Between the ability to make a purchase from your mobile device at the push of a button to the fear of missing out that can leave you chasing every new iteration of your smartphone, technology has a way of making it easy to spend money. Balancing that is the fact that technology also makes it easier than ever to use your money wisely, get control of your spending habits and build wealth. The tips below can help you use tech for smart money management.
Even if you prefer to do your shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, you can look online to compare prices and make sure you're getting the best deal possible. Some products will scan for the best prices after you take a photo of the item or scan its barcode. However, comparison shopping online doesn't stop here. You can look for better rates on auto insurance, lower utility prices and better terms for loans. You can even find good opportunities for refinancing existing loans. These payments can be especially burdensome and the interest can add up over time, but if interest rates have fallen and your credit score has improved recently, you should be able to find lenders willing to refinance your student loan at a lower rate. With lower monthly payments, this can save you a great deal of money over the long term.
Plan for Retirement
Increasingly, Silicon Valley is realizing that they've been ignoring a market of baby boomers who are tech-savvy and maybe even investment-savvy but who still struggle to navigate the unfamiliar waters of retirement. A number of new products are starting to appear that offer a range of services. Time will tell which of these are useful enough to survive, but they include products that help retired people and people approaching retirement understand their options for Medicaid, Social Security and more. This is often unknown territory even for relatively financially sophisticated boomers. Some products offer a free version alongside a paid version that allows users to work with a financial adviser. Others are designed for financial advisers themselves, helping them design options that will create income generation for their retired clients.
Budgeting and Saving
In contrast, programs and apps that help you with budgeting and saving have been around for a while although there are always new and improved products hitting the market. The value of many of these tools is the degree to which they automate the process of tracking your spending and helping you budget. Many offer you the opportunity to connect your bank account. If you make most of your purchases electronically, this can give you a clear picture of your spending. This is handy information to have even if you don't need to do any hard-core budgeting. If you're working to get out of debt, it can be invaluable in helping you understand and change your habits to save more. Using tech can also be a great way to get your children more interested in learning about finances and making responsible choices with money with apps developed particularly for certain age groups that gamify or otherwise make the process fun.
If you have not heard already, a new age or epoch has begun, named as Anthropocene or the "Age of Humans." In this age, technology has reached heights considered impossible just a few years earlier and for those of us who love online gaming, there was never a better time than this. To be able to play casino games online and win real money on secure online casinos like M88 Asia is actually possible today, thanks to technology. We will now take a look at the most impactful tech trends that have changed and will continue to change online gaming for the better.
The Most Important Aspect: Security
What had kept a lot of online gamblers away from the e-casinos earlier was the insecurity of online transactions. However, the online transactions have now become way safer due to the combined efforts of the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry, banks and other financial operators worldwide.
The next step towards an even better form of security while gaming online is the use of tokens or "tokenization" which will leave zero vulnerability in the process of a financial transaction on the internet for a hacker to exploit. In other words, you won't need to enter the details of your credit or debit card to play online casino games very soon, but just a unique one-time PIN number.
It is no longer necessary to sit in front of a desktop while playing online games, because technology has now made them accessible from laptops, tablets and even right from your smartphones. You can just lie on your bed or relax on your sofa while winning real money from the app you just installed on your phone or tablet. They are available across multiple platforms like the iOS, Android and of course, Windows. Things will become even more convenient as HTML5 becomes publicly accessible and more utilized in the near future.
The Jackpot or the Winnings
There would be little incentive to play online gambling games if the prizes were not big enough. As it turns out, the jackpots are getting bigger every day as more and more people begin to join in. The potential amount that the player can win will only increase with time.
Spanning from advanced technological adoption to rapid urbanization and industrialization, Africa has, in the last couple of decades, experienced a remarkable growth that today makes it stand out. Naturally, a land flowing with the metaphoric milk and honey, Africa's steady development is one for the books.
While many may argue that there is still a gap between tech and infrastructural development in Africa and other continents, its resilience over the years and open arms to new and innovative technologies has shown that this continent might just sit at the top of technological advancements in the future.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why the continent has witnessed an influx of startups willing to take it to the top. As a result, it has been noted to build strong startup culture in the last couple of years.
In effect, venture funding shaped up 2018 to be a wonderful year and 2019 is appearing to be taking up a great form with many startups taking their place in advancing technology in the continent.
While some of these startups have made the news at some point, there are some of them that rarely gets a mention albeit making waves at their position. This is why in this article, we will be pointing out some of the most promising tech startups that appears to be shaping up Africa's constantly developing tech ecosystem.
Harnessing the power wielded by smartphones today, this startup works in expanding the business atmosphere in Africa by supporting the concept of Informal shops all across Africa. Sokowatch allows these informal shops top up their inventories with just an SMS or App while increasing their integrity by tracking orders and expanding business through value-added recommendations.
