Get the Alexa Toolbar Extension for your SEO

The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

One of the worst toolbars is Alexa’s. It slightly slows down browsing, it’s Spyware (Spybot Search and Destroy will remove it unless you tell it not to), and it has an unremovable icon link to Amazon?

So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.

It’s not the “pop-up blocker” – we already had one of those – right? And it’s not that it displays related links, site contact info or site traffic stats – although that’s not completely worthless I guess. . .

It’s simple. The Alexa “spyware” toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does Google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the Googlebot has already come by without any inbound links!

Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.

Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).

If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.

That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.

Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.

Just a reminder to make sure you have the Alexa toolbar plugin installed. It is an important tool among others. But I consider the Alexa tool the most important plugin for Internet Marketers.

Install Alexa Tool Bar


Deb Williams 

Markethive Entrepreneur

I am a Writer for the Market Network and Crypto/Blockchain Industry. Also a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech.  I embrace "Change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals. 

Chris Corey

How To Define Your Target Audience

How to Define Your Target Audience 

“One of the biggest mistakes that novice personal branders make is trying to appeal to everyone. Think about the game of darts: You have to aim in order to hit the board. (If you let your darts go without aiming them, you probably won’t be very popular.) If you hit the board, you score. And if your aim is very good and you hit the bull’s eye, even better!”

Susan Chritton (@SusanChritton), Personal Branding For Dummies

You know that defining a target audience is a business best practice. But defining a target audience is a best practice for anyone that needs others to give them something. It might be a salary, an investment or money in exchange for a product or service. Whenever you need something from someone you go through at least some of the steps in defining a target audience.

We go through the target audience process even at an early age. Think back to when you were a kid. When you wanted a treat you went through the target audience process. You knew that your dad probably wouldn’t be the one to approve your request so you went to your mom and you made sure to catch her in the right mood.

That’s an example of defining your target audience. It’s a basic example, but businesses go through that process so they have more success. It doesn’t make sense to try to please everyone. Your time, energy and money are better invested in a target audience. And that goes for defining the target audience for your personal brand too.

In this chapter we’re going to take you through the steps you’ll need to follow to define the target audience for your personal brand. We’ll cover a few of the basics, but we’ll also include more advanced steps for making sure you’re targeting the exact people that can help you achieve your goals.

Building Relationships: Give A Lot To Get A Lot

We asked Yaro Starak of the following question:

If you were building an online presence from scratch today, what 3 things would you consider to provide the biggest ROI on your time and money?

The items on his list were focused on the idea of an audience:

In terms of ROI, the most important three things if I was starting from the beginning are

  1. I’d first focus on establishing a crystal-clear empathy with the audience I was planning to serve, so I know what their problem is, how they feel about it and what they currently do to try and solve it. The best way to learn this in my experience is in person, over the phone or a distant third is via monitoring discussions in groups, blog comments, forums, and social media.

    If I don’t do this step well, I won’t have an audience or make any sales down the line, so it’s the vital first step for ROI.

  2. Once I know my audience I would craft a clear offer based on the position I want to take within an industry and focus on making sales as soon as possible. In my case, since I know blogging and email marketing, that offer would be reflected in the new blog and newsletter opt-in form I would set up, as well as the email sequence and blog posts that follow. All these things lead people to the product or service I was selling so I could attract buyers.

    I want to know I have buyers before I build out the rest of my platform and cement my brand.

  3. Assuming I’ve done these tests and I know I have a buying audience, then my focus is simple – improve traffic and conversion. I expand what is already working, add more traffic sources, make more offers and run split tests to improve results.

This guide is about building your personal brand so it’s naturally going to focus on what you can do to help yourself. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your status in life and achieve the goals that will make you happy.

But for this chapter, the focus shifts a bit to building relationships with your target audience. Relationships are essential to living a fulfilling life. In fact, studies have shown that we need people to be well and to thrive. Without people, all the money in the world wouldn’t make you happy.

The cliché in the world of relationships is: You Get What You Give. We all focus on our families and ourselves. It’s natural and it’s okay, but if in order to have good things come to you, such as quality professional relationships, you need to give to the people that you want to connect with.

