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Are Biometric Payments Your Business’ Future Payment Solution?

Mastercard is rolling out a new scheme of biometric payments – as part of their efforts to create more enjoyable shopping experiences for their customers. Customer’s transactions will (literally) be as simple as smiling for a camera or waving your hand to a reader. From swipe and tap to smile and wave – payments will be more seamless for your business than ever.   

Has “Pay With A Smile Scheme” Launched in Britain? 

The scheme has not been officially launched in Britain. Some trials are going on in Brazil followed by Asia and the Middle East afterward. This evolutionary internet innovation is expected to create a breakthrough as the simplest payment solution for frequent purchases. If the trials succeed, it expected to attract more positive outcomes for early adopting businesses, such as customer satisfaction, less queuing and higher productivity. Since the technology has not yet arrived, this could be the time for reflection – how much effort have you put into your organisations customer journey?

“Pay With A Smile Scheme” As The New Internet Innovation 

In 2021, Juniper Research indicated that global contactless card transactions will grow up to 6.8 trillion by 2026. The trends also increased over time, as Dentsu mentioned that 74% of global customers have a positive attitude toward biometric technology. After video calls, on demand movie platforms, and smart home innovations, the internet leads us to this new next-generation payment technology for businesses around the globe.  

This “Pay With A Smile” internet innovation is targeted to benefit all parties. The seamless procedure is crafted for both sides of buyer and seller. As a business, it is important to differentiate yourself and stand out in your customers’ eyes. It can also become an alternative for your fraud control issues and chargebacks, making your business run more effectively. 

Should I Consider “Pay With A Smile Scheme” For My Business? 

Almost twenty years ago, biometrics were mostly restricted. Fingerprints, DNA, and facial recognition were limited and didn’t really grab our attention. Today in 2022, biometric technology has evolved and become part of our daily lives. Internet innovation is developing at an amazing rate and keeps on leveraging and developing new technologies.  

We understand how essential innovation is the performance of a business. And we are here, as tech enthusiasts, to help guide your business to the next level.  

Leverage your opportunity through #GigabitConnectivity – and embrace yourself in internet innovation and get past those slow connections that have been holding back your business’s potential.  

Check your availability for Gigabit Networks (https://business.gigabitnetworks.co.uk/bb) and get in contact with us today.

Our versatile and resilient services can assist you in overcoming your connection challenges so that you can focus on what matters. 

Are You Ready for the PSTN Switch Off?

PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network is the aggregate of the world’s circuit-switched telephone networks and as we often mention, as our landline.

But why is this important and why should you care about it?

Well, there are lots of reasons that you probably are not aware of – the reality is that there is not a lot of coverage about it, yet, but you have to start taking measures to safeguard your future.

In 2025, the PSTN Switch Off will happen via BT Openreach.

This is all landlines being cut and replaced digitally. Despite the UK not being the first country to make this move, it can be quite stressful – it will be completely changed and renewed.

So, this huge change will happen for everyone – both businesses and residential – and it is something that nobody can avoid. 

The benefits of the Switch off include:

Cost Saving

VoIP is considered to be way more cost-effective as instead of using additional hardware you are connected to the internet connection.

Reliability

As there are no physical lines that may be disrupted by some road works, for example, VoIP can be more reliable due to using your internet, which can be 10 times faster than your landline. Furthermore, you need to have a good internet connection, and Gigabit Networks can help you with it.

Quality

The quality of phone calls will increase (depending on your connectivity) – being a positive reason for businesses as it is a crucial time-saver – and for people at home as you feel closer to your loved ones.

Seamless connection

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the world evolved reasonably quickly, with businesses adapting to flexible working and many workers becoming fully remote. 

The main secret for all of these to work smoothly is fast Internet connectivity and Cloud. 

With VoIP, what will happen is the start of a revolution that will end when all devices are connected to each other, with a seamless connection that works on a smooth ecosystem, making your life easier.

Despite all these benefits, some people may indeed be negatively impacted by this change – and that is why everyone should be educated in this, with time, to understand what can be done. 

The main affected ones will be people who aren’t used to technology and people who live in rural areas that rely on landlines. 

However, BT Openreach has said that replacement products will be available for everyone, depending on their individual needs and location.

The main advice to help you prepare for the 2025 Switch Off is instead of renewing your landline number when your contract is over, update it to a VoIP replacement. 

If it is for your business this can mean that you are a step ahead of your competition, and if it is for your household, it takes off the stress you will be upon when being obliged to do it.

It is truly important to have more than just a good internet connection – as every day new updates will continue to come, and the internet will be the main asset to have, in order to function all your devices efficiently. 

