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Personetics Insights: Consumers are Feeling the Pain of Rising ATM Fees

Recently, Personetics looked at consumer behavior as it relates to cash withdrawals, and specifically at how consumers use their bank’s ATM network to access funds.Insight-ATM-234x300

A major part of Personetics’ work is processing the data from millions of banking customers to better understand their behaviors and how they manage their day-to-day finances. They constantly analyze activities, spotting trends and collect customer feedback. Once Personetics see a trend or pattern in our data, they use crowd sourcing to target relevant individuals and ask them specific questions to gain greater insights into their behaviors.

For the full report, go here.

AOL Chief Apologizes Over Firing of Worker


Tim Armstrong
Tim Armstrong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, issued an unusual apology on Tuesday to his entire staff for the public manner in which he fired an employee during an internal conference call last Friday.

A recording of the firing was leaked to news outlets and caused a firestorm around Mr. Armstrong, who has been trying to turn AOL from a struggling Internet portal into a successful media company.

The four-paragraph statement, sent to AOL employees at 4:30 p.m. and obtained by The New York Times, said, “I am writing you to acknowledge the mistake I made last Friday during the Patch all-hands meeting when I publicly fired Abel Lenz. It was an emotional response at the start of a difficult discussion dealing with many people’s careers and livelihoods. I am the C.E.O. and leader of the organization, and I take that responsibility seriously.”

The firing took place during a conference call with more than 1,000 employees of Patch, the local news service AOL runs for hundreds of towns. Mr. Armstrong had convened the meeting to emphasize the direness of Patch’s circumstances and prepare the staff for coming layoffs and management changes.

“If you think what is going on right now is a joke, and you want to joke around about it, you should pick your stuff up and leave Patch today,” Mr. Armstrong told the employees.

But right after that statement he can be heard reprimanding Mr. Lenz, Patch’s creative director, who was videotaping the meeting, then firing him.

“Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!” Five seconds later, to stunned silence, he proceeded with his message.

In his letter to the staff, Mr. Armstrong further explained the reason for the firing, saying confidential meetings should not be recorded and that Mr. Lenz had been warned previously not to make recordings. AOL said that Mr. Lenz would not be hired back but that Mr. Armstrong had contacted him to apologize.

AOL has spent hundreds of millions on the Patch service, but has acknowledged being disappointed with its financial performance. During a call with analysts last week Mr. Armstrong said he would sell off or seek partners for as many as 400 of Patch’s 900 local sites, a move that could result in hundreds of layoffs.

The extent of the layoffs are expected to be announced internally on Thursday or Friday.

This article originally appeared here.

Accounting Software for Small Business: The Best Software to Use

When it comes to running a business, the software that a business owner uses its going to be important. A man or woman that has accounting-softwaretheir own small business, might not have the resources to hire a staff to handle the accounting aspects of the business. To help a business owner with their accounting needs, there are all kinds of accounting software for small business owners, but an owner should also consider one that will work on a tablet, and also on a Mac computer.

Though there are many different kinds of software available, using accounting software for IPad can be very handy because it will give the owner the chance to work on their business expenses anywhere they happen to be just by logging into it on their device. One software that is versatile enough for everything including use on a Mac computer is called AccountEdge Pro.

Why should someone look into AccountEdge Pro:  Finding accounting software for Mac is not easy because of the Apple operating system. However, what makes AccountEdge Pro great is the fact that it can be used on many different devices including the IPad, the IPhone, a Mac book, or a regular Mac computer. AccountEdge Pro has a lot of great features such as free email support, resources for help if someone needs it, and was created by people who have at least twenty years experience in dealing with the needs of small business owners.

Two versions of the software:  To help a small business owner decide on which software they want, AccountEdge has two different versions of their accounting software. A small business owner might be wondering which version of the software is just right for their business. The difference between the AccountingEdge Basic and the Accounting Edge Pro is in its features.  The Pro edition will allow a small business owner to do such tasks as keeping track of inventory, managing purchases, taking care of payroll, and issuing billing statements to be sent to clients.