This startup extends credit or more capital to these shopkeepers to further expand their business and cope with the ever-growing demand thus, bringing to mind Betway who developed an app which just as easily allows users amass their capital on gaming boards with just a click to their smartphones.
Providing a boost and support for promising developers to expand and showcase their creativity, Andela has been steadily building Africa's tech ecosystem. Andela gives developers and companies a field for connection by creating teams made of a community of Africa's promising developers.
Not only does it expand the tech culture in Africa by creating a basis for the extension of companies to Africa, Andela creates an opportunity for developers to get known and showcase their skills.
Developed in 2016, this startup harnessed the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support financial service providers. Creating chatbots, FinChatBot brought more attention to this technology by giving financial service providers the power to interact with clients via the creation better customer relation services with AI at its base.
Though focused on the South African market, its plans of expansion are in place and is aimed to expand its services to sellers all across the continent in record time.
This is one startup that hopes to bolster the link between standard healthcare services and promising technologies. This startup works in fostering a transformation in the access to healthcare through its launched database app.
Relevant information, as we know it, is important in providing adequate healthcare services. Appy Saude gives users access to the medical and insurance specialties and services covered by healthcare centres.
Integrating features that allow health personnel and users interact with just a click on their smartphone, Appy Saude has been working to make healthcare an easy feat. The startup is based in Angola and is aiming at expanding to other countries.
CowryWise allows users save and invest through a secure and automated channel. With a portion of the world differential to banks, CowryWise brought the banks to people providing a service that allows users enjoy the flexibility of risk-free investments returns and saving their money at no cost.
Established in Nigeria, this startup has been noted to have processed millions in savings for its users and has gained sufficient traction into the Silicon Valley programme while receiving funding alongside. This startup is admittedly shaking up the FinTech atmosphere and with its plans of expansion in the books, it could just be one of the best in 2019.
The tech industry is one that is going through extraordinary growth right now. It is easy to see why so many entrepreneurs are turning to tech as it can be a lucrative industry to work in, but it also can be incredibly competitive which can make it hard to stand out from the crowd and succeed even if you have a great product. If you have a tech startup but you are failing to penetrate the market then it can be frustrating and you will need to take action to improve your business. Here are a few ideas that should help.
First, it is a good idea to reduce costs because this is an area in which you have control and can impact your bottom line. There are many ways to reduce costs but you need to make sure that you do not negatively affect the quality of the product or make life harder for staff. A few ideas include:
- Remote working
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Going paperless
- Renegotiating with vendors
Bring In An Expert
With technology constantly improving and evolving, it can be hard to stay current, but this is vital to success in this industry. Bringing in a tech expert should help you to make improvements to your business which will help you to compete at a higher level and stay ahead of the competition.
Add To Your Product Range
You should also look to add to your product range as this is a smart way to attract new business, target a larger group and stand out from the crowd. Think about your current target customer and what challenges, wants and needs they have and try to find a gap in the market that you could fill.
Lean 6 Sigma
If you believe that your business could run more efficiently or if you have problems that you don't know how to overcome then you could consider learning Six Sigma - a business methodology based on statistical analysis which can help you to overcome issues and streamline the business. Gain a Lean 6 Sigma Master Black Belt to improve your operation and run a more efficient company.
Increase Marketing Efforts
Often, the reason that a tech business struggles to succeed is that not enough people are familiar with their brand because it is such a competitive industry. Increasing marketing efforts is an intelligent move and this should include digital marketing to increase online visibility but also more traditional forms of marketing which can be effective at targeting people in your local area.
Show Expertise On Social Media
Leading on from this, you should also make sure that you are using social media in a productive manner. As a tech business, you need to show your expertise in the field, so you should be creating content which will impress your target audience and demonstrate your authority.
Many entrepreneurs have started tech businesses only to find that it is incredibly hard to stand out from the crowd. These tips should help your tech business to improve and find success in what can be a hugely lucrative industry. For some great trainings, go to Apple Logic Pro training class.
It's becoming increasingly common that we find opportunities to work remotely - software has allowed sharing and real-time updating of files, our communication is better than ever as live chat, conference calls and screen-sharing are commonplace. We've also seen a rapid increase in more alternative styles of remote working as social media influencers and travelling remote worker hubs such as Digital Nomad World continue to attract those looking for a change in the daily grind - but with the increase in remote working comes other challenges too - self-reliance in tech has become increasingly difficult as a vast collection of software and hardware behaves differently and may have errors that are unique, but learning to troubleshoot and deal with these errors may be much simpler than you think.
