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Debit Cards

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BUSINESS
July 6, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Consumers can now use Visa debit cards for smaller purchases without entering a personal identification number, the same way they can skip signing receipts. Visa said last week that it would no longer require merchants to treat its debit cards differently when customers use them as PIN debit cards rather than signature cards. The move prompted the Justice Department to drop an antitrust investigation of the practice. Visa has allowed banks to permit merchants to waive the signature requirement when customers use Visa debit cards, usually on purchases of less than $25, the department said.
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BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Thursday urged more transparency in the debit card system used to electronically disburse college students' financial aid, and said that transaction fees for the cards quickly add up.   In a report , the GAO said that the use of debit cards has risen over the last decade. Though only 11% of schools in the U.S. have contracts with companies to offer the debit cards, the 852 schools that do are disproportionately large, accounting for 40% of U.S. college enrollment, according to the GAO.  Congressional investigators said that though fees on the debit cards are comparable to conventional bank-issued cards, two large companies charge fees for purchases made using a personal identification number, or PIN. Those charges can quickly accumulate.
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NATIONAL
July 2, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
It's with some regret and a lot of head-shaking that we must report that people are posting pictures of their debit cards to the Internet. Just check out @NeedADebitCard , a Twitter account that retweets users posting photos of their debit cards - numbers and all. “My debit card came in the mail today!” one over-sharer tweets. “Just found my credit card :) haha” tweeted another pre-theft victim. “Got my debit card
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | David Lazarus
Leah Padow knows from identity theft. She recently had five accounts at three banks compromised. The fraud occurred in mid-November, so it was apparently unrelated to the digital break-in at Target, which began after Thanksgiving and resulted in the card numbers and personal information of up to 110 million customers being accessed by hackers. And it was apparently unrelated to the hack attack on Neiman Marcus, which began last summer and resulted in at least 1.1 million customers' card numbers being jeopardized.
BUSINESS
February 6, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
About 610,000 U.S. bank customers switched to a smaller institution in the last three months of 2011 to protest plans by major banks to impose monthly charges for using debit cards, according to a financial services market-research firm. That represented 11% of the 5.6 million U.S. people who switched banks during that period -- a relatively modest number, Javelin Strategy & Research said in a report Monday. Javelin said it analyzed the online responses of 5,878 people to gauge the effect of the backlash triggered by Bank of America Corp.'s plan to charge $5 a month to customers who used their debit cards for purchases.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2012 | By Scott Wilson
Use of reloadable prepaid cards - which can be used like credit and debit cards yet require no bank account or credit check - is surging. But the cards have a variety of drawbacks to consider. • Fees. Reloadable prepaid cards can come with a confusing array of fees - for activation, monthly maintenance, transactions, ATM cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, customer service calls, adding money to the card, inactivity and more. Each card's fees are different, so be sure to read the fine print.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Thursday urged more transparency in the debit card system used to electronically disburse college students' financial aid, and said that transaction fees for the cards quickly add up.   In a report , the GAO said that the use of debit cards has risen over the last decade. Though only 11% of schools in the U.S. have contracts with companies to offer the debit cards, the 852 schools that do are disproportionately large, accounting for 40% of U.S. college enrollment, according to the GAO.  Congressional investigators said that though fees on the debit cards are comparable to conventional bank-issued cards, two large companies charge fees for purchases made using a personal identification number, or PIN. Those charges can quickly accumulate.
TRAVEL
November 24, 1996
While renting a car at Budget Rent a Car at San Francisco Airport recently, I was informed that they would no longer honor debit cards, regardless of their association with Visa. I contacted Budget to be told only that they have had "too many problems with debit cards" and will no longer accept them as payment. I find this contradictory to the highly touted message of "Use it just like a Visa." Readers should be aware that if they possess a debit card with a Visa logo, Budget will not accept this as a form of payment or as a reservation hold.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Data from up to 1.5 million credit and debit cards from all major card brands, including MasterCard, Visa and Discover, may have been stolen in a data breach at processing firm Global Payments Inc. But so far, the company does not know of any fraudulent transactions on infiltrated accounts, said Chief Executive Paul  R. Garcia in a conference call with analysts on Monday. The hack was confined to North America, he said. And while card numbers may have been swiped, the company said in a statement late Sunday that cardholder names, addresses and Social Security numbers are safe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2010 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
California welfare recipients will no longer be able to use their state-issued debit cards at medical marijuana shops, psychics, massage parlors and many other businesses whose services have been deemed "inconsistent" with the goals of the program. The Schwarzenegger administration sent a letter to county welfare directors Monday announcing that ATMs and point-of-sale card readers in such business will be removed from the network that accepts California's Electronic Benefits Transfer cards.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2013 | David Lazarus
Federal regulators are taking a closer look at those restrictive contract provisions that force consumers to arbitrate disputes - barring them from suing a company individually or joining a class-action lawsuit. And it doesn't look as if officials are buying into the business world's claim that such provisions are in consumers' best interest. "If you were to look in your wallet right now, the chances are high that one or more of your credit cards, debit cards or prepaid cards would be subject to a pre-dispute arbitration clause," Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said during a recent appearance in Dallas.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2013 | David Lazarus
Spoiler alert: There's a really good chance you'll get a gift card for Christmas. That's not a news flash from the North Pole. It comes instead from the National Retail Federation, which estimated in a recent report that more than 80% of shoppers will be including the plastic gift cards inside greeting cards this holiday season. The average person will spend about $163 on gift cards, the group's survey found. That's up 4% from last year and represents the highest average amount since the retail association began tracking such things 11 years ago. Total spending on gift cards this season will reach about $30 billion, the group said.