A small business owner needs accounting software that can do anything anywhere. The best accounting software will allow a business owner to work from home, their mobile device and in their office is called AccountEdge. With AccountEdge, there are two versions of the accounting software, and with it, a business owner can get the support they need 24 hours a day through email or help topics that are in the software itself.

Startup Advice: Getting Your First Sales – Top Tips from Jake Dunlap of Skaled Consulting

eXprtViews had the chance to sit down with Jake Dunlap, CEO of Skaled consulting.

He shares his top-tips for startups to get to ‘yes’ and land their first sales. Skaled helps startups scale their sales, marketing and business development by providing strategic and operational support.

Dunlap works with many startups and recognizes that many founders can naturally create excitement about their company and innovations, but do not always walk prospects down the right path to purchase. He suggests outlining the sales process early on in the first sales meetings to clarify the steps needed to buy and implement new products and services.

Check out Skaled at or contact them at

Real estate rebound: Top plays that you can profit on

— the real estate market is making a comeback so.
What we told you can cash in on that come back with out buying a house joining me now — real estate expert.
Morgan — good morning — — good morning so that interest rates up over 4% now but that’s not really think it’s going to be slowing market you know.
I don’t think — is — interest rates have a huge effect right now and they — in — home buyers come to market China lock in on the still low rates.
A peso the first thing that maybe is gonna make some ears perk up this morning.
House hunter hunting when that act.
So it so if maybe you didn’t and valued and that on hasn’t recovered — — stock market was concerned and I you know home Depot‘s stock of the homebuilders in the last two years there’s still places — make money in the regular trade at.
To some of those places are actually Trulia and — these are relatively new stock offerings.
They operate more like tech companies — they traded higher multiples.
There a little bit expensive compared to other housing related stocks.
But they’ve had a great run this year and analysts expect they’ll keep running Goldman Sachs actually just a pretty — until — But those have great acts by the way they — that measured driving around and see how much I thought — — — work.
How well pigment producers this is wild a lot of people like us are starting to — outside of their houses inside their houses their picks in a not so he can — — on that tail.
Yes — seen — — mileage and we’ve seen paying companies like Sherman Williams they’ve been performing really well on the stock market.
— this is more indirect play these are basically the chemical makers who produced the payments that go into paint companies like Sherman Williams.
So — — worldwide as an example — knocks.
They’re both trading at lower prices have both come off in the last couple of weeks and — you know represent potentially good — — both a really nice — definitely an unexpected trickled out there yeah insurance people here at new homes are gonna have to have some sort of — exactly so we’ve — home sales surge in the last couple of months on those numbers and — keep going especially if mortgage rates keep rising.
— — — — title insurance companies like first American financial.
— is another example these are companies that you can sort of play that more financial side of housing and as far as more homes being built and even people improving their own homes.
They have to have some some way to — that the two black — — the object failed to you NASA this is really interesting automakers obviously this is a play on the auto industry that’s seen really — sales but pick — truck sales specifically.

This originally appeared here.

The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Fail–Frequently. Are You Making Enough Mistakes?

Failed Stamp Showing Reject Or Failure Stock Photo - Image: 25153420We have argued throughout  that the best way to deal with uncertainty is to act.

More specifically you should:

Take a small step toward your goal.

Learn from that action and

Build off that learning and act again.

You go through this Act. Learn. Build. Repeat model until you succeed; know you are you not going to; or decide there is a more appealing opportunity.

And often our advice triggers this reaction:

Who the heck can afford to take step down a road that may lead nowhere? I have a finite amount of time, resources, and energy, and I simply can’t waste them.

Agreed. But you really have only three options when faced with the unknown.

1) You can sit there forever thinking and conclude the situation is hopeless, or the problem is too big, so you do nothing.

2) You can do all that thinking we talked about in Option 1, and when you are absolutely, positively sure, you act . . . only to find out that a) you may not have been right, or b) while you were doing all that thinking, someone beat you to the solution. Or

3) You can do enough thinking to take a smart step toward a solution, one that won’t cost you a lot if you are wrong (leaving you enough resources to try again).