GigaFast broadband allows you to navigate at up to 930Mbps at only £49 per month, being this, one of the best prices per speed you will get in the market.

Soon, we will also be able to provide you with VoIP landline replacement for only £6 extra on top of whichever broadband package you choose to acquire.

Take a look at our ultrafast GigaFast packages here to secure an ultra-reliable network for your future VoIP landline.

How ultrafast broadband can drive more business: the shift to e-commerce

According to Nasdaq research, by 2040 95% of purchases will be online. This may be a shock to small businesses. Luckily, we have about 18 years to adjust!

Now we can probably say we saw this coming, most of us can see the slow but sure shift to e-commerce where convenience and speed is a priority. This has only been catalysed by the pandemic where customers boosted amazon’s profits by 220%.

So, going digital now might just give you the edge you need against your competitors – don’t wait till 2040. The internet is inevitably going to open your business up to more customers and make your product/service accessible to all.

So how can my SME make the jump to digital?

Finding a platform

In a world so dominated by e-commerce, there’s going to be competition, but there will also be a larger customer base. You can choose to build this customer base through selling platforms such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy or you can create this customer base yourself by building your own selling platform and attracting audience through digital marketing. 

Eventually, businesses making enough sales tend to migrate to their own site rather than using a selling platform anyway – this way they can cut out the high charges that these platforms tend to add so consider this when choosing your platform.

Examples of great platforms to create your own store include sites such as WixShopify and Squarespacewhere you can build your store, add plugins and track progress.

Once you’ve found your preferred platform you can begin to build your store. 

To maintain this store, you should of course consider the business connection you’re using – downtime can be bad for business and somebody needs to be available as much as possible to answer potential customer queries and track orders as 82% of consumers expect a response within 5 minutes via live online chats.

GigaFast Business Fibre is the perfect product for e-commerce – we can ensure your store stays online with our 99.95% SLA and next business day fix. The ROI (return on investment) is massive at just £99 per month for 1Gbps symmetrical speeds.

Digital Marketing

Now you have your platform and a reliable connection to keep it running you need to consider digital marketing if you haven’t already. 

If you’re not in a position to employ a digital marketer to help you out, consider taking a free digital marketing course – like this one from Hubspot – to help you learn how to get your product/service out to the right people. You could also cut costs by finding a freelance marketer on sites such as Fiverr.

If you employ the right marketing strategy alongside a few well thought out ads, you will start to see revenue in no time.

So how does all of this relate to superfast broadband?

To make things easier to understand, imagine your (potential) e-commerce business is a plant. Broadband is like water. Ultrafast broadband, however, is like water infused with fertiliser and nutrients.

Ultrafast broadband, like GigaFast Business Fibre, is going to have everything you need to facilitate the growth of this e-commerce business, your options will be limitless and you won’t be held back by what you can get away with on a tiny bandwidth.

A fast and reliable service will inevitably feed straight into customer experience as well. If your customer service staff are struggling to respond to customer queries due to long loading times or your connection cutting out altogether, customers may not return.

Innovation opportunities are also limitless. Live streaming is a relatively new avenue in digital marketing which engages customers and communicates the value of products. Customers won’t get a good impression if the live stream is constantly buffering. 

So, stay ahead of the times, don’t get left behind. 

Make the shift to e-commerce today and switch to a Gigabit Business Fibre connection – we won’t let you down.

How your SME can harness the power of the cloud – 3 important tools

In 2022 your small business must be digitally optimised, so if you aren’t already utilising the Cloud then why haven’t you caught up?

Getting used to new tech can be daunting at first, but the advantages the Cloud can have for your businesses are endless, and so many cloud-based tools are free. All you need is a good internet connection – but we’ve got you sorted there.

What is the Cloud?

In the digital space when we talk about the Cloud, we don’t mean the ones in the sky! 

The tech industry tends to make the Cloud sound like some ominous out-of-reach being that is far beyond anyone’s understanding – certainly not something to be used by a small business such as yours.

Realistically the Cloud is much less daunting than it seems. It is essentially a term for services and software run on the internet rather than being run on your computer, however most cloud services can be accessed through your computer aswell.

It’s likely you’re already using some Cloud services without knowing it. Tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive are well-known cloud services that many people and businesses use. 

Well, what can the Cloud do for my business?

Whether you’re an e-commerce business or you have a physical shop – there’s something the cloud can do for all of us. It could be organisation, back-ups or implementing a hybrid working model – the Cloud can help you do it all.

From accessing programmes to storing data, the uses of the Cloud are endless and can be very overwhelming. 