- It's easier than you think - The first step to learning tech self-reliance is to understand that for the majority of the issues you're likely to encounter, the fix is going to be much easier than you think. For daily issues, you don't know to be a computer whizz to solve an issue - if you forget a password, you're not going to hack your way in when you can simply reset the password for example. Going through a basic checklist for common issues such as a simple restart may save a lot of time and pain down the line.
- It's not about memory - It happens all the time - you call the IT guy to fix something, he clicks a couple of buttons and the problem is solved, and many will exclaim asking how it's possible they remember so much. The hidden truth is that they don't remember - as with the first point, many issues will be much simpler to fix by simple troubleshooting such as a restart, but for other issues, it's about searching and not remembering. Google is a very powerful tool - learning how to search for your issue and filtering out the type of responses you need will be far more useful to you than trying to remember how to fix every little issue - and that's the important distinction, it's about understanding how to search correctly and not necessarily what you search.
- A basic understanding goes a long way - Perhaps you open up your laptop or computer and are baffled by the wires and components inside not really understanding what anything is for - but the companies who design these machines have that in mind and that's why for the most part everything is put together in a very easy way. Things now typically only plug in one way, cable headers are correctly labelled and there's little room for error - like a very simple jigsaw puzzle. Familiarize yourself with what's inside your machine, what the component does at a basic level, and if something goes wrong, it's easier to troubleshoot - is your screen not displaying but the power light is on? Safe to assume it's a display issue, for example.
Paying for repairs or waiting for a tech guy to get to you when working remotely could put you out of daily work for a couple of days - if you rely on that day to day then it could be catastrophic for you. As mentioned, modern issues are typically a very simple fix - learn the basics and it could save a big headache down the road.
Just as last year, Apple's iPhones have managed to hold the number one spot as the bestselling tech product of the year in 2017 as well. In fact, the iPhone has performed significantly better than last year, as is made evident by their astounding sales numbers. Apparently, Apple has sold more iPhones in 2017 than four of the other tech products on the list from 2nd till the 5th combined. Although we still have a day left in the year, it is being estimated that by the end of 2017, Apple will have sold 223 million iPhones and that's a staggering number.
It remains to be seen whether or not the recent reports about Apple slowing down its older iPhones to preserve battery affects the company's sales in any way, but given the loyalty of Apple users, that isn't very likely. The Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 managed to reach a sales figure of 33 million and take the second place on the list, followed by the Amazon Echo Dot speakers at 24 million, Apple Watch at 20 million, and the Nintendo Switch at 15 million.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
As we dive headlong into the 2020s, it's a mobile world we are living in. Our smartphones have become the go-to device for all our online activities. As far as ordering a pizza, chatting on social media or even doing our banking is concerned, that's no news to anyone. The aspect that raises an eyebrow, however, is that gaming has caught the mobile bug just as much as everything else.
As recently as a year or two ago, mobile games were seen as "gaming lite." Sure, there was a good choice of games available, many of which were free to play. But the very phrase "mobile version" brought connotations of a poor relation to the gaming experience delivered by PC or console.
With the latest generation of smartphones, however, all that has changed. Mobile is now the platform of choice for gaming, just like it is for everything else. In fact, the mobile gaming market is roughly the size of the PC and console markets put together. That growth will only accelerate as the following new technologies take full effect over the coming months.
5G eliminating latency
The clue to the major advantage of a mobile platform is in the name. It's all about the flexibility to do what you want when and where you want without being tied to a desk or even needing to be within range of a WiFi connection. Yet right now, a patchy signal can be an issue for gamers. If you're playing a mobile eSport game, the last thing you want is to suddenly disconnect. Even worse, imagine playing a real money mobile slot game and losing your data connection at a critical moment.
5G will improve bandwidth, but also reduce latency. That means any time lag between you and other players will be negligible. So if you are playing a sports game with a friend thousands of miles away, it will be as if you are sitting in the same room using controllers on a console.
Virtual reality - for real
The VR age has experienced more than a few false dawns, but 5G will also be instrumental in making VR gaming a practical reality. It seems increasingly likely that standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Rift are a red herring and the future of VR is, like everything else, entwined with our mobile handsets.
In an interview with Metro last year, VR guru Sol Rogers predicted that by 2039, use of VR will be as commonplace as use of mobile is today. If you look at the rate of progress over the past 20 years, the only question raised is whether that timeline might be a good deal shorter.
Our heads in the Cloud
Cloud-based tech has revolutionized the way we watch movies via platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It doesn't take a major leap of the imagination to see that gaming is almost certain to follow a similar path - especially as we enter the 5G age.
Google Stadia might have had some teething problems, but you can say that about any emerging technology. It and Microsoft xCloud will keep each other honest, and Apple Arcade is providing similar gaming opportunities for iPhone users.