Bank of America’s Plan to Drive Mobile Banking Beyond 12 Million Users
As part of a drive to sign up more people for mobile banking, Bank of America is outfitting its teller stations with quick response (QR) codes that can be scanned by mobile devices to download the mobile app. The bank's current 12 million mobile subscribers are a fraction of its 58 million total consumer and business customers. The bank recently launched new services such as mobile remote deposit capture, person to person payments, expanded contactless payment functions, and a mobile component to its BankAmeriDeals merchant rewards program. Story by John Adams for American Banker.
How a Neighbor Stole Your Identity
The thief who stole your identity could live right next door, or in your own home. Many of the 10,000+ identity-fraud rings in the U.S. are neighbors, couples, and or entire families. The rings operated like this one in Ft. Lauderdale: A core group of five people, living at the same address, manipulating their own identities by changing one number in a Social Security number, transposing numbers in a date of birth or changing one name. Easily available crimeware is largely responsible for the lion's share of financial losses across the globe, according to FortiGuard, which says cyber criminals can make upward of $140,000 a month at it. Story by Jennifer Waters for the Wall Street Journal.
Credit Reporting Agencies Uncover Your Very Personal Information
Credit reporting agencies know much more about you than your number of credit cards or how much you owe on your mortgage. You may be surprised at the personal information collected by credit agencies and how many agencies are tracking your financial behavior. They collect and sell your information, providing reports that help determine whether you get credit, insurance and other financial services. In an effort to bring clarity to the reporting process, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently compiled a list of 40 specialty reporting agencies. This list provides contact information and how to obtain copies of your credit report. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
Elizabeth Warren is Picked for Banking Committee
Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren will have a seat on the Banking Committee based on her her previous role as a fierce watchdog of banks and Wall Street. The committee has jurisdiction over financial markets and banks. And it also has an important role in setting policy on other financial institutions, including credit unions, insurers and mortgage companies. Story by Bobby Caina Calvin for the Boston Globe.
Harvard-Trained Watchdog’s Eyes Focused on Bank Behavior
Economist Stefan Hunt is helping U.K. market regulators protect consumers from those who might profit from exploiting the biases, instincts and fears that prompt those poor choices. The problems come when people have difficulties in processing complex information, or from natural human tendencies like procrastination, and are made worse when products are opaque. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has already begun to put behavioral theory into practice in writing and enforcing rules for mortgages, credit cards and payday loans. Story by Kit Chellel for Bloomberg.
Expedited Appeal of Swipe Fee Settlement Denied
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by Home Depot and other merchants to speed up the appeals process in a class action settlement over swipe fees. The U.S. appeals court is postponing the briefing until the settlement receives final approval from the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. Litigation is pending in the District Court and a ruling is expected in 2013. In November, ten merchants and trade groups filed notice to challenge the settlement of the swipe fee price-fixing case in a federal appeals court. The deal was approved by Judge John Gleeson in a U.S.District Court on November 9. Story by Lynn Henderson for LowCards.com.
Dodd-Frank Technical Fixes Get Wary Reception from Law's Backers
U.S. lawmakers and lobbyists who once backed repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act are now pushing for technical fixes to the law. Many Democrats say they remain wary of measures that might undermine the law that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and mandated regulations to curb risky behavior by financial institutions deemed too big to fail. Changes, including a Republican proposal to replace the director of that bureau with a five-member commission, have lawmakers split along party lines. Story by Cheyenne Hopkins for Bloomberg.
LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.32 percent, slightly higher than the 14.31 percent last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.30 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.05 percent.