In these uncertain times, businesses need to be nimble and adaptable to stay competitive. In this video, we share practical tips and strategies to help your business not just survive, but thrive in the current economy.

Let’s talk about what businesses should be doing in the current economy.

We can take lessones from the downturn in 2008-2009.

Cash is King! If you have good cash flow, start stock piling some of it away. When interest rates go up access to cash gets harder.

If you need to borrow there is no time like the present.

Credit cards – cut back on your credit limits.

Where should you stash your cash? Many banks are actually paying interest in money market account, CDs, and Savings accounts, Even some of the investment banks like Chase and Charles Schwab are also paying interest, and some apps like RobinHood, Betterment and a few others.

Video Transcription

Yo, what’s up, everybody? It’s Justin Live from B2B Vault: The Payment Technology Podcast sponsored by Nationwide Payment Systems. Hosted by this guy, the Brett Farve of payment processing himself, Allen Kopelman. And we’ll be providing you with educational information about FinTech, small business payment processing and the technology businesses are using in the world today.

And in today’s podcast we’ll be talking about financial literacy. It is April. And April is financial literacy month. So Allen thought it’d be a good idea to give some advice that he may have. So yeah, he’s been gone for quite a while. Captain Covid over there was sick, so we decided to let him rest his voice.

He didn’t have much lungs when he was talking. Too much coughing. So pardon him if he coughs, if, if he breaks out into a cough Attack. He’s recovering and doing his best. Yeah, I missed podcasting. Yeah, we didn’t get that. We usually hang out and spend a lot of time together.

Yeah. It’s been a long time so it’s been like two weeks. Yeah. It feels like six. Feels like longer than that. Yeah. Might be three weeks. I was pretty sick. It was two weeks. Yeah. Two weeks. Two weeks. But, So we’re back to regular scheduled programming. So tomorrow’s Wednesday, today’s Tuesday.

We should have this up for the people tomorrow. Yeah. So let’s talk about, what’s going on in the economy and, there’s a lot of talk, are we gonna have a recession? Is there gonna be a recession? Are we in a recession now? There’s definitely a lot going on in the economy.

We have the constant raise of interest rates by the Fed, and anybody who’s following the news sees that, right? And there’s been like some bad stuff going on with that and some good stuff. The bad stuff going on with that is we saw, multiple bank failures. And a big crack down on crypto, which I called the choke 0.2 0.0 on the cr on crypto.

But then, this week we see the price of Bitcoin go up. Which is pretty weird, and so that’s de kinda what’s going on one side and what’s going on the other side. The other side of the coin is, which is really weird, is. Banks are starting to see that people are taking money out of the market and then, stashing it in CDs and money market accounts.

And if you have cash, that’s definitely where to put it right now. And a lot of the banks started raising up the interests that they pay on those accounts and even companies like Betterment. Robinhood who are not really banks, but they’re connected to banks, and those are F D I C insured accounts.

Excuse me. They’re offering, betterment I think is at 4.2%. I don’t know what Robinhood is at, but I saw one the other day that was coming out from another company offering five, 5% on a cd. Oh, So there’s definitely banks are bolstering their keep to keep their customers having to raise interest rates.

Cuz let me tell you, interest in bank accounts has been non-existent for years. In money markets. And CDs savings account, it’s been non-existent. Huh I’m just saying I know, you’re talking to somebody who has none of those it is what it is. Yeah. But today, like one of the things you should be watching for is, As credit, credit is gonna get, is getting tighter.

So we see that all the time. We see it in, what will they approve merchant accounts for how much volume will they give people. They want to see people’s bank statements. So we see, credit. So if you don’t have, if you don’t have great credit, now is a horrible time. If you have a bus in your business, if you have good credit.

And you think oh, I might need money in the next year or two. I wouldn’t be waiting around to try to get a loan or a line of credit. I’d be doing that now. Cuz we saw, we don’t wanna see a repeat of 2008, 2009, 2002 thou, 2008, 2009. We saw a big credit crunch. We got destroyed in it. I personally got destroyed in it.

