U.S. small business optimism is reaching a fever pitch in 2015, soaring 33% since 2009 following the depth of the Great Recession, but businesses still struggle with attracting and retaining customers.
Fiserv financial services technology solutions announced Heartland Financial USA has signed on to use its ReserveLink deposit reclassification solution. ReserveLink will help Heartland to generate additional investment income by greatly reducing or eliminating the need to maintain balances in accounts at the Federal Reserve. Using ReserveLink from Fiserv, Heartland, a $4 billion multibank holding company, sweeps transaction account balances into non-transaction accounts, converting low-interest bearing Federal Reserve account balances into earning assets. Heartland Financial uses the Signature™ bank platform, debit processing, ACCEL/Exchange® PIN debit network, Prologue™ Accounts Payable, Prologue General Ledger and a variety of solutions from Output Solutions at Fiserv.
The FDIC has proposed guidelines its claiming could save financially
vulnerable American families millions of dollars a year in overdraft
fees. Encouraging banks to offer customers lower-cost overdraft
alternatives rather than charge unlimited high-cost overdraft fees, the
proposal would require banks to contact customers incurring six
overdraft fees within 12 months and offerâand explainâless costly
options. The banks also would be discouraged from re-ordering
transactions to maximize overdraft fees. Banks and credit unions
frequently promote their most expensive form of overdraft coverage,
which typically imposes a $34 fee per overdraftâtwice the amount of the
typical debit card purchase that triggers an overdraftârather than
reasonably priced options like a low-interest line of credit or an
affordable small-dollar loan. Financial institutions earn $24 billion
annually from these high-cost programs. Citibank has never charged
overdraft fees on debit cards, Bank of America is stopping the practice
but Wells Fargo continues to charge over a billion dollars a year in
debit card overdraft fees.
With only 36% of students charging up their credit cards to pay tuition, college goers may be more responsible with their credit cards than generally thought. CardRatings.com and Chef2Chef.net culinary community and directory of culinary arts schools asked site visitors how much student loan debt is on their credit cards, to which 12% responded less than $5,000; 7% responded $5,000 to $10,000; another 7% responded $10,000 to $20,000; 10% responded more than $20,000 and 64% responded 0%. Those who use cards could miss out on tax breaks such as deducting student loan interest from income tax returns.
Lending Club U.S. peer lending network has been engaged by Mint.com to help consumers get out of credit card debt faster, pay less interest and keep more of their money for what really matters. Lending Club is a strategic partner in Mint.com’s newly launched Goals feature, which helps Mint users get out of debt and save to meet their other life goals. Lending Club offers personal unsecured loans for paying off high-interest debt at rates starting at 7.93 percent APR; which is 53 percent lower than the overall national credit card APR of 16.81 percent* and can translate into thousands in savings over the life of a loan.
OH-based underbanked service provider UniRush Financial Services has
renewed its relationship with Visa and will continue to offer the
“Prepaid Visa RushCard.”
UniRush will enable its “Prepaid Visa RushCard” products to participate
in Visa ReadyLink, Visaâs prepaid load network, extending the
convenience and security of reload services to RushCard members.
Once enabled, Visa ReadyLink will allow RushCard members to add funds to
their Prepaid Visa RushCards at nearly 50,000 locations nationwide.
RushCard recently unveiled a number of product enhancements which
include budgeting tools, text alerts, and an opt-in credit service,
through which members can report their transaction information to
LexisNexis and PRBC; credit reporting agencies and lenders can use the
information as a
supplement for applicants with no credit or little credit history. The
free and is included in the RushPath to Credit program, a program that
gain access to low-interest loans, and money management pages, which allow
members to track their spending, deposit and balance trends.
NJ-based TD Retail Card Services has acquired the private label credit
card program of Montreal-based jewelry retailer Birks & Mayors. Under
the agreement, TD will direct all facets of the program for the 37 Birks
stores, which are located in major metropolitan markets across Canada.