We have decided to handpick our top 3 Cloud tools that will help your small business get started. Couple these tools with a GigaFast connection and you’ll have everything you need to digitally optimise your small business.

Cloud storage – Google Drive

Cloud storage is where data and applications are stored on separate servers and accessed via the internet. 

This means you no longer have to worry about your computer or phone having enough storage, or a certain document only being on one device, the Cloud has that handled for you!

Having a Cloud storage solution also means you don’t ever have to worry about losing data or information, everything is stored away in the cloud where you can access it 24/7. 

You also won’t have to worry about massive filing cabinets or extra office space just for information, digital storage is the future.

Our favourite cloud storage tool is Google Drive. It is free to use and allows you to store files across all your devices in a simple and easy-to-use interface. These files can also be shared with team members or kept private if needed. A much easier alternative to passing papers around in meetings.

SaaS – Google Workspace

SaaS means software-as-a-service and is the future of working in the post-covid world. 

SaaS platforms will enable your business to function from your business site, from home or from anywhere in the world (as long as you have a device and a stable internet connection). 

Our favourite SaaS tool is the Google Workspace, you’re probably already aware of a few aspects of this suite of tools. It includes popular apps such as Gmail and Google Calendar. Google drive is also a part of Google Workspace – it’s amazing how much everything in the Cloud links together!

Google Workspace also includes other applications such as google docs, google sheets, google slides, google forms, google meets and more.

All of your work within these applications can sync up in your google drive and you can collaborate with other members of your team at any time. It is essentially a virtual workspace, making home and hybrid working so much easier – and best of all, it’s free!

Cloud hosting

Now, this tool may not be 100% relevant to every small business but if your website is giving you trouble, or if you find yourself with larger spikes of visitors, cloud website hosting might be the solution for you. 

This also might be a solution to think about for the future. As your small business grows, you’re going to need to eventually have a website with a larger capacity.

With shared website hosting, (what most people use) your server may be slow as it is shared with others. 

With dedicated hosting, you get an entire server to yourself, but as you can imagine, the costs aren’t very small business-friendly.

With cloud hosting, your website is hosted in the cloud – with virtual server space. This means bandwidth is spread across multiple servers essentially ruling out many issues that you may find with other web hosting alternatives. This solution is especially great if you use e-commerce.

Our favourite cloud hosting tool is Hostinger. At just £7.99 a month on a 48-month plan, their prices are extremely small business-friendly and they offer unlimited bandwidth, fast server speeds and an excess of other features.

Our top 5 digital tools that your small business needs

Starting and maintaining a small business is a tough job and with the massive digitization we’ve seen after COVID, small business owners need to figure out how to keep up.

There is an abundance of digital tools out there and sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to dedicate your time to. That’s why we’ve decided to put together our 10 favourite digital tools that have helped grow Gigabit Networks from the ground up!

These tools combined with our GigaFast Business Fibre product will set you up for success. Ultrafast, ultra-reliable internet speeds and a streamlined and organised working process will help any small business to flourish. 

Trello

For a small business – organisation is everything. Keeping organised will help you to stay on top of tasks and optimise productivity. It’s very easy for smaller tasks written on a random piece of paper to be forgotten or lost.

With Trello, you’ll never have to worry about organising your tasks again. Trello allows you to designate certain tasks to cards and organise these cards onto boards. This way you can organise your to-do list for the week or set certain goals for the year.

Trello also allows collaboration so you can see what other team members are working on or work on tasks together with colleagues. 

Price: as a small business you will probably only ever need the free version of Trello. However, they do have a premium package with a few extra perks for $10 per month which is great for teams of up to 100.

Zoom

Video conferencing is massively important for any small business in 2022. Simple phone calls are now a thing of the past – Zoom is the new way to remotely run your small business and catch up with colleagues and employees. 

Zoom has plenty of great features that make it 10x better than a normal call. You’re able to share your screen so that you can do sales pitches remotely or collaborate with team members on a piece of work. 

Zoom also allows for meeting to be recorded meaning if a colleague can’t make it, they can still catch up.

Price: Zoom has a free package where you can host up to 100 participants for 40 minutes or a one-to-one meeting for up to 30 hours. If you think you’ll need a little more than this then the zoom pro package is £119.90 per year and allows hosting of up to 100 participants for up to 30 hours as well as a few added extras.

Canva

As a small business, it isn’t always cost-effective to outsource your design work, sometimes you just have to get it done yourself. That’s why Canva is perfect. 

Combining a simple-to-use interface with plenty of widgets, templates and even some royalty-free images, Canva allows even the most novice graphic designers to create logos, social posts, and campaigns.