I had made a large. On a credit card of 30 grand of equipment to find out after we already got the equipment that American Express did not let the trans, even though the transaction was approved, they didn’t fund the transaction. And they actually sent us a letter saying, oh, your credit limit was reduced from 40,000 to 5,000 even though we were paying it.

Pretty quickly, right? And then we had to work out terms with the person who we had bought the $30,000 worth of ATMs from. It worked out then. It worked out, but it was a stressful, yeah, it was pretty stressful to the point where I was like, if I have to, I’ll go to my savings account and give you guys the money.

Otherwise, can we pay it back over the next six months, which they agreed to. Nice. So in, in this type of economy, cash is king. And also, if you need, if you need terms from your, like the companies you buy from, If you’re getting terms, make sure you know that you’re keeping up your payments cuz you don’t want them to reduce your terms.

Which is important. You need goods for your business, and that’s just very important, so those are things that are important. And I would definitely keep an eye on your credit cards. You want to keep an eye on your credit cards for two things, personal cards and business cards.

And what you want to keep an eye on is the limits that they have on there, because all of a sudden you don’t want a big surprise when you wanna make a big purchase and all of a sudden find out one of two things. They lowered your. Or they put the interest rate through the roof. And interest rates on credit cards right now I think are the highest that I’ve ever seen them ever.

In my, they’re double, it’s way up into double digits, teens. It’s crazy. And, I already talked a little bit about where to stash your cash. I know people are checking all the different banks. Who’s got this rate, who’s got that rate? You want to make sure whatever rates that you’re getting, like for a money market that they’re adjustable, like you’re not locked in.

I wouldn’t put too much money into CDs unless you were getting 5% plus. The other thing that’s rampant right now is scams and scams are like completely outta. While I was home sick right before I was sick my, somebody close to me had got an email and they thought they were buying something.

And it turned out that the person the person was scamming. And then tried to debit their bank account for 5,000 bucks. Wow. They ended up call flipping out. I was like, listen, calm down. You gotta call the fraud department at the bank. Then you gotta go to the bank and get, new accounts opened up, switch your debit card, so on and so forth.

Then I was talking to another person the other day and they were telling me that I don’t. People are home like alone, so maybe sad. And then somebody calls ’em on the phone, oh, it’s technical support from Google. Oh, we need to remote access your computer. There’s a virus in there. And then this person proceeds to tell me this story, how a parent older person did not know.

Yeah, did not know anything. The person remote accessed into their computer. The person was tricked into logging into their bank account, and then while they were on the computer, they were watching the person try to sell money out of their account. And it was very stressful. The person was not able to do it because, Elle put on that two-factor authentication thing.

When you add somebody to the thing, to the, I noticed, like on my business, I have to check, I’ve been Zed for business, but on my personal one, if you did send money by mistake, now there’s a button on there to undo it. Yeah. Within 24. Really? Yeah, something like that. There’s a time limit on it, and I was happy to see, I was happy to see that because, yeah, that’s good.

Because I’m tired of hearing about like these, people getting scammed out of their money. And don’t click on any links like, oh, I’m sending you some money. Oh, get click here for an Amazon gift card. No. If you don’t know who it’s coming from, I got an invoice the other. And then I saw, I was like I know this company, but why are they sending me an invoice?

I wasn’t about to open it up. So I called them on the phone. They were like, no, we didn’t send you anything. They were like, can you send it to us? I’m like I’m not. If I send it to you, don’t open it because I don’t know what’s in it. There’s a problem with a virus, right? And that’s a little bit, con, concerning.

And then I got, oh, the craziest thing is I keep getting these emails on my in my email account and like they all go to spam and they say note to self and the person’s scooping. Which I don’t even know how anybody knows how to do that. Do you know how they do that? Spoof an email address?

There’s a lot of different ways that they’re. And they make it look like it came from yourself. Yeah. And then they write in there, oh, I got naked pictures of you. I got pictures of you doing this, that, and the other thing. Yep. I got pictures of, I got all your email list. They don’t have any of that.