We’re going to go through a step in this chapter where you will focus on the motivations of your target audience. The reason for this is for you to focus on what others want from you. Once you know what that something is you can give it to that person and show that you have their best interests in mind.

In life and in business, when you help others achieve their goals they’ll be more likely to help you achieve yours. You want something from your target audience, but in this chapter, you’ll only get what you give.

The Person That Will Pay You

There are basically three people that fit into your personal brand’s target audience:

  • The Person That Will Pay You

  • The Person That Influences The Person That Pays You

  • Your Supporter

The first person on the list, the one that pays you, is your main focus. This might be your current boss or your next boss. It might be the target customer of your current business or your next business. It could also be an investor or a bank.

When you have your vision and you have a good idea of the person that will pay you and help you get to your goal. These next steps will take you through the necessary process of refining your target audience to make your brand implementation more effective.


(Boss, Investor, Client, etc.)

OK, we have laid out a path to your ultimate career goal. There are steps along the way to help you achieve that goal and along that path, there will be people that will determine if and when you can take it to the next level.

If you’re looking to reach an executive level with a company then the person that decides how you move up in the business is each of your bosses along the way. For example, you might start as a sales associate. Your target audience is your immediate superior or the lead salesperson in your sales team or division.

Identify the person that is in charge of the next step in your career. It might be an investor. It might be a client. Or it could be the boss we just mentioned. It could be a specific person that you have in mind or it could be the vision of a person. Whatever it is, identify that person and move to the next step.


Next, create a complete description of the person. Marketers and business leaders do this all the time with their customers. They put comprehensive descriptions together of their target customers to create detailed, vivid images of the exact person their employees will think about when making every decision in the business. Now, you will do the same with your target audience.

Open a document and start writing the description. Include things like:

  1. Name

  2. Age

  3. Gender

  4. Job Description

  5. Hobbies

  6. Etc.

Go into extreme detail. Talk about the daily tasks the person does at their job. Talk about they do on the weekends with their family and friends. The more details you can include the easier it will be for you to target this person as you implement your personal brand strategy. Go as far as including a photo of the person. If it’s a real person, find their photo. If it’s not a real person, find a photo online that fits your vision and include it in the profile.


(Professional And Personal)

As you build the profile of your target audience you’ll get inside their head and figure out their motivations. This is important because, as we said earlier, when you know what this person’s motivations are you can help them achieve their goals as a way to achieve your own goals (you get what you give).

For example, if your target audience is your current boss, the sales team leader. Their motivation might be two-fold: 1) move up to the next position in the business, which is probably regional sales manager or a similar position and 2) more free time to spend with his or her growing family.

Knowing these motivations, you can help your boss achieve his or her goals. You can lead new initiatives to increase sales across the team. You can improve the efficiencies of processes to cut down on time spent in the office.

Another example, your target audience is your next new client. Your client’s motivation is to grow their business, which means more sales and more profit. If you can help your client achieve those goals they’ll be happy to pay you for your products and services, which helps you achieve your goals (you get what you give).

Identify the motivations of your target audience and from there you can identify your opportunities to help them and improve your position on the way to your ultimate goal.


Once you know what motivates your target audience it’s time to formulate ways to help them achieve their goals, thus helping yourself achieve your own goals. You can do this on your own, but another way to find opportunities is to go to your target audience and have a conversation with them.

For example, if you’re on the sales team and you want to help your boss, the sales team leader, achieve a sales goal, go to him or her and discuss what the goals are. Discuss ways that the team has succeeded in the past. Ask about any ideas the team has had recently for increasing sales. This conversation will bring opportunities to light and you’ll know exactly what you can work on to achieve results.


Next, leave the meeting and put together a game plan for taking the opportunities and achieving results. Look at the way others have done things before you. There is no reason to start from scratch. Look for examples within your company. Look for examples outside your company. Take the things others have done to achieve results. See if there is room for any improvements. Then start taking each step to achieve the desired results.

Once you’ve achieved the results you can go back to your boss and discuss the specific steps you made to help the team and to help him or her. This kind of specific improvement in your professional career is what will lead to you moving up and achieving your ultimate goal.

