Credit and Debit Card Use Adding Billions to Canada’s GDP

Posted by administrator | 09/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit and Debit Card Use Adding Billions to Canada’s GDP
News from The Epoch Times:

By Justina Reichel
Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 8, 2013 Last Updated: February 8, 2013

People walk by a window sticker advertising Visa and MasterCard credit cards Feb. 25, 2008, in San Francisco, Calif. A new study found that the growth in the use of electronic payment products like credit and debit cards added US$ 9.7 billion to Canada’s GDP over the past four years. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rarely use cash to pay for purchases? You may be helping to boost Canada’s GDP, a new study has found.

The growth in the use of electronic payment products, such as credit and debit cards, added US$ 9.7 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the past four years, according to the study, conducted for Visa by Moody’s Analytics.

“We can see from the data that the positive impact in economic growth is a direct result of card usage and is tied to the benefits electronic payme…………… continues on The Epoch Times

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Not safe to use cards in southeast Asia: Travel agents
News from Times of India:

CHENNAI: Credit cards may be the most convenient way to pay, but in some countries it is unsafe to use them. It is riskier to swipe cards in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia than in Europe, warn travel agents.

Many agents have an informal list of countries where it is risky to use credit cards because information can be stolen. Thieves often target tourists who buy electronic products, or visit pubs and clubs.

“We tell travellers not to use credit cards at clubs, pubs, casinos, department stores or small shops abroad. It is a risk to use ATM machines in Malaysia. There is no advisory available, but we get feedback from other agents,” said Basheer Ahmed of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India.

Reports suggest that top card issuing banks have been hit by a series of unauthorized transactions totaling Rs 30 crore by an international syndicate, which bankers believe steal information from retail outlets. Banks are on the look out for suspicious transactions and alert customers.

Soon after Imran Khan, a dealer of ceramic tiles, swiped his credit card to fill fuel for his car in Chennai, his bank called to tell that his card was used in Manila, Philippines, half an hour earlier to make a pu…………… continues on Times of India

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Jensen Beach man charged with grand theft, fraudulent use of credit card
News from TCPalm:

Harry Barbour

A Jensen Beach man has been accused of selling stolen jewelry and using a stolen credit card to buy gift certificates, according to arrest affidavits

Harry G. Barbour, 28, who lives in the 2400 block of Northeast Rustic Way in Jensen Beach and also is identified as Harry Gray Barbour Jr. on an official record, used a credit card taken from a Jensen Beach home in January to buy two gift certificates at a Winn-Dixie, one affidavit said. A third attempt to use the card at Walgreen’s failed, arrest affidavits said.

Then, on Jan. 31, Barbour allegedly sold jewelry stolen from a home in the 1200 block of Mossy Oak Way in Jensen Beach sometime between Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, according to a second arrest affidavit. Several of the pieces were located Monday at a Stuart jewelry store, according to reports.

Barbour remained at the Martin County JailFriday, charged with two counts of grand theft, two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, and one count each of giving false verification of ownership and dealing in stolen property. His bond was $ 45,000, according to jail records…………… continues on TCPalm

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Cautious Credit Card Consumption Traps
News from

Credit cards allow people to buy first and pay later. Consumers consider them a convenient way of paying for large purchases. In recent years, many people in China have gotten more than one credit card. But many of them have also found credit card promotions that may appear to be good deals could actually tempt them into falling into a credit card consumption trap.
Zhang Wan takes a closer look.


In recent years, various banks have been competing to issue credit cards, whose numbers have been increasing sharply in China. Such a high increase in the number pf credit cards has created a situation with some people holding a number of credit cards, some of which remain unused.

When answering the question of how many credit card they had, some said they had two or three, while others said they had dozens.

“You’ll be surprised by the number of credit cards I have. I’ve got more than 20 credit cards. As for these cards that I never get a chance to use, I only keep them in a…………… continues on

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Credit card surcharges: Why not to worry

Posted by administrator | 06/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Credit card surcharges: Why not to worry
News from

By now you’ve probably heard a lot about the recently permitted use of surcharges for consumers who use credit cards. Not a big problem. At least not in these parts.

There are a lot more reasons not to worry at this point than be concerned. Live in Massachusetts? The state law that prohibits surcharges is still there. Nine other states have restrictions on surcharges, too : California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Plus, retail behemoths Walmart and Target both have said they’re not going to assess the fees. It would take a lot of guts – and perhaps a dose of foolishness – to be a competitor of one of those stores and tack on a credit card surcharge, risking giving those two an even bigger price advantage.