Then they want some Bitcoin. Send Bitcoin to my wallet. Somebody I know got one of those. And they’re reading it to me and I started laughing and I was like, listen, that is fake. Do not send that person any Bitcoin, they’re just gonna rip you off. They don’t have your stuff, and I just don’t understand.

Now, micro between Microsoft and Google, right? How much of the, they control the majority of what’s going on the. Would you say yes? Yes. Considering Google owns YouTube, Google search. They own the Gmail, right? I don’t know if Facebook can be in whatever, but yeah, I get I’m talking about email communications.

You get where you’re going. Yeah. And then on the Microsoft side, Microsoft 365 plus whatever, live e, whatever,,, hotmail, that’s all Microsoft, right? So between them, that’s gotta be 90% of the email. And then, hosting email is only, you got GoDaddy, blue Host, the largest hosting companies, probably there’s probably 10 or 15, large. I don’t understand how these companies all can’t get together and figure out how to stop these, wacko. Send them all these emails. You got Facebook and Twitter wanting to charge people. What is it, like 15 bucks a month to be a verified user on social media? Yeah.

And why can’t they verify? That’s what, I think that’s where that’s gonna help with the spam. You think that’s gonna help with spam on, but that’s not gonna help with spam email. Why wouldn’t it? So the whole point of the verification thing is to get rid of the bots.

And what you’re talking about is a lot of it is just bots. It’s not real people, it’s email lists and it’s getting sent out. Yeah. By a robot. Exactly. So the verification process, although I’m not a fan of it, and no, I’m not gonna pay for it. I understand the logic behind it. Yeah. I get the logic behind it and that’s why these, I.

With the email that’s the hosting company wouldn’t have anything to do with that? No, but I think that they could figure out like my, what my method is like when I get an email from somebody, I look to see cuz Microsoft’s, now that they’re on LinkedIn and your Outlook, you can see whether the person has a LinkedIn account.

Oh yeah. So if they have a LinkedIn account, I’m gonna trust the email a little bit more. If they don’t have a LinkedIn account, then I think it’s a. Most of the time I question have a Google, what if it’s they’re sending you from the g from not Microsoft? No, but if they send it from Gmail, if that’s the email that they use on the, my email is not as, so my LinkedIn is not associated from to my LinkedIn.

Okay. I’m just saying it’s gonna, I’m just saying I use that kind of as a barometer sometimes if I don’t know the person you. Missing out? No. No, but I’m saying if I don’t know the person and I’m just saying Yeah, that if you don’t know the person that, what if that person doesn’t use that email address for their LinkedIn?

And I check it if it, I don’t, I don’t open attachments from anybody. I don’t know. That’s standard operating procedure, but yeah, you got an attachment or a link in there. I’m not clicking it, not opening an email because they don’t have. LinkedIn is, no, I’m not saying I’m not gonna open, I’ll open the email, but I’m saying I’m not clicking any links or opening up any attachments.

If it’s somebody I don’t know or I don’t see, like they’re connected to LinkedIn. Even if you have a link to in link, I’m not doing that if I don’t know you. Exactly. It’s just dangerous and the other, it’s just, but I’m just saying like the level of fraud right now is completely outta control. We get people applying for me, it’s gonna get worse.

People are broke. It’s gonna get real ugly. I, from my, that’s my prediction. Financial fraud, just everything. It’s about to get grimy. It’s going to get ugly. That’s my prediction for 2023. Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far, but the amount of people trying to scam on On on run business scams and open up merchant accounts using stolen identities and things like that is outta control.

Like we’ve seen in the last couple of months, like more than 50% of the applications that come in the leads. We do a little scrubbing, we check the phone number, we go to the website, we call the actual. Business phone number, and then they go, we didn’t, we’re not applying for a merchant account.

And then, those people need to start watching your credit. Like I tell everybody, I was talking to a business owner the other day, I’m like, do you have Credit Karma or some kind of Experian or. What what are the other one? What are the other TransUnion? Yeah. You like, do you, are you hooked up into one of those services?