The Person That Influences The Person That Pays You

“When building your personal brand, the key point is that you should have a set of 10 to 20 influencers that you are targeting in order to extend the reach of your content and personal brand.”

Amanda Maksymiw (@AmandaMaks), Content Marketing Institute

The number one person that you’re targeting with your personal brand is the person that will pay you: employer, investor, client, etc. However, that’s not the only person in your target audience. The second person on your target audience list is the person that influences the person that pays you.

Influencers include any person that holds another person’s attention in some way. It might be a business partner. It might be an industry writer or an industry speaker. It could be a mentor, client or vendor. These people hold attention and influence the decisions that your number one target audience makes. And that’s why you need to pay attention to the influencers. If you can earn their trust, their approval then you can win them over and they can influence the person that will pay you.

We asked Pat Flynn the following question:

If you were building an online presence from scratch today, what 3 things would you consider to provide the biggest ROI on your time and money?

His response included a note about influencers:

  1. Free content that is obviously worth paying for.

  2. A product or software of my own that would serve my target audience by providing a solution to a very specific need.

  3. Free, higher-level help to influencers in the industry to start to build those important relationships.

  4. Here are the steps to follow to identify the influencers and win their approval.



There are a few ways to figure out the people that influence the person that pays you.

First, look at the social media profiles of your target. If it’s a real person you can look at theirs and if it’s not a real person you can identify a handful of people that fit your description and look at their social media profiles. You’re looking at the people this person is following or connected with. Twitter is a great indicator for this especially if your target is active on Twitter. The people they follow are people that occupy their attention. Also, look at connections on LinkedIn. These two social networks are usually the two most commonly used by professionals.

Facebook is no longer relevant in business.

Markethive is the new rising star of entrepreneurial professionals

Next, look for online publications that have readership demographics that match your target from the first section. Professionals usually have industry magazines and websites that they follow and subscribe to. The writers on these sites hold great influence over your target, but also pay attention to the people included in the articles. Industry publications often contain quotes, interviews, and mentions of people in the industry including business owners, managers, consultants, and others. These could also be influencers of your main target.


Create a description of each person that influences your target. Make a description for each of the important connections on social media as well as the people involved in the publications. These descriptions, like the ones in the first section, will help you to better understand who these people are and how you can earn their trust and get them to mention you when talking to your target.


Once you understand who the influencers are and where they are online you can put together your contact plan. This will be your way to connect with the influencer and help them with the things that motivate them.

The basics would include connecting on social media like LinkedIn and Twitter. It also includes following any blogs the people write or contribute to. Follow the blogs, comment on the articles and make yourself visible to the influencer.

The next step is to get more aggressive with the way you reach out to make connections with influencers. Now you’ll start using contact forms and emails to reach out and connect. You’re looking to build a relationship with the influencers so you can be top of mind when they’re influencing the person that you want to pay you.

Think back to the motivations discussion in the earlier section. You need to figure out what motivates these influencers. If their business peers of your target then find out what would help them make more sales. If they’re vendors then figure out how to help them get more clients or figure out how to help them improve their standing with your target. If they’re writers then figure out how to help them get more page views. When you know what motivates people, you have a better chance of making a connection.

Your Supporters

“In my Amazing Career Project coaching program and in my client work, I’m fortunate to witness first-hand hundreds of dreams and visions being birthed into the world – new products and services, new businesses launching, new books and films under development, new methods for teaching, leading, and educating, and more. There is so much creativity and innovation today in our world—it’s inspiring.

I’ve also seen many new inventions and ideas die on the vine without the proper support, encouragement, and feedback. The most important form of support that keeps an idea going and brings it into being is your support network—your “ambassadors”—people who believe in you without reservation and spread the word about the value and importance of your endeavors, and open crucial doors for you”.

Kathy Caprino (@KathyCaprino), Forbes

Finally, we have to remember your support team. These are the people that support you in your effort to move through your professional plan to achieve your brand vision. Supporters can include family members, friends, colleagues, co-workers, mentors and anybody that can offer support as you work your way to your vision.

The team is important because you can believe in yourself, but it’s good to have people providing reassurance when you get frustrated. It’s good to have people there to tell you the truth if they see something in your effort that they feel could be better. You’re only one person and without supporters, you won’t have all the tools necessary to achieve your goals.


