Menu
Personal finance
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: Regulatory Catch-Up
The relationship between regulators and business is, to say the least, a tense one. By its very nature, the relationship requires that regulators constantly be playing catch-up to business, and because of this the two can easily get into some serious spats. With technology rapidly changing the way we move money around, and with a new and potentially powerful regulator on the scene in the form of the CFPB, these clashes could start to ramp up. This week we saw lots of newfangled fin-tech products and services — and some scams — and an expensive enforcement action from the CFPB.

This week was busy with cutting-edge alternative financial services. We spoke with Boom Financial (formerly M-Via) about its new round of funding, and its plans to build out the first cross-border mobile money ecosystem. It could potentially change the lives of millions of immigrants here in the States and their families back home. Openbucks, the company that allows users to turn gift cards into online cash (mostly for playing video games), closed a $4.8 million round of funding which will enable the company to…well it’s not clear yet. Also, PayPal purchased card.io this week. Card.io allows merchants to photograph customers’ credit/debit cards with smartphones in order to run payments; PayPal already has a mobile swipe dongle, making this a bit confounding, too.

And finally, it came out that an Australian bank is partnering with Facebook, to allow its customers to use the social network to do their banking. What could possibly go wrong?

The most rapidly-growing segment of the alternative financial services market is likely prepaid. And we saw a few new entrants to the market there, too. Pennsylvania’s PNC Bank launched a new prepaid card, which has a similar fee structure for Chase Liquid — one catch: you can’t load the cards at ATMs, making them substantially less attractive than Chase’s product. Kmart launched its own card too, and we didn’t like the looks of it. And Dollar General, not one to miss out on all the fun, announced that it will be selling Western Union prepaid cards.

In somewhat related news, GreenDot issued a warning that scammers are using its MoneyPak product to bilk the elderly. Scammers call people telling them that they’ve won some princely sum of money — but there’s a catch! They must first get a MoneyPak and give the scam artist some money…by telling them the account number. Speaking of scams, we learned from the Pew Charitable Trusts that people are not using payday loans for emergency purposes, but actually to pay for routine expenses like rent. Could it be that these extortionate loans put consumers into a debt trap they can never get out of? The CFPB is on the case…

And speaking of them, they laid the smack down in a way we had yet to see: the agency required that Capital One issue $140 million in refunds to consumers that it had pressured into or misled about unnecessary add-on services. Nicely done. The agency also expressed concern over the behavior of credit bureaus, and announced that it will be monitoring them, too.

If the CFPB is just getting around to credit bureaus right now, when will they catch up to all this other craziness — and what will they find acceptable?

Äë˙ ďĺ÷ŕňč

Weekly Wrap: Astrology is Bunk

Refinancing Your Mortgage Lines the Pockets of the Biggest Banks

Experian Unveils New Credit Score for the Underbanked

New Upromise Credit Card Gives 10% Cash Back at Major Online Retailers

The Best Experiences Your Credit Card Can Buy This Summer

Citi Offers New Way to Spend Rewards

Fed Study: CD Rates Are Less Attractive

Wells Fargo Raised Checking-Account Fee, Slashed Bill-Pay Fee

Weekly Wrap: Get Bullied, Get Rich

Taibbi: No Difference Between Banks and the Mafia

Why You Should Probably Raise Your Credit Limit, Especially When You Don’t Want the Money

Accounts Push Relationship Banking

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


Articles
Fed Report Shows Mobile Banking Empowers the Underbanked

Top Gas Credit Cards to ‘Refill’ Your Wallet

Prepaid Cards for Payroll Purposes: Fair to Workers?

Weekly Wrap: Mobile Banking’s Onward March

Banks Close Revenue Gap from Overdraft Fee Losses

Banks Lack Social Media Efforts… Oh Really?

SpringCoin: Out to Automate Credit Counseling

Could Student Loan Forgiveness Help the Economy?

Chase United MileagePlus Club Card Takes Flight

Caviar and Champagne With Your Checking Account?

Weekly Wrap: Cash Rules Everything Around You? Not For Long

SmarterBank’s Checking Account Helps Pay Off Student Loans

Chinese Furious Over Banking Fees

Banks Should Use Prepaid Cards to Hook ‘Em While They’re Young

Prepaid Travel Debit Card Provider Eyes U.S.

Sallie Mae Credit Card Helps Pay Back Student Loans

Post-CARD Act, Banks Shift to Prepaid on Campus

Weekly Wrap: Things Are Not as They Seem

Gen Y Eyes Retirement with Rose Tinted Glasses

Low Interest Rates: A Ticking Time Bomb?

Are Discover Partner Gift Cards Worth the Rewards Points?

Kony Solutions’ Branding Problem: Bank Software Firm Has Killer’s Name

Weekly Wrap: Fancy Gadgetry, No Money

Weekly Wrap: Millenials’ Big Day at the Races

UFB Direct Adds Money Market Account With 1.15% APY