The guy goes, no. I go everybody, mark this. Put this, make a reel out of this. If you are a business owner or just a consumer, you can get free credit monitoring. Either your bank has it because I know Truist has it for Experian and or you could get it free with credit. Is it really free though?

I don’t think, yeah, credit card is free. I don’t think it’s really free. Yeah, it is not forever. Yeah, it’s free forever. I’ve had it and I don’t charge, I don’t pay for Credit Karma. You just go on there and sign up. Yeah. They try to sell you stuff. They go, oh, you can get approved for this credit card.

That’s how they make money. Oh, we could lower your car loan. Oh, you could get better insurance rates. They get money from advertising. That’s how they make money, but it’s free. And anyway, you’re entitled to get your credit report free once a year from each agency. So you can go to those agencies and you can usually say, I want to get my credit report.

If you get, if you can get free credit monitoring wherever, some credit cards offer it, some banks offer it and credit is free. I would definit. Suggest you own a business or your consumer, monitor your credit. Another thing I want to tell you, that my son and a couple of his friends fell for, some stupid person was asking them their information to get them a quote on something, right?

And then it turned out that whoever was doing. Tried to enroll them in new insurance even though they had insurance from work. And then my son got a letter in the mail from Blue Cross Blue Shield. That shit is messed up. And he called, we had to figure out where did that come from and the person was ran a scam and probably got money for enrolling them in the healthcare market.

And so we found that we wrote the Blue Cross BlueShield. They answered back then my son called up the marketplace cuz they said it was done through the marketplace and reported whoever that company was. And you gotta know who it is. Who they do. No Jacob. He didn’t know who he didn’t know. He just said the person was just saying, oh, what’s your name?

I’ll get you an insurance. And said, oh yeah, I’m, I get paid to do these market surveys. And, they didn’t, he didn’t ask for his social or anything like that, and they don’t need it. They didn’t even have Jacob’s payment information. They just sent like a bill in the mail. For the insurance.

Oh, wow. And he’s I didn’t, I said, dude, where’s this coming from? And he’s oh, some guy, somebody was doing a survey, and they said they get paid to do these surveys, and they were giving people candy and all this stuff and they probably were getting money to do the surveys. And probably if you were in the system, they got you an insurance quote. And that’s just totally messed up. Yeah, that’s crazy. You got, don’t give people people call you on the phone. Don’t give them your information over the phone. Don’t give them their, your social, don’t give them your date of birth. Don’t give people your driver’s license number.

None of that stuff. Absolutely. It’s just crazy the stories that I’ve been hearing. Like I was watching the news program and they were talking about all these people getting. Listen to this. This is really crazy. So you know me and you always talk about ai, right? Yeah, all the time. Ai, we get emails every day about, oh, this AI can write a book in five seconds.

This AI can make a video. This AI can write a blog posts and no one, and for 500 bucks a month, the AI detector, of course, it’s their AI detector, won’t show that it’s ai, right? Every kind of thing, right? So here’s, listen to this scam. I’m watching the news and what’s the scam? They call your phone.

They call a phone number up. So they call like my phone. Got it. Then they listen to my voicemail, right? It’s scary cuz I have a podcast. Someone, they can just get my voice off the podcast. They get your voice, right? So they record your voicemail, Hey, this is Alan, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? Then they take it, they use some AI software.

And I saw the website for this, and they play it to that website. That website now mimics my voice. They tell it what to say and then they get on the phone and call like my mom, look up like my mom or something and say, oh, Alan’s under arrest and I need your credit card to pay, get bail him outta jail for a thousand.

And people are falling for this stuff. Have you heard, and they’re calling voices the elder? Huh? Have you heard any of these voices? Yeah, they played it, the guy played it on the news. I was like, holy moly. It sounded exactly like the person Yes. Does. And they were also showing like famous people too.

They were like, oh, you could have a fa, you could go on there and get Kevin Costner baseball players, LeBron, this person, and it’s right on the website. This AI thing is gonna cause a lot of headaches from a fraud perspective. There goes voice activation. That hole. Yeah. Voice activation.