Price: The free version of Canva is great, it has hundreds of thousands of templates and photos and allows for collaboration. Canva pro, however, combines all of the great features of the free version with millions of stock photos, videos, audio and graphics. As well as plenty of other great features to make graphic design so much easier – all for just £10.99 a month. 

WordPress

WordPress is a high-quality tool allowing users to create blogs or websites. It is by-far the most popular tool of it’s type and appeals to so many different online spaces.

WordPress also has free plugins and themes to make the process of website and blog creation so much easier and compatible with other online domains.

Price: WordPress does have a free package, but their business package is perfect for small businesses. For just £27 a month it allows hosting, payment collection, premium themes, google analytics integration and so much more!

Active Campaign

Active Campaign is the perfect tool for engaging with your customers and allows for the automation of so many processes that are usually mundane and tedious. They also have excellent customer service options via chat and email support.

Active Campaign’s email marketing feature allows you to hand-create customised email campaigns with an immense amount of detail. As a small business, email marketing should be a key part of your strategy; it is free after all!

The CRM and sales automation feature of Active Campaign also allows you to manage all your contacts in one place, which is so important for organisation and productivity.

Price: Billed monthly an Active Campaign lite subscription will cost $15/mo. This covers 500 contacts and includes loads of helpful features such as over 100 email templates, over 500 automation recipes and unlimited email sending. 

What does it mean to be a Gigabit partner?

Gigabit Networks is here to transform the Midlands into smart towns and cities, providing consumers with ultrafast, ultra-reliable purefibre.

In today’s collaborative working culture, we believe that partnerships bring a wealth of advantages to a reseller. 

Gigabit Networks offer two main types of partnerships that can be tailored to your unique business requirements:

Firstly, our dealer partnerships which are typically for IT, telecom and/or Software companies serving SME businesses which need fast, reliable internet to deliver their services.

If you are a business who wants to supply their customers with better internet, but don’t want the headache of supporting it, you can simply provide us with the details of your client and we’ll take care of the rest for you – from onboarding, to installation, to customer support and billing. 

Dealer partners will receive a sales commission based on referral volumes. 

Secondly, a reseller partnership is available to companies who already deliver other telecom services to their customer base, so already have the necessary systems and support services in place to properly support their customers.

Reseller responsibilities include billing and 1st/2nd line support of the services. Resellers do have access to our service on a wholesale basis with discounts in line with the number of circuits you have in your estate.

Interested to find out more? Simply head over to our partners page to get in touch.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs FTTP Broadband

What is FTTP broadband? FTTP stands for Fibre To The Premises which is where fibre broadband is directed straight to a home instead of a cabinet that services an area. It’s faster, more reliable and a lot more secure.

But why does a business need FTTP? And what daily benefits are available with it?

1. High Performance 

Unlike FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet), the main benefit is that FTTP is a direct fibre connection and has the highest speed capacity than standard fibre broadband, because of this, FTTP can reach speeds up to 20x faster than your average broadband. There is nothing that compares.

2. Cost Effective 

“Slow internet causes costly delays in your company’s operations and workflow management. It’s been revealed the average employee wastes one week per year waiting for their network to respond”-  Nick Hastreiter. 

Now multiply this by 100 employees. 

3. Ultra-reliable

If you are living in a busy home with multiple devices or if you’re a business owner you will almost certainly benefit a lot more from FTTP.  Why? Not only is it a lot faster, but there are less chances of your internet cutting out half way through an important email or call to a client.  

4. Rapid Installation 

While FTTC is the most common and accessible option for many, FTTP is only available to 15% of households, but this is soon to change as the government has a target to get more homes connected. 

Your area is not serviced yet? You can show your interest here and we will do the rest.

5. Upgrade at anytime 

You are able to upgrade your business at any time, so that you can enjoy ultrafast broadband without the penalties. 

Want to find out more? Check out our product page visiting GigaFast FTTP here.

Gigabit Networks to join CityFibre’s Revolutionary Full Fibre Network in Coventry

Gigabit Networks is proud to announce it is to offer ultrafast, reliable, full fibre, gigabit-speed broadband to 131,500 premises in Coventry, including schools and the NHS, starting this month.

Services will be available over the CityFibre network, which is investing an additional £12.5million to boost its original £60million investment in rolling out full fibre across the city.

Gigabit Networks joins a growing list of consumer internet service providers (ISPs) to offer full fibre services to consumers over CityFibre’s national open access networks.

CityFibre is currently engaged in an up to £4billion gigabit city investment programme and we will be the latest consumer ISP to become a partner.