If you see the surcharge being assessed online, consider sending a message by buying on a competing site. At a minimum, factor in that added 2-4 percent when compariosn shopping.

So, at least in the Bay State, we’ll still have our quirky cash discount at gas stations instead of credit card surcharges and we can’t be charged more at a store if we want to use a credit card…………… continues on

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BBB accepting complaints against retailers charging credit card fees without …
News from Michigan Business Review –


GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Consumers are being urged to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan or the Federal Trade Commission if a retailer charges a surcharge for using a credit card without proper warning.

The warning must come in the form of a sign near the entrance of the business and a receipt explaining the percentage and cost.

“Our goal is to educate people before something bad happens,” said Phil Catlett, CEO of the BBB of Western Michigan,

Just over a week since the new credit card rules went into effect, Catlett’s office hasn’t logged any complaints.

“I think businesses in general are going to be pretty cautious about charging (the fee),” Catlett added.

West Michigan businesses – along with brick-and-mortar and online ones in most other states – are now allowed to pass along credit card interchange fees of up to 4 percent of the total purchase price to their customers.

But businesses in Michigan and 39 other states can only pass along the “exact amount” being charged…………… continues on Michigan Business Review –

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Banks win, merchants lose when consumers use debit and credit cards (guest …
News from

Walt Hellman  

By Walt Hellman, Argus Community Writer

I still remember the first time I learned that credit cards were taking over.  My wife and I were young, living in Corvallis in the late ’70s and doing our first car rental. I remember being utterly astounded — and angry — when the desk clerk said they didn’t take cash, but only credit cards. Didn’t take cash? How could that be?

Now many people carry virtually no cash. Checks are more and more a rarity. Debit and credit cards are used for a tremendous portion of transactions, even small ones under $ 5.

The use of plastic money and credit is tremendously convenient for the consumer and assures the merchant that the sale is paid for. There are no bounced checks and the bookkeeping is done automatically. I don’t know anyone who would want to go back to the old system.  

But when you talk to local merchants about the fees they have to pay to cover your bank card usage, a different side of the story emerges.

Most consumers have no idea of the large costs of the new system, which are largely borne by the merchants and which probably raise prices 2 to 4 percent on most everything we buy. A Federal Reserve study found that in 2009 roughly $ 18 billion in fees were collected…………… continues on

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Extra credit card fees may not be as widespread as anticipated
News from Deseret News:

In this Dec. 12 photo, Lana Nguyen, right, holds up a shirt while helping friend Chris Ghiathi, left, shop in an H&M store in Atlanta. Thanks to a recent settlement, using credit cards could cost consumers an extra 4 percent, but one consumer group says it’s

…………… continues on Deseret News
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Sonoma County auditors to target employee credit card use

Posted by administrator | 02/02/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Sonoma County auditors to target employee credit card use
News from Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Published: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.

The plan includes a call for improved “internal controls” on who gets county-issued credit cards and how they are used.

It also spells out existing and new checks to detect when the use is improper, and when they are detected, steps to make sure taxpayers are reimbursed.

The plan comes before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, five days after county officials responded to a Press Democrat public information request by turning over records for 344 cardholders and 20,000 county credit card transactions in the past two years.

They show a total of nearly $ 4.4 million on charges for services and supplies, travel, lodging, meals and other goods, all ostensibly for the purpose of county business.

The spending, which in 2011 and 2012 represented 0.3 percent of the county’s annual $ 1.2 billion budget, nevertheless has come under scrutiny amid heightened tension over cuts to county services. Divisions over pay and benefits between rank-and-file employees — few of whom have county cards — and elected officials and managers have also fueled interest in the credit receipts.

The bills range from $ 2,500 for government retreats, public meetings and mapping software to office supply and parking purchases of less than a doll…………… continues on Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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Drug use and debt: A credit card for recovering addicts
News from

For some people, clear limits and boundaries are required to get control over bad financial behavior.  That was the case for Ryan Jaffe.  He’s a recovering alcoholic and co-founder of the Next Step Prepaid Master Card.  It’s designed for former substance abusers and marketed as a way to curb excessive spending during the recovery process.   Co-signers on the card — often a parent or rehab sponsor — can choose daily spending limits for the cardholder and limit the number of transactions per month. In short, the card will keep the holder’s financial habits on a very short leash and allow people in recovery to spend their money in a healthy manner, says Ryan Jaffe, one of the co-founders of the Next Step Prepaid MasterCard.

What issues do a recovering addict face?

“Whether it be drugs or gambling or alcohol — that was a way to cope with life. And then you remove that from the equation and then someone’s getting sober and now you have a scenario where they’re trying to fill their void with other things and a lot of times it comes in the form of spending,” says Jaffe.  