Yeah. Someone can steal your voice and then mimic it. Can you imagine? What would your mom do? Unlock my door. There’s a bunch of that type of stuff. Yeah. Unlock my door. Yeah. Even on your phone you have on some phones have it where you can talk to the phone and say, tell, or like you’re, in south to do stuff with your voice.

But it doesn’t, it only recognizes your voice. All. Yeah. Voice activation. Yeah. Yeah. That’s really messed up. What would your mom do? Or your wife gets a phone call. It sounds like you, Hey, I’m in jail. I need 500 bucks. You gotta zealot to this phone number right now.

What are they gonna, are they gonna do it? I don’t know. My wife probably wouldn’t.

She wouldn’t fall. No, she wouldn’t fall for it. But some people might, my mom would probably fall for it because Yeah. Yeah. It’s crazy, right? So they were showing a whole thing, and this is like a big scam, and the cops, and they were, even the police were talking about it, that it was going. And they know about it and they’re trying, and people need to be aware of this stuff.

Yeah, you gotta be aware of technology. There’s a lot of technological advances that are. Happening around us. A lot of stuff is happening. So yeah, we even saw, like we’re, I was showing Justin a website a few minutes ago. You went and looked at it, you said, oh, this guy’s thing didn’t work. But it was some crazy program that you could just download on your computer, put it on some Google spreadsheet, and then it would do things like go to LinkedIn and go, whatever page you were on, suck everybody’s information off of their, Now, I didn’t try it, but it said it.

That’s what it could do. This is rented scripts. It’s connected to the api. The one for checking out who visited the website kept giving me errors. So I file, the instructions are very simple. It’s not a copy and paste. And then add the API key. It didn’t work, man. I don’t know if that’s because I didn’t give you a dollar either.

Oh, they oh yeah. Cuz it says $0 on there and you maybe they want a donation. I don’t know. To get the real program. They kept saying there’s not enough traffic and that’s impossible. So whatever. Yeah, that’s weird. Be careful with all these AI websites. Like I said to Justin and I don’t understand why we tried one one day and it didn’t work and I wrote the guy an email, they did refund me, so they didn’t even charge my car.

They, they sent a refund cuz this thing didn’t work at all. What was that one? I don’t remember. Something that it would turn your take. Take your audio and turn it into a blog post or something.

Oh yeah. No, that was terrible. Yeah. And yeah, it was horrible. And there’s just so many of these websites out there. And there was another one that I saw the other day too, that was a website where you could. Take my, I could take my voice, play it for the talking to the computer. Or they could get anybody’s voice for that matter.

Then they could, you would take your picture and turn it into like a cartoon avatar thing. And then you could tell it what to say and it may click a whole little video. That’s cool. But I’m just saying this whole thing where people are copying somebody’s voice, they can be on the computer and just be like typing what to say to the other person and then they’re, they’ve got my voice sample.

They said it’s enough from just your voicemail message can do it.

I, that’s, and they were talking about how dozens and dozens of people got scammed by this. But the one that really is upsetting me is like all these older people that I hear about getting a call from Microsoft, getting a call from Google or Yahoo, and then they tell ’em, oh, I need remote access to your computer.

And then they get in there and then they’re trying to steal money out of these people’s, older people’s bank account. And it’s nuts. I heard one story where someone got scammed out of 300 grand. It’s a lot of money to be getting scammed. Yeah the person got access to their computer, and it’s scary.

I yelled at my mom one day, she told me, oh, Yahoo called. I’m like, what? Are you kidding me? So I was like, shut your computer off. And I was like my mom, I told my mom, shut her computer off. Call the bank, cancel the credit card you gave them. And then I sent, I called one of my friends up, Dan, who was a computer guy, and I was like, oh, are you in the area near my mom’s?

Cuz that’s where he used to work and he was in the area. He went over there and. Cleaned out and whatever program that, he disconnected from the internet and then he, whatever program that person put on there and he took it all off. It’s crazy. Yeah. The person had put a key logger on there and a remote access thing and something else, and I was like, I told my mom, I go, you know that person if you would add a spreadsheet in there or something with your, all your passwords on it, don’t do that.

