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GE Capital Purchasing MetLife Bank

Washington DC Might Divest from Bank of America, Wells Fargo

Miles By Discover Offers Relief to Noncommittal Travelers

Collection Agencies Resurrecting Old Debts Through Credit Card Offers

Treasury Doubles Purchase Limits on Electronic Savings Bonds

Cordray’s First Move as CFPB Head: Regulate Nonbanks

Weekly Wrap: Bank of America’s Worst Week Ever?

Dear U.S. Banks, Your Business Model Stinks

Shadow Banking Due for Some Time in the Spotlight

Weekly Wrap: Banking Slowly Dissolves?

Under the Roofs of Coffee Shops You’ll Find Your Online Bank

Brokerage Checking Still a Competitive Choice

Beware the Mirthful FOMC Meeting

Did ING Direct Customers Overreact to the Capital One Purchase?

No Balance Transfer Fee Offers Reappear But Hard to Exploit

Russell Simmons’ RushCard Lowers Fees, Is Still Bad

The Reason Why Freddie Mac Doesn’t Want to You to Refinance

New Bank Perks Cater to Tech-Savvy Customers

St. Louis Fed President: Raise Interest Rates

Whitney Warns: Banks to Banish Middle Class

Dime Savings Cites Regulations in Switch to State Charter

FDIC to Banks: Start Lending Again!

Weekly Wrap: Grey Days and a Sideshow

Weekly Wrap: Banking’s Spring Is Still Far, Far Away

American Express and Gen Y: BFF?

Weekly Wrap: Fancy Gadgetry, No Money
This week, the biggest names in financial technology were at a conference in San Francisco, showing off products and services to journalists, potential investors/partners and one another. Meanwhile, 8.9% of Bay Area residents are unemployed according to official numbers, meaning the actual percentage is likely substantially higher. Despite the booming tech industry, Bay Area residents have the same unemployment rate as the rest of the country — even a little bit higher. What is the use of all this technology if we have no money? This week’s news has some answers.

We started off the week with the sobering news that one in four millenials does not make enough money to afford the essentials. WSL Strategic Retail conducted the survey, as a way of estimating whether the retail industry should even be betting on millenials to be the consumers of the future. If we don’t ever make any money, perhaps it’s unwise for retailers to assume that we will one day. Graduating into a recession has a way of depressing lifetime earnings. Retailers might be wise to start taking out ads in AARP instead of Nylon Guys, or whatever.

Really no one knows just what to do with us, it seems. Prepaid appears to be one solution. American Express released a prepaid card specifically for college students this week. It will be sold through Barnes and Noble bookstores, and has a competitive fee schedule. Chase also got in the game this week, with a reloadable card of its own, called Liquid. Liquid has the convenience of a nationwide ATM network for users to deposit cash and checks on, for free. This might actually be unprecedented in the prepaid market, and could prove transformative — how is this different from a checking account?

But because banks care less about revenue from borrowing your money to originate loans with, and more about revenue from fees, they’re about as interested in finding ways for you to spend your money as they are in finding ways for you to save. In that vein, we learned that CapitalOne acquired BankOns, a merchant-funded coupon program that works through your bank account. And, Visa will bump up its no-signature swipe limit on debit and credit cards to $50.

As much as banks have tried to leverage technology to help their customers spend, customers have been leveraging technology to help them not spend. We wrote about the scourge of “showrooming,” where would-be customers use physical retail locations as showrooms for online shopping, by using smartphones to comparison shop. We also took a look at a mobile app called Urge, which tries to help users save toward financial goals they have. Instead of making your phone into a wallet, it turns it into a virtual nag — a reminder that you shouldn’t fritter your money away on worthless goods.

Finally, there’s ISIS, the carrier-backed mobile wallet, which added American Express credit cards and the Serve payment platform this week. Already with Chase, Capital One and Barclay, ISIS continues to make progress over Google Wallet, which currently only has one card-issuer locked down — Citi.

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Accounts Push Relationship Banking

Weekly Wrap: LIBOR Aside, You’re Still in Control


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