(Markethive is designed to build and support your team along with collaboration and publishing. A huge advantage)

The first step is to simply identify your support team. We just mentioned some of the potential people that can make up your support team. Reach out to a select few that you trust the most. You want these people to be both support, but honest when dealing with you. You don’t want a group of “yes” people that only agree with what you’re doing and what you think is best. You want people that will challenge you and push you to be your best.

Chances are good that most of the people you reach out to will be open to your professional goals and they’ll be willing to help you. Let them know that it will require conversations and feedback on their part and that it will last for a long time. Most will agree, but don’t be offended if not everybody agrees to help.


Next, once you have a handful of people on your support team you tell them what your goals are. These are the goals you established in the first chapter of this guide. Share your plan with your support team so they can see your vision. Ask them for feedback on your goals. Some might question parts of your plan and that’s good. The purpose of the team is to challenge you and to provide different perspectives on what you’re trying to accomplish.


Next, set up regular updates with your support team. Monthly might be good for those closest to you, but it might be much for those that are less close. In general, quarterly or even every six months is good to keep your supporters updated.

You want to tell them how your progress is going. Tell them the specific things you’re working on and how it’s going to contribute to achieving your professional goals. They’ll give you feedback and encouragement, which will be important because you’ll run into setbacks along the way and knowing that you have people supporting you is great.

The updates will also keep you motivated. People can be motivated on their own to do well and you probably are, but it’s good to feel like you have other people watching you. This gives you an added benefit to keep moving forward, to keep working on those projects to make each step along the way.

Give Back To Your Supporters By Asking Questions

It’s not a one-way street with your support team. People want to help you, but to get the most out of the relationship you’ll need to reciprocate the efforts for them. They might also have goals for their professional life and you can work together to help each other reach those goals. You can be each other’s support team. You can offer advice, criticism and challenge each other.

Another common thing that professionals are doing today is setting up their own groups or boards. It might be a group of startup entrepreneurs that meet every quarter even if it’s a Google Hangout or something like Markethive’s collaboration groups where they go over the important aspects of each other’s businesses. They check-in with others and report on progress, but they also ask questions and get opinions on strategy. It’s a real help for professionals because you get input from successful people on what you’re doing and it also keeps you motivated because you want to do well each time you check-in with your group.


Thomas Prendergast
CEO Founder Markethive


Deb Williams 

Markethive Entrepreneur

I am a Writer for the Market Network and Crypto/Blockchain Industry. Also a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech.  I embrace "Change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals. 

Chris Corey

What Is Content Marketing?

What Is Content Marketing?

Useful content should be at the core of your marketing
Content is the core of Inbound Marketing

Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute; as a forward-thinking marketer, you know there has to be a better way.

Enter content marketing.

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.

Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.

Content marketing is used by leading brands

Research shows the vast majority of marketers are using content marketing. In fact, it is used by many prominent organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.

Here is just one example of inbound marketing “content marketing” in action:

Content marketing aka “Inbound Marketing” is good for your bottom line — and your customers

Specifically, there are three key reasons — and benefits — for enterprises that use content marketing:

  • Increased sales

  • Cost savings

  • Better customers who have more loyalty

Content is the present – and future – of inbound marketing

Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day.

Marketing is impossible without great content

Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, inbound marketing “content” should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:

  • Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.

  • SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.

  • PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.

  • PPC: For PPC to work, you need great content behind it.

  • Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.

  • Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.

To be effective at inbound marketing (content marketing), it is essential to have an automated marketing system that embraces and enhances your marketing strategy. Join Markethive to learn what questions to ask and how to develop your strategy.

What if your customers looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if when they received it, via print, email, website, they spent 15, 30, 45 minutes with it? What if they anticipated it and shared it with their peers?

If you are intrigued and ready to learn more, we can help. Here are a few effective ways to engage:

New to inbound marketing? Join Markethive where we deliver printed, video and live educational seminars to get you acclimated and up to speed.

Need an inbound marketing strategy?
Check out our blog @–inbound-marketing-strategy-in-24-hours


Thomas Prendergast
Chief Marketing Officer


Deb Williams 

Markethive Entrepreneur

I am a Writer for the Market Network and Crypto/Blockchain Industry. Also a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech.  I embrace "Change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals. 