Don’t have passwords on your computer. Get, use Last Pass or some other kind of pa whatever mean pass. Are you saving them in your browser? No. Not saving ’em in your browser. Saving ’em in like on a spreadsheet or something. Oh, no. That’s not smart. Yeah, don’t do any of that. Get a password program.

I’m, I tell my mom to write ’em down. Yeah. My mom has them on. I tell my dad to write ’em down actually too, just because then that way you can always access ’em. You don’t. Because most of the time they’re trying to log in through their phone anyway, so that’s why they don’t have it saved.

Whatever. I don’t know what, but, so that’s our podcast for today about what’s going on financially and the world and what the, what’s going, what people are dealing with. Maybe we, you got some good advice. Money management and watching your credit and don’t fall for scams. And if there’s some subject you want us to cover on the podcast, you want to ask us a question, we did get a question last month.

On the podcast about PCI compliance. Somebody wrote in. Yeah. And they asked about why do I get charged for PCI compliance? And we’re actually gonna feature the answer in the newsletter that we send out. So the answer to the question is, the PCI compliance is a requirement by the card brands. So some companies don’t charge for PCI compliance because, They’re pay FFAs and they’re actually the merchant of record.

But if you have your own merchant number, then you need to do PCI compliance. There’s a thing called the S AQ Self-Assessment Questionnaire, and the way what I do with my customers is I just say, Hey, you have to do this aq. This is what you do. You go to the website, you log in with the temporary password.

You’re probably gonna look at everything and go, this sounds like Chinese, right? Like most things, and you’re not gonna know how to fill it out. Don’t call me on the phone. Cause they mix up the questions. So we can’t help you purposely. There’s an 800 number on the website, call them up and then let them walk you through the whole thing.

And that’s it. And then, like I had a customer, a really big customer. And they couldn’t get it completed, but they had gone in there and they didn’t listen to me and they messed the whole thing up. So I got on the phone with them and we did a screen share, and then we fixed the questions that they answered incorrectly and everything worked.

There you go. If you’re not sure how to answer the question, ask your salesperson or just call the 800 number. That’s what those services are there for. That way you don’t get charged a non-compliance fee. Absolutely. And no reason for you to pay a non-compliance fee, because doing the S A Q only takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

And like I said, the, they call the 800 number. They’re gonna, whoever the person on the other line, their customer service is gonna ask you a few questions, confirm your business, complete it, you’re done. Then every year you get an email from them. You go in, has anything changed? You get, you say, no. Boom, it’s renewed and you’re done for another year.

So complete your s A Q. And that way you don’t have to pay a non-compliance fee. There you go. And if you think the fee is too high that they’re charging you for PCI compliance, then ask the company, say, Hey, lower the fee. This, I think this is too expensive. Most companies I find, charge a fair fee.

Occasionally I come across companies who charge a ridiculous fee, or they charge a non-compliance fee of $99. And that’s just, outta control. They’re trying to get that person to become PCI compliant. Because most of the time there is some kind of insurance behind it if there was a breach.

But, breaches have not really happened in, in the small merchant world in a while, especially since E M V. Before E M V breaches used to happen all the time. People would. Get a key logger on somebody’s point of sale, steal thousands of credit card numbers, and then you have a nightmare on your hand.

And believe me, I handled three or four of them that people had called me to help them deal with that. Rocky does not like PCI compliance either. He says, don’t pay non-compliance fees. Complete your aq. Check out the podcast at B2B vault dot. We’re re designing a site. I should have that done soon.

But it’s still up, for now. If you wanna check, sign up for the newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter and ask us a question. You can ask us a question. Check us out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok that’s all you know. Oh, and YouTube. Subscribe to the channel on YouTube for us.

Thanks to all the followers that out there you guys are watching, so thanks for watching. Thank you. Thanks for listening. Glad to be back. Peace.

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