You can choose options one and two.  But we guarantee you your smart competitors are always going to choose #3. Sure, they are going to make more mistakes than you–but because they are taking all those small steps, they have a far greater chance at success.


Paul B. Brown is the co-author of Just Start: Take Action; Embrace Uncertainty and Create the Future published by Harvard Business Review Press.

This blog appears every Sunday and Wednesday, with the occassional extra post like today. Click on the “Following” button to receive the next one the moment it goes live.

This originally appeared here.

Top real estate agents rake in the cash

By Alanah Eriksen @AlanahEriksen

As house prices soar, top sellers are making more than the chiefs of many top companies.

Top agent Nadja Court sold this Mairangi Bay house for $5.5 million.

Top agent Nadja Court sold this Mairangi Bay house for $5.5 million.

Top real estate agents are making up to $1.5 million a year as they cash in on soaring property prices.

Their pay packets are bigger than those of chief executives of some New Zealand companies with thousands of staff at home and abroad.

Barfoot & Thompson says its top three salespeople had $200 million in sales between them over the past financial year.

They were Yvonne Wang and Nadja Court (both Mairangi Bay) and Jane Wang (Panmure).

The three women sold more than 300 homes, with an average asking price of $721,000, over the past year.

Property commentator Alistair Helm calculated that, based on the company’s commission rates, available on its website, and the agents’ recent sales, each would have been paid about $1.5 million, compared to what he said was the average agent income of $35,000 a year. This figure includes part-time agents.

The average house price in Auckland city is at a record $735,692, so sales commission is also up.

Mr Helm said about 20 agents throughout New Zealand were probably making similar amounts to the top Aucklanders.

Many top agents had one or two assistants, so if $150,000 was allowed to cover that cost, the agent could be making about $1.35 million a year.

Another $20,000 could be deducted for the yearly real estate licence, a car and marketing costs.

Nadja Court told the Herald her costs “were way more than that”, but would not comment further.

A Barfoot and Thompson spokeswoman said the company did not want to comment on what its agents were paid.

The Herald contacted several large real estate companies to ask what their top agents were paid.

Ray White chief executive Carey Smith said his top sellers, Ruth Hawes (Kingsland), Rohan Thompson (Royal Oak) and Marie Raos (Howick), each made “in the vicinity” of $1.5 million on $201 million in combined sales last year – not taking into account their costs. Each had at least one assistant.

Colliers and Professionals said their agents did not make as much.

Harcourts, Boulgaris Realty, L.J. Hooker and Bayleys refused to say, and Century 21 and First National did not respond to messages.

The $1.35 million figure puts agents well above many chief executives featured in the Herald’s CEO pay survey last year.

It is slightly more than the salary of Simon MacKenzie, chief executive of power company Vector, which has more than 500,000 customers and about $5.5 billion of assets.

And it is $380,000 more than Russel Creedy, chief executive of Restaurant Brands, which runs KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Carl’s Jr.

Mr Helm is critical of the amounts paid to real estate agents.

“Running a complex multi-million/multi-billion dollar business is a challenging and demanding role with the responsibility for thousands of employees, customers and suppliers,” he says in his blog.

“Top CEOs are paid for performance and the demands of the job. They are in demand and have global value. Selling houses is not … You have a handful of customers at any one time, you have virtually no suppliers or employees.

“You don’t have shareholders or a board of directors to report to. Bizarrely the people who monitor your performance share in your success, and yet they do not directly contribute to that success.

“Selling a house is not a unique skill, nor a highly demanding skill.”

But Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O’Sullivan said agents worked extremely hard, late at night and during weekends.

As well, she said, “that’s not a lot for the revenue of a small business”.

By Alanah Eriksen @AlanahEriksen EmailAlanah

This originally appeared here.