Chris Corey

Swipe It 420 is a BlockChain based solution for the Medical and recreational Cannabis industry

Swipe It 420 is BlockChain based solution for the Medical and recreational Cannabis industry. We offer despensories a solution to help with Seed to sale tracking, Cannabis POS Solution, as well as the ability to conduct transactions using all four major card brands. With the relationships set up with Green Box POS and Mtrac solutions conducted over their Pantented process within BlockChain.

U.S. cannabis companies are forecast to bring in as much as $10 billion in retail sales this year, according to the Marijuana Business Factbook 2018. But much of that money will go unbanked by financial institutions wary of possible sanctions for servicing businesses considered federally illegal.


However, as more states legalize cannabis, regulators and lawmakers are scrambling to address the banking issue. Proposals around the country include:


Privately funded banks just for the marijuana industry.

 “Closed-loop payment processing systems” that would function similarly to prepaid debit cards.

A state-owned bank.


A significant challenge is that banks that serve marijuana businesses – both recreational and medical – must follow a complicated patchwork of federal guidance, memos and costly compliance rules. Otherwise, they risk losing their charter.

That’s left many banks sitting on the sidelines, said James Thurston, a spokesman for the Ohio Bankers League.


“We do have many banks that have an interest in banking these businesses,” he said, “but as long as there remains this conflict with federal policy, they remain very reticent to go near marijuana businesses because there is just too much risk and work.”


Whether proposals being floated by lawmakers are the answer remains to be seen.


“The bottom line is that compliant cannabis banking requires full transparent supervision by a regulated financial institution,” said Nathaniel Gurien, founder and CEO of Fincann, a Manhattan-based payment solutions firm. “No solution is sustainable otherwise.”


Here’s a look at where some state banking proposals stand:


California wants banks just for the cannabis industry


Lawmakers in California will begin meeting this month to mull a proposal that would create privately funded banks just for the MJ industry.


In May, Senate lawmakers passed SB 930, a measure proposed by Democratic Sen. Robert Hertzberg that would create a state charter bank license for this purpose.


“The key goals of the bill are to start getting some of this cash off the street and to make it safer, easier and more efficient for government to collect it,” said Katie Hanzlik, press secretary for Hertzberg.


The state’s Department of Business Oversight would regulate the charter banks, and operations would be limited strictly to licensed cannabis firms and cannabis-related businesses.


The banks would be able to issue checks to account holders only to:


Pay state and local taxes and fees.

Pay vendors from California for goods and services provided to cannabis businesses.

Pay rent.

Purchase state, local bonds and debt instruments.

The measure is headed to the general assembly and will likely be referred to committees that meet throughout the month.


Ohio’s closed-loop payment plan stumbles


When Ohio’s first medical marijuana laws went on the books nearly two years ago, lawmakers touted plans to launch a “closed-loop payment processing system” that would function much like prepaid debit cards.


Under the legislation, medical marijuana patients and caregivers would have been able to deposit money to an account held by the state’s general revenue account.


Medical marijuana dispensaries, growers and testing facilities would also have accounts to pay bills, employees, buy products and pay taxes.


But that measure was voted down in committee in May, much to the appeasement of Ohio bankers.


“We were very skeptical from the beginning,” said Thurston of the Ohio Bankers League. “We knew Colorado had tried a similar approach, but it basically came down to the legal opinions that this system would put the state in direct conflict with a bunch of federal laws.”


The proposal’s failure in Ohio should be a signal to other states, Fincann’s Gurien observed.


“The challenge now is primarily just to get the word out so states stop wasting their time and resources on unfeasible public bank proposals and unsustainable short-term payment workarounds,” he said.


Banking woes in West Virginia could delay MMJ program


In West Virginia, the cannabis banking conundrum could force regulators to pump the brakes on the launch of the state’s newly adopted medical marijuana program, which is supposed to be underway by July 1.


Banks that work with the state “are unwilling to accept medical cannabis funds,” according to a May 10 letter from state Treasurer John Perdue to Gov. Jim Justice.