Speaking of the agreement, Leigh Hunt, city manager at CityFibre, said: “Working with Gigabit Networks, we will help support Coventry’s diverse communities by giving them access to the fastest and most reliable broadband speeds in the UK. This partnership will further broaden the choice of ISPs available on the CityFibre network

“We look forward to seeing even more homes and businesses take advantage of this state-of-the-art connectivity and what it can enable in the future.”

David Yates, co-founder of Gigabit Networks, which is based in the Midlands, added: “Our partnering with CityFibre means we are capable of truly bridging the digital divide across the Midlands. Coventry is a city with deep history, culture and industry-leading innovation. Joining the CItyFibre ultrafast network means greater prospects for people across the city.”

For more information about CityFibre’s investment in Coventry visit cityfibre.com/gigabit-cities.

To register your interest, visit gigabitnetworks.co.uk/coventry

Why do schools need gigabit-capable Internet access?

School life is a fundamental part of growing up.

Connecting with friends, learning new things and having different experiences all count towards the development of a young child’s path to a successful adulthood.

And reliable Internet access is at the heart of all of these contributors.

Without it, children miss out on learning and potentially a sense of belonging – especially when they’re not able to stay in touch with friends and teachers.

Overall, the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the scale of the digital divide within the education sector.

An Ofcom report from 2020 estimates between 1.m and 1.8m children in the UK do not have access to a laptop, mobile or tablet at home.

Gigabit-capable full fibre Internet access is a game-changing technology for schools and communities.

It means educational institutions can receive more value for less money – meaning they are able to allocate more funds to helping those pupils in digital poverty.

With the growing popularity of online learning tools and interactive digital textbooks, gigabit Internet allows teachers to download the largest of learning resources within a matter of seconds.

Furthermore, complex tasks like migrating to the cloud as an administrative platform for file management and data storage services become seamless, ultrafast and highly responsive.

In schools with gigabit Internet, pupils now have equal opportunity to learn, have fun and create memories in this digital-age.

And schools that have invested into pure fibre gigabit Internet enjoy 20 times faster connectivity than the average UK households (FTTC).

Gigabit Internet speeds are considered the gold standard for Internet users – as they can support an unlimited number of users and devices.

Moving forwards, those educational institutions that are at the forefront of the digital transformation will be more versatile to online learning, have safer digital storage and enjoy the enablement of advanced learning concepts such as AR and VR.

To find out more on how Gigabit Networks are helping to bridge the digital divide in schools, click here to see information about our partnership with Internet4Schools.

To speak to one of our team about transforming the digital performance of your school, simply fill out the form on this page and we will get back to you shortly.

The need for greater bandwidth when re-locating back to the office

The coronavirus pandemic forced almost the entire country’s workforce to relocate to a makeshift home office.

March 2020 saw a surge in home Internet usage – and with the parents working in the living room and the kids streaming on their devices, the need for fast and reliable Internet access was more critical than ever.

Fast-forward to summer 2021, and we are ready to come out of restrictions once again – for (hopefully) the final time.

Although, with businesses and organisations alike forced to move online quicker than expected, people made new online connections and decision makers pivoted towards different aspects of digital income they didn’t consider before.

Now, business all round has a greater reliance on video calls, downloading large amounts of data and digital marketing for sources of revenue.

And if you’ve been working from home during the pandemic, you’ll know there’s nothing more frustrating than a colleague’s face freezing on the screen or not being able to send off important information before a deadline.

It is fair to say, the sharp rise in bandwidth usage is close to reaching tipping point.

Unlike before, businesses that are serious about being on the frontline of the digital transformation require full fibre gigabit Internet access to operate effectively in the office.

With full fibre, you don’t have the street cabinets and copper lines interfering and slowing your connection down. Gigabit technology allows your business’ communications go straight to the heart of the Internet.

Video calls are effortless, downloading information is instant and creativity can prosper with the security of an ultrafast and ultra-reliable Internet connection.

The government pledged 85% of UK premises would have full fibre gigabit Internet access by 2025 – so the upgrade to bridge the digital divide is a matter of when and not if.

Get ahead of the game today and enquire about your businesses office accessing full fibre gigabit Internet access.

Gigabit Networks is a City Champion of CityFibre – the UK’s third largest digital infrastructure provider.

Our packages are tailored to each businesses specific needs and requirements to bolster your capabilities at a cost-effective rate.

Join the movement today. Reap the benefits. Enquire now.

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Our mission is to bridge the digital divide for Midlands Residents and Businesses by delivering the fastest, most reliable internet connectivity available in the UK

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