Voting records on EBT credit-card use examined
News from The Sun:

By Bob Katzen

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week.

Gov. Deval Patrick in July signed a law restricting the use of electronic-benefit transfer cards by welfare recipients. The law prohibits EBT cards from being used for strip clubs, products from adult bookstores and adult paraphernalia stores, firearms, ammunition, cruises, vacation services, body piercings, jewelry, rent-to-own stores and bail. Prior to this new law, only the purchase of alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets and tobacco products was prohibited.

The law also created a special Cashless Assistance Commission to study and report by Dec. 31 on the development of a cashless payment system under which all bills, including utilities and rent, would be paid directly by the card. The commission’s report is finalized but won’t be officially issued until the end of December. The Ripples Group, a private consulting firm, was paid $ 100,000 to conduct the study. It presented the commission with nine options ranging from making no changes to implementing a completely cashless system, under which all bills paid and purchases made would be made by use of the EBT card. Other options included a cashless system except for $ 100 cash per month; prohibiting card transactions at all ATMs; and prohibiting the use of cards out of state.

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Use of Credit Cards During Boxing Day Sale 2012 Increase 30%
News from International Business Times AU:

Retail therapy may be slow and down, but credit card transactions during the 2012 Boxing Day Sales nonetheless have increased by as much as 30 per cent for the National Australia Bank, it said on Thursday.

During the Wednesday mad dash for super huge discounts, NAB said it processed a total of 3,839,518 ATM, EFTPOS and debit and credit card transactions, at a peak transaction rate of 100 per second, versus the 2011 record of just below three million, at a peak rate of 80 per second.

Consumer watchdog Choice’s Ingrid Just surmised the jump in credit card transaction usage was spurred by people moving more into online shopping which, of course, requires a credit card if they wish to purchase anything. That, plus Australians are shying away from carrying lots of cash and using more of EFTPOS.

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