Perdue has proposed that legislators consider adopting either a closed-loop payment system or open a state-owned bank that would be operated by the state Treasurer’s office. Both options require legislative action.


Perdue noted in his letter that “each of the options are complex and have positive and negative attributes.”


Neither Perdue nor officials in Justice’s office could be reached for comment.


Michigan regulators hunt for help


Michigan’s newly regulated medical marijuana program has yet to fully launch, but regulators have said they want to keep the new businesses from operating on an all-cash basis.


In April, the chair of Michigan’s MMJ licensing board, Rich Johnson, said the state would begin meeting with vendors that offer payment solutions.


Among other groups, state regulators have said they plan to meet with the Michigan Bankers Association, Community Bankers of Michigan and Michigan Credit Union League to discuss “the needs of the banking industry in order to feel comfortable establishing business relationships” with cannabis firms, said David Harns, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.


Those meetings, however, have yet to be scheduled, Harns noted

Chris Corey


Swipe It 420

Chris Corey

Swipe IT 420 Offers POS And Merchant Solutions To Cannabis Industry

Swipe IT 420 Offers Immediate Funding For Cannabis Industry

Technologies that provides secure cashless solutions that not only make it easier for people to manage their business and purchases but reduce overhead costs for businesses. Each of the products is designed and built in-house, using patented blockchain technology. One of the many revolutionary features of our products is the power to complete transactions almost instantaneously. When cashless transactions take place on our network, the exchange is immediate. There is no third-party intermediary, no banks, or pending purchases. All funds move swiftly and securely throughout the GreenBox network via cash, credit, or ACH, with immediate settlement.

Chris Corey

Anthony Martin


Chris Corey

Swipe It Pro To Launch Blockchain- Based Banking Solution

MoneyTrac Technology, a subsidiary of Global Payouts Inc., today launched its blockchain-based banking solution,Swipe It Pro has become an ISO for MTRAC. MTRAC will provide a full-service banking solution powered by GreenBox blockchain technology, targetting the unbanked and, in particular, the legal cannabis industry in California and other states that have recently legalized recreational use of the substance.

MTRAC CEO Vanessa Luna said, in a statement, “The goal of MTRAC, from the beginning, has been to leverage the different technologies available to us to remove the use of cash as the primary form of payment throughout the cannabis industry. While other companies have struggled to find supportive financial solutions, MTRAC opted with Swipe It Pro to take a different approach and one that has relied heavily on the use of blockchain technology to address this problem for a massive and growing industry. I am extremely excited to see MTRAC, our payment solution, officially launch next week. Once this happens, I am confident that every dispensary desiring legitimacy and transparency will jump on board and provide us with a number of new clients to serve.”

Many dispensaries and other members of the emerging legal cannabis supply chain have been unable to receive traditional banking services due to the legal uncertainty created by differences in state and federal law. Where the former has legalized the sale and use of cannabis, the latter still treats the drug as dangerous and illegal to sell or transport across the United States, according to the company’s statement.  

Despite many potentially lucrative clients seeking banking and other financial services, fear of regulatory action for allegedly facilitating illegal activities has kept US banks on the sidelines in this rapidly growing industry, said the company. Greenbox blockchain technology offers to fill this void, in addition to creating an immutable ledger of sales and transactions and helping to reduce fraud and theft in an industry that would benefit from additional supply chain monitoring and a reliable cashless method of processing payments and remittances.

Chris Corey Anthony Martin

Swipe It Inc


Chris Corey

Michigan Cannabis



Recreational marijuana will become legal on the books in Michigan starting Dec. 6, according to an official with the Secretary of State office.

Fred Woodhams with the Secretary of State office in Lansing tells 13 ON YOUR SIDE, the State Board of Canvassers will meet Monday, Nov. 26 and the new law will officially take effect Dec. 6.

The law takes ten days after the election results are certified. But marijuana won’t be commercially available for sale until probably early 2020.

The Detroit Free Press reports this in part because the state must still put regulations in place and issue licenses for recreational sales. “It’s not going to be an earth-shattering change,” said Jeffrey Hank, the East Lansing attorney who was one of the leaders of the effort to get the legalization question on the ballot. But after certification, “Adults will no longer be arrested for simple possession and use of marijuana.”

