Chase Card Services has announced "the expansion of Chase Clear & Simple, an ongoing program designed to help Chase customers better understand and manage their accounts, with the adoption of new, clearer pricing practices. Chase is eliminating a practice, commonly used in the industry, of increasing interest rates for individual cardholders when their credit-bureau scores decline. This change is effective on March 1, 2008."
Capital One and NetSpend have announced that "they have mutually agreed to the termination of their previously announced acquisition agreement and that they have entered into a Letter of Intent to expand their existing strategic relationship. As part of the expanded strategic relationship, Capital One intends to acquire a minority interest in NetSpend, a leading retail marketer of prepaid debit cards, along with an option to purchase additional shares of the company. In addition, the parties expect that a Capital One representative will join the NetSpend Board of Directors."
Bill Me Later has announced holiday deals including "free shipping at more than 80 merchants, extended payments, holiday travel promotions and exclusive discounts and offers from leading retailers." Consumers can visit http://www.billmelater.com to register for free shipping, find “Daily Steals,” read holiday shopping tips, and more information on Bill Me Later, which allows consumers to make online and phone purchases at hundreds of top merchants without using a credit card."
The Federal Reserve has announced Federal Reserve Consumer Help, a new centralized resource that consolidates and streamlines the Federal Reserve’s consumer complaint and inquiry program. Helpful customer service professionals are available to answer questions and assist with a wide range of issues relating to financial products and services and consumer protection laws.
The Electronic Payments Coalition says that, "with holiday spending expected to top $470 billion, the National Retail Federation predicts more than 70 percent of shoppers will primarily use electronic payments for their holiday purchases. Whether using a debit or credit card this holiday season, electronic payments provide a safe, reliable and convenient form of payment that benefits both consumers and merchants."
Chase Paymentech has announced it has launched an updated version of its Chase Paymentech Pulse Index to track online shopping activity throughout the 2007 holiday shopping season.
According to MasterCard's Worldwide Holiday Shopping Insights Report, "Black Friday was the busiest day for holiday shopping last year in the top five traditional gift-buying categories (brick-and-mortar department, discount, clothing, electronics/appliances and sporting goods/toy stores), with more than one- third of MasterCard payment transactions occurring before 10 AM Central."
Bob Tedeschi reports for the New York Times about ecommerce retailers adopting PayPal, Bill Me Later and Google Checkout as online payment options. One retailer quoted says "“So we’re a big supporter of these other payment methods. Somebody has to keep the MasterCards and Visas honest.”
The Identity Theft Resource Center has released a new report today discussing the impact of identity theft victimization. "This report was not based on a census survey but rather one that invited confirmed victims of identity theft in 2006 to respond to a series of 44 questions. These ranged from the emotional impact this crime has had on their lives and their ability to recover their good name to the financial loss to the business community in goods and services."
In an article titled 'Gift cards are go-to holiday present', Nichole Monroe Bell writes for the Charlotte Observer about gift cards - nothing that consumers are expected to "spend a record-breaking $35 billion on them this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation."