FL-based Debt.com has unveiled a new money map the ranks the current financial literacy and consumer debt behaviors of every state in the country by combining three major factors. The factors include: how well people in each state perform on financial literacy quizzes, financial habits and state laws on teaching the subject.
Frost Bank and Cardtronics announced a significant expansion of ATM locations available for Frost customers, who will have access free of charge to all 615 ATMs at Valero Corner Stores in Texas by August 15. Cardtronics retail ATM owner is an exclusive provider of ATM services for Valero Corner Stores. This will double the number of free ATMs for Frost customers and add to the 469 ATMs operated by Frost.
FSV Payment Systems network branded prepaid debit card products and processing services joined the fight to end hunger by partnering with networking food banks of Feeding America. The donations collected from the FSV Community of Giving campaign equated to 4,646 meals and will be shared by the Houston Food Bank and Second Harvest of North Florida in communities where FSV Payment Systems employees live and work. Additionally, the funds collected by FSV Payment Systems will support Houston Food Bank and Second Harvest of North Florida operations this fiscal year, including helping to acquire, process and distribute food to partner agencies; expand food programs; and increase community outreach and nutrition education.
SWACHA not-for-profit epayment association now shows a rewards program weighs heavily on consumers decisions when choosing a debit or credit card provider. Among consumers surveyed, 66% reported credit card rewards programs are important to them with 34% ranking them very important and 32% ranking them somewhat important. Although slightly lower than credit card interest, 21% said debit card loyalty programs are very important and 24% find them somewhat important to them when choosing a card. Debit cards are currently used by 26% daily, compared to only 15% using credit cards- among which 44% pay off their balance in full every month. Moreover, while 31% who earn between $25,000 to $45,000 hold at least three credit cards, 43% of those who earn $45,000 to $55,000 and 50% earning between $55,000 to $75,000, and 54% of those who earn $75,000 to $95,000 hold at least three.
The Members Group (TMG) payments solutions provider introduced its TMG “Retail Payments” client-service department. Created to address the increasing financial institutions now offering TMG’s ATIRA-brand suite of prepaid products, “Retail Payments” includes “ATIRAreload,” a Visa general-purpose reloadable card; “ATIRAgift,” a Visa open-loop gift card; “ATIRApay,” a Visa payroll card; and the “Coopera Card,” a Visa reloadable card designed specifically for Hispanic cardholders. TMG’s core products include credit, debit, ATM and a variety of ATIRA-branded prepaid solutions.
The majority of consumers faced with monthly debit card fees are likely to either switch payment methods or debit card providers. This, according to SWACHA not-for-profit regional electronic payments association, shows 93% would either use alternative payment methods or switch providers if charged a debit card fee, of which 36% would switch debit card providers, 21% would use credit cards, 20% would pay with cash and 16% would write checks.
Visa announced a new national promotion offering Visa cardholders the opportunity to win a trip for themselves and 10 friends to Super Bowl XLVI to witness first-hand all the sights, sounds and excitement of the biggest event in football. The “Visa You & 10 Super Bowl” Sweepstakes represents a key component of Visa’s integrated marketing campaign for the 2011 NFL season that will also include national advertising, social media executions, client and merchant activation programs, new NFL team relationships, and the seventh season of Financial Football, an educational program to promote financial literacy in high schools nationwide. Through Dec. 27, 2011, Visa cardholders in the United States will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for themselves and 10 friends to Super Bowl XLVI when they use their Visa card. The winner and all 10 of his or her guests will receive: tickets to the NFL Experience and Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Ind., roundtrip airfare and ground transportation, hotel accommodations, admission to a NFL-sponsored party, a meal with an NFL player, and a Visa gift card.