The Birks card can also be used for online purchases on the retailer’s
website, www.birks.com. Following the move to TD Retail Card Services,
Birks cardholders will continue to be able to avail themselves of a
number of financing options, including interest-free and low-interest
offerings, as well as a customer loyalty rewards program and a variety
of special incentives and services. Through the program’s rewards
feature, cardholders will continue to earn gift certificates equal to a
percentage of their total annual purchases. Additionally, cardholders
will continue to enjoy such benefits as free jewelry cleaning, gift
certificates on their birthday, free deliveries, free engraving of up to
10 characters with any purchase of $200 or more, and advance notice of
all Birks special events, promotions and sales.
TD Retail Card Services has acquired the private label credit card
program of Montreal-based Birks & Mayors
Inc., a leading operator of luxury jewelry stores in Canada and the U.S.
Under the agreement, TD will
direct all facets of the program for the 37 Birks stores, which are
located in major metropolitan markets across Canada and include six
flagship locations in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and
Vancouver. The Birks card can also be used for online purchases on the
retailer’s website, www.birks.com.
Following the move to TD Retail Card Services, Birks cardholders will
continue to be able to avail themselves of a number of financing
options, including interest-free and low-interest offerings, as well as
a customer loyalty rewards program and a variety of special incentives
and services. Through the program’s rewards feature, cardholders will continue to earn
gift certificates equal to a percentage of their total annual purchases.
Additionally, cardholders will continue to enjoy such benefits as free
jewelry cleaning, gift certificates on their birthday, free deliveries,
free engraving of up to 10 characters with any purchase of $200 or more,
and advance notice of all Birks special events, promotions and sales.
Bank of America’s newly announced acquisition of Merrill Lynch will
further boost the bank’s debit card dominance in the USA. At mid-year
BofA’s debit card volume leaped nearly 15% to $54.3 billion.
New research from TowerGroup finds that the BofA/Merrill deal also gives
the bank a special edge in the high-net-worth card business. Merrill
Lynchâs card rewards program targets customers with at least $500,000 in
assets, raising the cardholderâs standing based on cumulative purchase
thresholds. TowerGroup says that in the face of this week’s move by
BofA, large card issuers with top-tier global private banking groups â
including Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo â will need to reassess
their offerings to ensure relevance. But it is ultimately American
Express, which currently partners with Bank of America on its high-end
“Accolades” card, that is likely to feel the most pressure.
BOFA DEBIT CARD VOLUME
(purchase dollar volume)
2Q/07: $47.4 billion
3Q/07: $47.3 billion
4Q/07: $51.1 billion
1Q/08: $50.1 billion
2Q/08: $54.3 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
ABA President Edward Yingling has issued a statement conveying the Association’s disappointment with H.R. 5244 “Credit Cardholdersâ Bill of Rights.” In detailing the concerns, Yingling states, “In its current form this bill seeks to lock into law restrictions on fundamental risk management activities, the way interest is calculated, and other responsible business practices. The result will be higher costs for consumers, reduced access to credit for those with an imperfect or limited credit history, and less access to low credit options”.
A recent survey of 500 consumers conducted by Click4Credit.com.au has
concluded 69.2% of Australians feel ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac
banks are not providing the best credit card offers. Conducted through
Click4Credit’s credit card comparison website,
http://www.click4credit.com.au, the survey is reflective of high average
annual fees and higher interest rates paid by Australian credit
consumers compared to other national markets and the subsequent lower
interest rates/ reduced service fees on credit card products
increasingly available though smaller issuing organizations.
Click4credit.com.au specializes in the Australian credit card market and
is based in Brisbane, Queensland.
Fidelity National Information Services has released “Xpress Deposit” remote deposit solution. Remote deposit makes it possible for consumers to scan checks from any location they choose, using widely available flatbed scanner technology, and send electronic images of the items to their financial institution for processing. This service complements FIS’ highly successful Commercial Capture Xpress solution for businesses and merchants. Fidelity National Information Services is a provider of core processing for financial institutions; card issuer and transaction processing services; mortgage loan processing and mortgage-related information products; and outsourcing services to financial institutions, retailers, mortgage lenders and real estate professionals.