The card is intended to address the situation of a person in recovery, but Jaffe says it isn’t a long-term solution. It’s meant to help addicts in t…………… continues on

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Will it Cost You More to Use Your Credit Card?

Posted by administrator | 30/01/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Will it Cost You More to Use Your Credit Card?
News from Fox Business:

This transcript is automatically generated

A — depending on where you live it may cost you more he’s your credit card as a result of the settlement between peace in NASCAR in the retail industry.

Merchants in forty states are now allowed to add a surcharge of up to 4% of your entire purchase.

The National Retail Federation says allowing these so called — cause irreparable harm to retailers especially smaller ones.

— and RF senior vice president General Counsel Mallory Duncan says the concept that merchants will start surcharges for credit card use.

It’s propaganda.

Being spread by — credit card industry welcome.

Hi there so — propaganda are you saying retailers are less likely to charge swipe fees to their customers.

I say there’s virtually no chance is gonna happen.

I mean this really is propaganda put out by the card industry as part of the settlement of a big lawsuit.


I was just gonna coming here and say so then what did the retailers want to come out of this settlement because you know really squeezed right because they had to — Processing fees to that credit card companies.

And again so this — allowed him to turn around it offset some of those fees that are creeping into their bottom line.

On to customers who by the way hav…………… continues on Fox Business

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Fraudulent Credit Card Use, Public Intox: Johnston Police Blotter
News from

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Customers charged for credit card use

Posted by administrator | 29/01/13 | Tagged Credit Card

Customers charged for credit card use
News from KFDA:

Amarillo, Texas – Retailers are now allowed to charge extra fees for credit card use.

As of Sunday, store owners in most states will be able to charge shoppers a surcharge of up to three percent of the bill for using a credit card.

But ten states are already banning the extra charge, including Texas and Oklahoma.

If retailers do impose the fee, they are required to notify customers at the store entrance and at the point of sale.

…………… continues on KFDA
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Retailers now allowed to charge extra fees for credit card use
News from WIS:


The next time you use a credit card for a purchase, you could pay an extra surcharge to the retailer.

Effective Jan. 27, retailers can now impose an extra charge of up to four percent of the value of your transaction.

A recent court settlement in U.S. District Court between retailers and the payments industry allows the so-called “checkout fee,” which permits merchants to pass along the “interchange fee” they pay to banks or credit card companies to the consumer.

Ten states have already banned the new surcharge. They include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The fee can only be charged on credit card transactions and not on debit cards or pre-paid cards. Retailers cannot charge more than the interstate fee, which averages between 1.5 percent and 3 percent of the value of the transaction.

If retailers intend to impose the fee, they are required to notify customers at the store entrance and at the point of sale or online on the first page that references credit card brands.

Much like many gas stations have been doing, retailers may offer a “discounts” for using a form of payment other than a credit card.

Consumer advocates recommend educating yourself on each store’s policy…………… continues on WIS

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The Best Payment Method to Use to Settle a Credit Card Debt

Posted by administrator | 28/01/13 | Tagged Credit Card

The Best Payment Method to Use to Settle a Credit Card Debt
News from Opposing Views:

by Mack Mitzsheva

Pay your debts on time to avoid additional interest and fees.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

A credit card lender may offer you the opportunity to “settle” your credit card bill. Settle means you pay less than you owe on the debt. This can help you take care of the bill while keeping more of your money in your own pocket. The best payment method to use will depend upon your personal preferences — but no matter which method you choose, when you make the payment to the credit card lender, do so in a manner that protects your bank account information.

Checking Accounts

A credit card issuer may offer to settle the debt in-house. In this case, paying with your checking account or debit card may be a convenient way to make a payment. If the debt has been placed with a collection agency, you may have to make your payment to…………… continues on Opposing Views

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Credit Cards Begin Charging ‘Checkout Fee’
News from

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — You might want to think twice before whipping out your credit card. As of Sunday, stores in most states could start charging you a “checkout fee” when you pay for something with plastic.

The new fees stem from a multi-billion dollar settlement announced in July between credit card issuers and millions of merchants.

Visa, MasterCard and nine major banks agreed to a $ 7.25 billion deal to settle charges that they were fixing credit card processing fees. As part of the settlement, credit card issuers said they would reduce these “swipe fees” — fees paid by merchants to issuers when cards are used — but only for eight months.

In addition, the settlement also gave retailers the option to tack on a surcharge if a customer uses a credit card. The retailer can only charge enough to cover the processing costs, which is about 1.5% to 3% of the total purchase, according to watchdog group Consumer Action.