The recreational proposal once certified will:

  • Allow individuals age 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.
  • Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.
  • Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses, including growers, processors, transporters and retailers.
  • Allow municipalities to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.
  • Permit commercial sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles through state-licensed retailers, subject to a new 10-percent tax earmarked for schools, road and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

Read more:

Medical marijuana shops could run out of pot

Prosecutor dropping pot cases after Mich. vote

Growing marijuana at home in Mich. will be hard

Proposal 1 was approved by voters in Michigan on the Nov. 6 election.

Michigan will become the 10th state in the nation and the first in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use, joining California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Washington, D.C.

Some college campuses in Michigan have been reminding students that marijuana is still banned on their campuses.

Chris Corey


Contributor: Mike Thompson

Chris Corey

Surcharge is NOT the same as Cash Discount

I’ve witnessed a recent spike in interest in cash discount programs. I’ve heard from our sales executives and partners that business owners increasingly are asking about cash discount programs. Google Trends data indicates that searches for “cash discount program” doubled in the second half of 2017.

This activity made me wonder, why the sudden interest in cash discounts? After all, cash discounts have been around for many years. It also made me curious about the interest in cash discount programs compared to convenience fees and surcharges, which have grown in recent years. Upon reflection, I came to realize that, when implemented properly, cash discount programs combine the most attractive elements of cash discounts and surcharges in a single program.

The topic of cash discounts and surcharges can make your head spin, as they are subject to many specific laws and rules. So, what is a cash discount and is it the same thing as a surcharge?

A cash discount is a reduced price paid by customers who use cash or check rather than a credit or debit card. A surcharge is an extra charge that applies to customers who pay with a credit card rather than other forms of payment, including debit cards, cash and check.

The payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard have specific rules for surcharges to comply with a settlement with the U.S. government in 2012. In addition, ten states prohibit surcharging.

Cash discounts are permitted according to U.S. law and Visa and MasterCard rules. One way of implementing a cash discount program is gaining popularity. Businesses post signs indicating that a service fee such as 3% will be added to all posted prices, but the fee will be waived for those who pay with cash or check. In other words, the fee will apply to purchases made via credit card, debit card and prepaid card – anything except cash or check.

The service fee can offset the costs of processing card payments, yielding significant cost savings for merchants. While surcharge programs are limited by rule to credit cards, cash discount programs have the advantage of offsetting the costs of debit card payments as well. Of course, they also motivate more customers to pay with cash and check. I believe this explains the recent interest in cash discount programs.

Is a cash discount program right for your business? That depends on many factors, as discussed in this blog post.

Chris Corey 

Swipe It Inc


Chris Corey

Understanding Cash Discount With Swipe It Pro

Cash discount processing with Swipe It Pro allows merchants to eliminate up to 100% of their processing fees by adding a small service charge to the credit card transaction at the point-of-sale, or fully discounting that service charge if a customer pays by cash. Cash discounting is legal in all 50 states and SIP uses patented cash discount technology to service its merchants. 
“Though cash discounting has been available for several years now, most merchants have not heard of it until recently. But once they understand the value, like saving hundreds of dollars per month in processing fees, or more, it’s really a no-brainer,” stated Anthony Martin, Swipe It Pro's Chief Financail Officer.

Said Chris Corey Nationa lSales Trainor, “For a sales person, the cash discount conversation breaks down the ‘rate’ barrier. So instead of talking about the few basis points they may be able to save a merchant, a sales rep can just talk about eliminating fees. And the attrition rate for merchants using cash discounting goes down significantly. Think about it: what merchant wants to go back to paying hundreds of dollars per month or more in fees after not paying anything? Not to mention the revenue opportunity for the sales person, typically three times that of a merchant not using the product.” 

Set-up for a merchant is easy Swipe It Pro provides all the needed signage for a merchant to be compliant and transparent, from point-of-entry to point-of-sale. Thousands of merchants around the country are offering a cash discount and reaping the financial benefits. But should a merchant decide the product isn’t for them,  Swipe It Pro will, without penalty, put them back on a traditional, fee based model. For more information, please call Chris Corey at 810-308-0872, or visit

Chris Corey