more