This fee doesn’t apply to purchases made using debit cards. And it will still be illegal to charge the new fee in 10 states, including Kansas, New York, California and Texas.

Many big players in the retail industry have been up in arms about the settlement. Stores from the nation’s largest retailer down to small businesses have lamented the agreement, claiming that it transferred the wrongdoings of credit ca…………… continues on

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Nonprofit’s credit card use also subject of police investigation
News from Sioux City Journal:

SIOUX CITY | An investigation into questionable credit card purchases by two employees of a before- and after-school program has prompted policy changes at the nonprofit agency that runs the program, the director said Friday.

Matt Ohman, interim executive director of Siouxland Human Investment Partnership, would not elaborate on the changes but said SHIP will alter the way agency credit cards are used.

Sioux City police are conducting an “open financial investigation” after a routine audit by SHIP found questionable credit card transactions traced to two employees of the Beyond the Bell program.

Ohman said Thursday the two employees no longer work for the program and that SHIP is conducting an internal investigation. He declined to provide additional details.

The Sioux City school district this year paid Beyond the Bell $ 80,000 in state and federal funds to provide services to at-risk students in all 17 of the district’s elementary schools, said Alison Benson, district spokeswoman.

She said it’s too early to know whether the district will look for a different agency to provide services next year.

“We are waiting (and) watching the investigation,” she said. “Right now we’re focusing on making sure that the services are provided this year, which Beyond the Bell has assured they will.”

The current investigation is not the f…………… continues on Sioux City Journal

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Disputing a Charge on Your Credit Card
News from New York Times:

If you have ever disputed a charge with your debit or credit card company, you know what a potent weapon this type of complaint can be.

The card issuer generally takes your word against the merchant or service provider at the outset, restores the money to your bank account temporarily or issues a credit and then goes about its investigation. It essentially demands that the merchant or service provider who supposedly did you wrong prove that it did no wrong at all.

But if you have never wielded this power tool of consumerism, there are a few things you should know first. The cat and mouse game that goes on behind the scenes can be tilted much more — or much less — in your favor, depending on which charges you dispute and how you go about disputing them.

Chances are you will need to use the dispute process sooner or later. We live in a world where you often cannot use cash to buy cocktails on an airplane and any individual can attach a card reader to a smartphone and accept card payments from anyone else. Mistakes will inevitably be made.

Meanwhile, all sorts of online bus…………… continues on New York Times

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Will there be a surcharge to use a credit card? It depends on who you ask
News from

CLEVELAND – There is a lot of debate about “checkout fees” or a surcharge if you use a credit card for a purchase.

Stores will be allowed to do this starting Sunday, but the National Retail Federation says it’s just credit card propaganda and it’s unlikely consumers will be hit with the fees. In the weekly money-saving segment, Joe Daugirdas aka Joe the Coupon Guy discussed the issue.

Daugirdas said he thinks it would turn customers away from a business if there was a fee to use credit. Many consumers use credit to earn rewards points.

If you see the fees, let me know on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about the issue, read our earlier story.

Daugirdas also discussed savings at Rite Aid on cereal and milk. You can get a free gallon of milk when you purchase four boxes of cereal.

Daugirdas likes the UP Reward program at Rite Aid and suggests you try out a new store and their money-saving policies this year. It might turn you on to a new way to save.

If you need to find new ways to save money this year, how about fishing? Daugirdas said Lake Erie has more fish than all the Great…………… continues on

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A 4% Surcharge for Using a Credit Card?! Now Legal — but Not Likely
News from TIME:

Getty Images

Starting on Sunday, Jan. 27, retailers will be allowed to tack a surcharge of up to 4% onto your tab if you want to pay with a credit card. If that sounds like a lot, you’re right. Happily, though, it’s unlikely to happen very often. 

For years, card issuers have been making lots of money off so-called interchange fees. Until financial regulators and lawyers dragged this obscure term into general discourse, most people had no idea what an interchange fee is. (Still don’t? It’s the fee, typically about 2%, that a store pays your bank when you use a credit card at checkout.) For low-margin businesses like supermarkets as well as mom-and-pop stores that don’t have the clout of their big-box brethren to negotiate lower rates, these fees cut into profits in a big way.

But in a contentious legal ruling that is still being disputed, a U.S. District Court determined last year that merchants are allowed to pass along the cost of those credit-card interchange fees to customers. Consumer advocates say permitting surcharges is a slippery slope. ”If a national sales tax of 2, 3, or 4 perc…………… continues on TIME

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