The vast majority of Americans (90 percent) recognize the importance that access to credit plays throughout their life, according to the new Chase Slate Credit Survey. However, when it comes to awareness of their personal credit health there are gaps. Nearly four-in-ten Americans (39 percent) admit they do not know their current credit score, and more than half (52 percent) do not know that paying bills on time is the factor that has the largest impact on their credit score.
With a highly banked population and a reputation around the world for being fiscally responsible, a new survey reveals that many Canadian consumers face challenges with the current ways they manage their finances, budget and pay for goods. As a result, Canadians from coast to coast are considering new financial tools to help them solve these problems and take control of their financial lives.
ACI Worldwide payment systems announced its newest version of ACI “Proactive Risk Manager” payments fraud detection and mitigation solution. This provides financial institutions enhanced behavioral modeling tools and performance testing capabilities designed to strengthen fraud detection accuracy and improve the customer experience. The “Proactive Risk Manager” puts more control in the hands of the fraud manager through flexible configuration tools and a new user interface (UI). It also improves operational efficiencies with a new user interface (UI) designed to reduce the learning curve for new users while making the experience more intuitive for frequent users.
One-in-four small businesses are planning to hire over the next six months, but only 45% have a positive outlook on the economy and their business, a drop from 51% in March and 55% in the year-ago period. Many business are in stronger financial positions thanks to cost-cutting and streamlining operations with only 53% reporting cash flow issues, down from 60% this spring, and 10% intending to hire full time employees in the next six months, doubling the spring figure. This, according to the American Express “OPEN Small Business Monitor” semi-annual survey of business owners now in its ninth year, shows confidence in the overall economy declined as 39% of business owners said they thought sales over the next six months would be higher compared to last year, vs. 34% in the spring. Additional findings show 40% use a social media platform, compared to only 10% last year; over 75% of those business owners looking to hire are doing so âto handle growing businessâ; 17% reported the morale of their employees has improved, nearly double from a year ago; 38% plan to make investments over the next six months; AND The number of businesses with cash flow concerns has dropped to pre-recession levels (53% versus 49% in fall 2007).
With 66% sad to see summer come to a close, 24% would be willing to spend up to $1,000 on a one-week summer extension. While 20% planning to head out of town for a long weekend getaway, 44% intend to spend the long weekend in the city entertaining family and friends or simply relaxing. These findings, according to a new poll from MasterCard “PayPass,” also show 29% disclosed they will miss the hot weather the most, 25% will most miss basking in the extra daylight and 22% will most miss summer activities. Additionally, 65% squeeze the most out of summer by stopping for gas before a road trip while 36% pack on Thursday for a weekend away and 35% stock up on summer supplies so they don’t have to stop to buy them before a long weekend or a weekend away.
Among small businesses, 48% are planning to make capital investments in their businesses this spring, up from 42% last fall and nearing spring 2008 levels of 53%. Meanwhile, small businesses that see the current economic climate negatively affecting business prospects rose from 24% six months ago to 29% and the number of entrepreneurs who see the economy improving with expanding opportunities for their businesses fell from 26% last fall to 18%. Among entrepreneurs ages 19 â 29, 72% are optimistic about their business prospects and the economy. Additionally, according to the American Express “OPEN Small Business Monitor,” 28% overall plan to hire, up from 23% in the fall of 2009. Also, 58% of businesses said they were âstaying afloat,â and 21% described their firms as âsinking ships.â However, an additional 21% said either the economy had not adversely affected their companies or they have grown in the rough economy.
Charge-offs on U.S. credit cards finished at 11.08% in February, one basis point higher than the January rate of 11.07%, while delinquencies fell to 5.91% to its lowest level since August. This, according to Moody’s Investors Service’s” Credit Card Indices Report,” also shows the February yield index of 22.23%, representing the highest monthly rate in the history of Moody’s index. With Base case expectation for the unemployment rate – a plateau in the second half of the year between 10% and 10.5% – and the expectation delinquencies will continue to improve, the charge-off rate is expected to peak at slightly lower than its long-held forecast of 12%. The trailing three-month average charge-off rate reached 10.82% in February, the highest level since September 2009. Meanwhile, excess spreads continue to receive significant support from issuer discounting initiatives and the strong yields and steady charge-off rates help catapult the excess spread index back above the 8% mark in February.
More than one-third of Canadians are seeking drastic measures to receive
a gift card instead of a bad gift this holiday season. In fact, 14% are
willing to wear a tacky holiday-themed sweater while 12% would consider
giving up chocolate for the season. This, according to a recent study
commissioned by American Express, also shows 56% would rather receive a
gift card than a gift basket (12%), home dÃÂ©cor (11%), jewellery (13%) or
clothes (13%) from the worst gift-giver they know. An additional 83%
like to receive gift cards because they enjoy choosing their own gifts,
29% have returned a gift they didn’t like, while the same number have
re-gifted a gift to someone else.
People are more drawn to loyalty card offers than ever before. Credit
card companies not taking advantage of consumer demandproportion of
credit cards offering a reward scheme declined by 11% from the previous
year. In 2009, 54% of cardholders claimed all or a large part of the
rewards they had earned, while in 2008 only 23% had made the effort;
only 10% of Clubcard holders have a Tesco credit card; there are
currently six in-store Tesco bank branches with approximately half a
million customers with savings accounts with a combined savings balance
of GBP4.6 billion and steadily rising, according to an August 2009
report from Sainsbury’s Finance. The initially attractive promise of 12
months interest free credit becomes less appealing when you consider the
sharp rise to 16.9% thereafter. The main purpose of credit cards is to
cover potential emergencies – the prohibitive rates of these store-cards
could cause long-term tragedy.
One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, the DJIA
504 point drop and the resulting “Credit Crunch,” American consumers
remain cautious on spending, shifting to more value. For example a new
survey reveals that one year ago the greatest number of consumers said
their top priority expenses were vacations (25%) and dining out (24%).
Today, only seven percent named vacations as a high priority and dining
was named as a high priority for only eight percent.
The findings come from the new monthly “American Express Spending &
Saving Tracker” survey which also finds 60% of consumers intend to spend
about the same or more in the next 30 days, (compared to the last 30
days), but 40% plan to spend less. Among the 40% who said they would
spend less in the next 30 days, the top three reasons were “trying to
save money,” “reducing debt,” and that they “have the money but feel now
is not the time to spend.” The survey also found that consumersâ intend
to strengthen their household balance sheet. When asked what they would
do with $500 of found money, one-third of consumers said they would pay
off their regular monthly bills. One-in-four said they would apply it to
pay off credit card debt or save it. The new AmEx survey was conducted
by Echo Research.
A recent survey of 403 Canadians reflected that two-thirds of consumers
use ATMs not owned by their bank at least once a month. If consumers
were given the option of paying an ATM fee or having less ATMs at their
disposal, 50% of those polled would choose the ATM fees and are not
interested in trading fees for convenience. Furthermore, according to the study conducted by Advanis, more than 25% of those polled use a competitive or out-of-network ATM three or more times a month.
Chase and Harris Interactive released the “Disney Rewards VISA Family Trends Report” which shows that 68% of parents who shop for the holidays say they plan to spend the same amount of money or more on gifts this holiday season versus last year. About 40% of parents who shop for the holidays are planning to accomplish 25% or more of their holiday shopping via the Internet. The “Disney Rewards VISA Family Trends Report” also found that 87% of parents who shop for the holidays feel that it is appropriate to give a child a gift card. In total, 68% of parents who shop for the holidays say they plan to purchase store-branded gift cards, while only 22% plan to purchase a general purpose pre-paid gift card.