Selling Social: How Companies Are Connecting with Social Media


– For companies, not all social media platforms are created equal
– Have you noticed more ads on the social media you frequent? There’s a good reason for that.
– Companies are trying to dip into the massive pool of social media users; what platforms are they using – and how is that likely to change? 79%
– Marketers who have integrated social media into their traditional marketing activities 86%
Selling Social: How Companies Are Connecting with Social Media
Image source:
– Marketers who say social media is important for their business

What They’re Using – And What’s Most Important

– Companies use a wide range of types of social media, from Facebook to Pinterest, but Facebook is still the king of social media. Social platforms used
– Facebook – 92%
– Twitter – 80%
LinkedIn – 70%
– Blogging – 58%
Google+ – 42%
– Pinterest – 41%
– Photo sharing (Instagram) – 18%
– Forums – 16%
– Geo-location (Foursquare) – 11%
– Social bookmarking (StumbleUpon) – 10%
– Podcasting – 5%
– Daily deals (Groupon) – 4%
– Q&A sites (Quora) – 4% Single most important platform
– Facebook – 49%
– LinkedIn – 16%
– Blogging – 14%
– Twitter – 12%
YouTube – 4%
– Google+ – 2%
– Forums – 1%
– Pinterest – 1%
– Other – 1%

Why Use Social Media?

– Increased exposure for their business is the top reason marketers use social media. Sales? Those are last.
– Increase exposure – 89%
– Increase traffic – 75%
– Provide market insight – 69%
– Develop loyal fans – 65%
– Generate leads – 61%
– Improve search rankings – 58%
– Develop business partnerships – 54%
– Reduce marketing costs – 47%
– Improve sales – 43% A closer look Sales
– 62% of companies that spend 40+ hours a week earn new business through their efforts Exposure
– Just six hours a week can make a difference: With as little as six hours per week, almost all marketers (92%+) indicated their social media efforts increased exposure for their businesses. Cutting costs
– At least 62% of businesses with 10 or fewer employees agreed social media reduced marketing expenses, while only 38% of businesses with 1,000 or more employees agreed.

They’re Using Social Media, But Do They Know It’s Working?

1 in 4
– Marketers who are able to measure the return on investment of their company’s social media activities

What the Future Holds

– Facebook and YouTube are likely to see increased use, while daily deal and geo-location sites are likely to see marketers reduce their efforts. 8 in 10
– Companies that won’t use daily deal sites or will reduce their use 65% of companies have no plans to use geo-location sites, like Foursquare. Increasing use
– YouTube – 69%
– Facebook – 66%
– Blogging – 66%
– LinkedIn – 65%
– Twitter – 64%
– Google+ – 53%
– Pinterest – 51%
– Photo sharing – 38%
– Forums – 29%
– Podcasting – 24%
– Social bookmarking – 17%
– Geo-location – 16%
– Q&A sites – 14%
– Daily deals – 7%


Social Media Examiner, “2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report”

NetFinance 2013 – Improving Mobile Banking Panel Highlights

Ido Ophir, head of products at Personetics recently moderated a mobile banking panel at NetFinance with four participating banks – BBVA Compass, Regions Bank, CIBC and Charles Schwab. They discussed how banks can monetize the mobile channel, sharing a handful of top tips banking managers and IT professionals should consider when developing online and mobile customer channels.

About Personetics
Personetics offers a predictive virtual assistant solution designed specifically for banking. Personetics is dedicated to helping FIs deliver a more personalized banking experience across all service channels.

The solution is pre-loaded with a comprehensive library of banking-specific service topics and leverages our real-time analytics engine to accurately predict customer intent. For more information, go to

Treatings CEO Shares How a New Professional Network Helps People Connect over Coffee

eXprtViews had the chance to sit down with Treatings Co-Founder and CEO, Hayden Williams to talk about the need for a new professional networking site that connects young people with others outside their own circle of friends and industries.

If you are looking for more information on a particular industry or type of job, or looking for someone to collaborate with on a project, then there are lots of young people with the time an desire to network across industries, and to build up their own personal list of connections. This is an easy-to-use site to do so. Go to and register to connect with the right people in the right jobs, industry or company. You simply request to “treat” them to a coffee – turning an online introduction into real-life connection. It’s a tangible way to uncover new job opportunities, and it is amazing who you can meet and what you can learn and share with people across industries. Check it out.

Right now the site is focused on connecting people in the New York area, but has plans to expand in the near future.