The Radiant Charity Corporation announced three 2010 Sprint for Cancer charity race events raised more than $135,000 for cancer-prevention organizations, bringing the total amount of dollars raised over the raceâs eight-year history to over $635,000. These were held Saturday, April 17 â Dallas, Texas â 5K and family fun run/walk â $20,000 raised for Young Texans Against Cancer; Sunday, April 18 â Atlanta, Ga. â 5K and 10K race â $100,000 raised for the Georgia Cancer Foundation; and Sunday, May 2 â Irvine, Calif. â Radiantâs California offices participated as a Sprint for Cancer team in the Cinco de Mayo 1K, 5K, 10K and half marathon – $14,000 raised for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Sprint for Cancer began in Atlanta in 2003, extended to Dallas in 2009 and now includes Radiantâs California offices in Huntington Beach and Irvine. In total, more than 1,300 participants and volunteers contributed to the success of this yearâs events.
Prepaid card provider NetSpend has released its âNational Spending & Savings Indexâ that
tracks year-over-year spending trends of almost one million consumers in eight âlifestyleâ categories.
For October, national spending trends saw the largest gains in the âGroceriesâ (+14.10%),
âPersonal & Professional Servicesâ (+6.14%) and âTravel & Entertainmentâ
(+5.44%) categories. The increase in the âGroceriesâ category may
demonstrate that consumers are continuing to eat at home rather than
going out to restaurants. The lifestyle category with the largest significant decline was
âFinanceâ (-6.57%). The decrease in the âFinanceâ category can likely be
attributed to a decline in ATM withdrawals, as the majority of all
dollars spent in the âFinanceâ category are attributed to ATM fees.
“The NetSpend National Spending & Savings Index” also surveys the average
balances in cardholdersâ NetSpend Savings Accounts. Savings trends for
the low- to moderate-income consumer across the nation are indicating
that while the number of savings accounts significantly increased, the
average account balance decreased. The October data show that the number
of accounts across the nation is up by more than 20,000. However, the
average balance of NetSpend Savings Accounts dropped from $26.10 in
October 2008 to $24.40 in October 2009. Researchers say this may
demonstrate that although customers are showing more intention to save
money, they simply donât have the funds yet.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged Dallas-based Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates debt collection firm with using deceptive practices to collect payments from consumers by mailing deceptive letters and unlawful telephone calls claiming legal action against debtors. From around the country since 2006, the Office of the Attorney General has received more than 75 complaints regarding the organization while the Better Business Bureau has received 72 complaints all alleging variations of unlawful engagement in debt collection efforts, during the same 30-day period debtors were given to validate their debts. The complaints include abuse, profane language and threats to garnish consumersâ wages or file liens against homesteads, in violation of the Texas Debt Collection Act. The attorney generalâs enforcement action is seeking civil penalties of up to $20,000 for each violation. Anderson, Crenshaw said this morning it has fully cooperated with the AG regarding any questions or requests for information they had regarding Crenshawâs business operations. Crenshaw said that at no time did the AG indicate that it was in any way unsatisfied with Crenshawâs response and cooperation.
TX-based Frost Bank has signed a new long-term participation agreement with PULSE EFT Association. As part of the agreement, Frost will utilize PULSE exclusively for PIN debit transactions at the point of sale and will establish an in-house processing connection to the network, enabling the bank to obtain signature debit processing services from PULSE and utilize the network as its exclusive gateway to other networks. Frost is the banking subsidiary of Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc., a financial holding company located in San Antonio, Texas, with assets of $12.9 billion at June 30, 2007. PULSE is one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks.
The Texas AG has filed lawsuits against Minnesota-based Lifetime Fitness and its subsidiaries for systematically exposing its customers to identity theft. Investigators with the Office of the Attorney General discovered that several Life Time Fitness facilities in the Metroplex area exposed customers’ personal identifying information by discarding customer records in easily accessible trash cans behind the stores. According to investigators, the records included names, addresses, Social Security and driver’s license numbers, and credit and debit card information. Because the defendants offer child care and youth recreational facilities, the discarded documents also included names and dates of birth of several minors.