NATIONAL
December 20, 2013 | By David Horsey
For 12 years, America's national security apparatus has grown like kudzu on steroids, but, finally, President Obama may soon start trimming it back to preserve at least a small space for personal privacy in the United States.  A panel of five independent experts appointed by the president has come up with 46 recommendations that would set limits on the broad authority of the National Security Agency to engage in cyber spying. The panel is suggesting enhanced oversight and new checks on such things as the NSA's spy operations targeting foreign leaders and cyber attacks abroad.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
The massive theft of payment card data from Target Corp. stores has renewed warnings that consumers are better protected from fraud by using credit cards instead of debit. The advice was issued against a backdrop of banks and card companies rushing to assure their customers they would not have to pay for fraud resulting from the Target data breach. "Customers have zero liability for fraudulent activity," Capitol One said in an emailed statement to the Times.  But the banks and consumer groups advised holiday shoppers who made purchases on plastic at Target to immediately check their accounts for fraud.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu, Walter Hamilton and Chris O'Brien
As millions of bargain-crazed customers swarmed through Target stores on Black Friday, one of the most audacious heists in retail history was quietly underway. A band of cyberthieves pilfered credit and debit card information from the giant retailer's customers with pinpoint efficiency as shoppers bought discounted sweaters and electronic gear on the unofficial launch of the holiday shopping season. By the time the scheme was discovered, the unidentified hackers had made off with financial data of 40 million Target customers over a 21/2-week period.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu, This post has been updated. See the notes below for details.
Target said Thursday that data on 40 million of its customers' credit and debit card accounts may have been breached by cyber-crooks during the busy holiday season. The Minneapolis retailer said the unauthorized access - which occurred between the Nov. 27 start of Black Friday weekend and Dec. 15 - may mean that criminals now have shoppers' names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes at their disposal. The breach affects Target patrons who made purchases at U.S. stores, the company said.
NEWS
March 28, 1997 | Associated Press
Touted as the way to reduce welfare fraud, electronic debit cards are only as good as the people who accept them, Houston undercover officers discovered. Police opened their own convenience store and, if asked, gave cash instead of food to welfare recipients with the cards. They got their first request in a few days and after 10 weeks, 225 people allegedly wanted in on the deal, police said Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2011 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Welfare recipients nationwide would be barred from using their government-issued debit cards at casinos, strip clubs and liquor stores under a bill to be introduced Wednesday by leaders of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. A co-sponsor of the measure says he was inspired by the fact that nearly $5 million in cash benefits issued in California and meant to help struggling families feed and clothe their children, was spent or withdrawn from ATMs at casinos and poker rooms between January 2007 and May 2010.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Coin is making waves on the Web by promising to slim down consumers' fat wallets by replacing their credit and debit cards with a single card that can be used for purchases. The San Francisco startup began taking pre-orders for its smartcard at noon Thursday and within 40 minutes the company reached its crowdfunding goal of $50,000. As explained in the video above, Coin is an electronic card holding all of the users' credit and debit card information. Before making a payment, users choose which card they want to use by pressing a button on the Coin card.
BUSINESS
August 21, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
The Federal Reserve is hoping an appeals court will overturn a judge's ruling that the Fed went too easy on big banks in 2011 when it limited the fees that merchants pay to have debit-card transactions processed. The Fed announced the appeal in the closely watched case on Wednesday in a filing with U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington. Leon had ruled last month that the 21 cents-per-transaction cap, while lower than the previous charge of 44 cents, exceeded the limit Congress intended when it passed the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Is a cut at hand to Fed's bond-buying program?
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