Arizona Business News Update, With Microsoft Pulling XP, Unaffordable Phoenix Real Estate, Mobile Payments Popularity Growing



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MICROSOFT PULLS PLUG ON WINDOWS XP
As of yesterday (Tuesday, April 8, 2014), Microsoft is pulling the plug on technical support for Windows XP, the highly popular operating system that debuted 12 years ago.
While most analysts say little will happen as XP retires but there could be consequences. The best wisdom seems to be, upgrade if you can.

NEARLY HALF OF PHOENIX AREA HOMES ARE UNAFFORDABLE
Zillow is reporting nearly half of the homes for sale in the Phoenix area are unaffordable. 44% of properties for sale are beyond the reach of median income households. The Valley has consistently seen double-digit jumps in home prices since 2012 while wages have been static. However, Arizona State University’s latest housing report predicted local home prices won’t budge much at all this year giving income levels a chance to make up some ground.

PAYING YOUR BILL – THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
Yahoo and Reuters report U.S. and European retailers are launching mobile payment platforms that look to compete with Visa and Mastercard. These platforms are designed to streamline the payment process and increase customer loyalty.

Here in the U.S., Starbucks has been taking mobile payments for 3 years. Meanwhile Best Buy, Target and Walmart have announced plans to launch a joint digital wallet system.

HIGH-TECH APPROACH BRINGING DOWN LENDING COSTS
Lots of companies have tried to use technology to improve small business lending with data, collecting information about merchants from their social media profiles, online accounting software, and reviews to help lenders decide whether to make loans.

Lending Club and PayPal are now betting that the high-tech approach can also bring borrowing costs down for Main Street businesses that don’t qualify for bank loans. ASBA CEO, Rick Murray says ASBA Pulse is another program that streamlines the loan process.

“It really is an intuitive program where business owners can download their finances to the internet and what is does is then consolidates their information in to a nice loan package that banks often get. Then the business owners can select the preferred vendors or banks they would like to have their information sent to. The nice thing about it is the turnaround is within 24-48 hours with regards to financing information the business owner would like to get back.
For more information, visit asba.com.

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