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06 Dec 2011 11:23


Tech: Verizon blocks Google Wallet on “security” concerns

  • Read: Google’s product is competing with our product. Google Wallet has drawn a lot of attention in recent months for its end-to-end reinvention of the paying experience — one that, if it takes off, could make carrying around credit cards a thing of the past. However… the first phone on Verizon’s network that could support the technology behind Google Wallet, the Galaxy Nexus, has the software disabled. The company says they’ve blocked it in an effort to provide “the best security and user experience.” However… Verizon is working with AT&T and T-Mobile on a competing service, Isis, which has yet to launch. Perhaps that’s it? Yeah, we think so. source

19 Sep 2011 20:03


Tech: Google Wallet opens, but the odds you can actually use it are slim

  • good Google has both Visa and MasterCard on board for its next-generation digital payments system, meaning they have a built-in infrastructure.
  • bad While that infrastructure — in the hundreds of thousands of retail outlets — is pretty big, Visa and MasterCard reach tens of millions of retail outlets.
  • worse In the short-term, only one network — Sprint — sells a device that’s actually compatible with Google Wallet. Own a Sprint Nexus S 4G? You’re in luck. source

23 Oct 2010 19:41


Biz: Citibank’s multifunction credit card design misses the point

  • The new credit card?For the most part we’ve been using the same credit technology for 60 years, at least in the U.S. That magnetic stripe has proven pretty durable. So Citibank is introducing multi-button cards like these starting next month, which (among other things) will allow you to tie multiple accounts to the same card.

    What’s the point?Sorry, but we think that the design of the cards shown here is downright laughable, and technologies like Visa’s Paywave and Square are both out in the wild already and way more useful. We want less, not more, complication at the checkout. The new credit card isn’t a multifunction monster. It’s a cell phone. source

22 Aug 2010 10:06


Biz: The final stage of the Credit Card Act of 2009: The big changes

  • one The law limits the penalty fees on credit cards so that you’re not paying a $20 penalty for a $5 overage.
  • twoOther fees will disappear, too: You can’t get punished for not using your card for a while anymore.
  • threeAnd if you buy a gift card starting today, the balance will be active for a full five years after you buy it.
  • fourFinally, if a card company raises your interest rate for any reason, they have to tell you why. source

17 May 2010 10:36


Biz: Don’t expect credit companies to give up the war on card fees

  • They plan to keep fighting for them. The interchange fees, which merchants often complain about as being too high for certain transactions, could put a big crimp in Visa and MasterCard’s bottom line if regulated as part of a broader financial reform package. “We lost this battle. It’s a big battle,” said MasterCard’s President for U.S. Markets Chris McWilton. “But the war wages on and we’ll be working really hard over the next week or so to stop this.” If you own a small business, watch this battle. source

14 May 2010 10:55


Biz: Credit-card makers hit hard by the Senate’s debit-card changes

  • -8.5% decline in Visa’s stock since the Senate passed the changes last night
  • -7.5% decline in MasterCard’s stock; the amendment limits card fees source
  • » Other companies: Visa and MasterCard felt it the worst, but they weren’t alone. American Express and Capital One also fell sharply in trading this morning due to the amendment’s unexpected passage, which limits the fees card companies can charge merchants. It still needs to go through the House as part of the broader financial reform bill.

26 Mar 2010 11:18


Biz: Cost of a year in prison: Two million stolen debit and credit cards

  • 40
    number of card numbers Albert Gonzalez, 28, stole via hacking
  • 20
    number of years he’ll be spending in prison; privacy is cheap source

21 Feb 2010 10:58


Biz: College students will have a (necessarily) harder time getting credit

  • $1,879 amount of credit card debt the average college student had in the heady days of 1998
  • $3,173 amount of credit card debt the average college student had in 2008, which is a huge increase source
  • » So, what changes? A law that takes effect Monday will regulate the credit industry at large, but with the largest effect on adults under 21. They won’t be able to get credit without a parent’s signature and proof of other assets. The new policy will help limit high amounts of debt for college students, but may also hurt them, as many often use the credit to pay for necessities.

02 Jan 2010 17:36


Biz: Debit vs. credit: Some quick notes on using bank cards

  • With the new credit laws taking place in February and later this year, now’s a good time to start thinking about how to react to the changes now. As a result, debit cards will be in heavier use. But before you get started, here are some things to consider:
  • Introductory points:
  • 40% of credit card users pay their balances monthly – something important to note. Paying off said debt can help you avoid some of the larger interest charges
  • opt-in a change coming to overdraft fees in mid-year; the often-costly fees on debit accounts are responsible for $25-$38 billion each year in bank profits
  • Usage tactics:
  • debit Debit cards are easier for many consumers to acquire, and are a good cash replacement. They’re better to use for small purchases, but tend to have many fees.
  • credit The better your score, the better the credit. It’s easy to rack up heavy debt, but when used properly, they’re advantageous for larger purchases in particular.
  • Safety considerations:
  • In cases of theft By and large, you have more protections with credit – Visa and MasterCard protect consumers from all liability above $50. Debit cards will credit accounts as well, but it’s up to the bank, who takes responsibility for the loss.
  • In cases of disputes Again, users of credit have the legal advantage here – if a charge is disputed, you don’t have to pay while the charge is disputed. With debit cards, this is in the hands of the banks, not the consumer.
  • General protip If you use a debit card to make a purchase, don’t use the PIN. Instead, sign for the purchase. You get many of the same protections you would with credit cards, and you pay fewer fees for the privilege.
  • Other things to consider:
  • scores Paying back credit cards has a direct effect on your FICO score – important for large loans.
  • benefits Overall, you get stronger benefits – such as points – with credit cards than debit cards.
  • buffer Debit overdraft fees can come in handy if you’re short, but they can quickly add up. source

13 Dec 2009 11:10


Biz: Deal-packed retail credit cards sound good, but aren’t so great

Miss a payment with any of these cards, and the deals go away. They also can damage your credit score and have really high interest rates. source