Bad Credit Cards – Signs Are Everywhere: Businesses Have Changed Permanently Due To The Pandemic | Zoom Fintech

Bad Credit Cards – Signs Are Everywhere: Businesses Have Changed Permanently Due To The Pandemic

There is no going back to the “old normal”. Employment is also adjusting. But it will take years to address the problems these sudden and massive changes leave behind.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

One of the biggest permanent changes in the wake of the pandemic is that companies have invested in technologies that have been available for a long time, but which had not been deployed because there was no visible need for them. deploy, and because companies were stuck in a rut, and change was hard and expensive – and the rules of inertia took over.

But now the pandemic has forced businesses to change. There is no going back to the old normal. And these technologies have an impact on employment in both directions.

We encountered precisely this when we went cross country skiing last week at Royal Gorge in the Sierra Nevada, which we do every year. What is said to be the largest cross-country ski resort in the United States with 120 miles of groomed trails (if groomed) had fallen on hard times years ago, filed for bankruptcy, and was acquired by bankruptcy in 2011/2012. . It is now operated by Sugar Bowl Resort, the nearby downhill ski area. There have been some improvements since then, such as new heated cabins. But the station has remained largely low-tech, or no tech. And even there, things have changed massively and definitively with the pandemic.

The way it worked: You’d line up every morning to buy old-fashioned passes that you then stuck on your sticks and then tried to scratch at night. If you rented equipment, you spent more time in line. There was a website, but you couldn’t buy anything there. There were quite a few employees involved in dealing with the skiers who wanted to buy passes and rent equipment. The place could get crowded and customers were wasting time queuing and dealing with logistics.

Now, the demands of social distancing and contactless commerce have forced the station to invest in an e-commerce website. You duty use the website to purchase passes and pay and reserve rental equipment (rental equipment set-up is always done in person at the lodge).

Trail passes are now reloadable cards, similar to prepaid debit cards with a radio chip. You get them at an ATM outside the lodge by holding the QR code – that black and white square maze – of your reservation (paper or smartphone) under the scanner. And he spits out the card. You can reload the pass online and reuse it next year….

It should have been done 10 or 15 years ago. It’s super-fast and convenient, and you don’t have to queue anywhere. You can park, scan and ski.

And the station has become entirely cashless. You can buy cornbread, but you must use your card. Credit card transactions are automated. No one needs to balance the cash drawer or count cash.

And some of the staff who used to deal with passes and stuff are now doing other stuff at the resort or not needed at all.

But there are people who make, install and maintain the equipment, build and maintain the e-commerce site, and deal with the other issues that the technology produces. These are different jobs and have only a small local component.

It is a permanent change. And this is an improvement for the users of the station. It may also have reduced employment at the station, while supporting employment in companies that supply and maintain the technology.

I spoke with one of the employees at the resort. Hiking pass sales are doing pretty well, he said, but equipment rentals are down by about half from last year. He thought a lot of people had bought their own equipment.

This would be in line with an increase in purchases of sporting goods which, as early as last spring, led to a shortage of bicycles and exploded from there, and led to the largest and continuing surge in spending on goods. sustainable.

It would make sense: A number of people have apparently moved from San Francisco and other high-cost Bay Area towns, and some have moved to the Sierra Nevada, including the Lake Tahoe area. and the entire strip along I-80, including Truckee. , now that they “work from home” and can take a daily ski break between Zoom calls.

The healthcare industry has done the same: use technology to avoid contact, thereby making a lot of basic things simpler and cheaper. At our health care provider, we could always make a phone appointment with a doctor. It was free and fast, and often all that was needed for minor things, and saved the time and cost of “going to the doctor”. It was an option.

Today, telemedicine – or “virtual care” – has become one thing. Making video appointments is now encouraged. Prescriptions are filled online and delivered. When that’s all you need, it saves time for the patient and the healthcare provider.

Obviously, telemedicine still doesn’t work for many medical issues, but the routine issues that doctors spend a lot of their time on can be treated this way.

Only some of these technologies are visible to patients. For healthcare providers, this meant investing in video tools and other technologies and the infrastructure needed to support them at scale.

The pandemic has also pushed even reluctant consumers and businesses to engage in e-commerce. In the fourth quarter of last year, when physical stores were open almost everywhere, e-commerce sales jumped 32% from the previous year.

UPS package deliveries nearly doubled to 34 million packages per day, Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer, told an event at The Wall Street Journal. And the company has had to adapt and evolve its digital technologies to cope with it. The pandemic has brought about some of the most significant changes in the company’s history, he said.

The entire e-commerce sector, possibly the biggest beneficiary of the pandemic, has invested huge sums in technology and infrastructure to cope with the surge in demand.

This now includes ski resorts and grocery stores and other previously unlikely e-commerce suspects. They won’t go back to the old standard, and neither will their customers.

While many office workers who are now working from home will eventually return to the office, the old days of nine to five every day on an office farm are over for many employees. Companies have invested in technology to be successful with their hybrid work-from-home models, and they are cutting costs where possible by reducing the real estate footprint and associated costs.

People who enjoy working in an office can turn to employers who encourage or demand it. People who enjoy working from home can turn to employers with hybrid models. Companies will make one or the other a selling point when recruiting talent. This is how it will go away.

It will take years to address the problems that these sudden and often massive changes leave behind. But from what I’ve seen, many of the changes are positive and should have happened a long time ago – and only inertia kept them from happening.

Do you like reading WOLF STREET and want to support it? You use ad blockers – I fully understand why – but want to support the site? You can donate. I really appreciate it. Click on the mug of beer and iced tea to find out how:

Would you like to be notified by email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Register here.

Bad Credit Cards – Signs Are Everywhere: Businesses Have Changed Permanently Due To The Pandemic

Source link

About Nereida Nystrom

Check Also

The (mostly) bad news about prepaid cards

Make sure you understand the fees before getting a prepaid card, as that might not …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *