As the holiday season gets into full swing, so too do the credit card promotions from retail stores far and wide.
This is prime season for enticing shoppers to sign onto the dotted line for cards that offer a discount on your first purchase or a special 0% introductory APR — which to many cash-strapped consumers can sound like an ideal way to finance a holiday extravaganza.
The reality of these deferred-interest retail credit cards however, is that they may not be as helpful as they sound at first blush. In fact, in many cases, signing on for one can cost far more than expected if you’re not clear on how the deferred interest proposition works.
When setting up a payments system for your business, it is important to do your research. Not only is it critical for you to get paid for your products and services, you also need to know how each potential option affects your bottom line. Interchange plus pricing and tiered or flat rate pricing both have their benefits, but it is also smart to understand how each works so you can make the best decision for your operation.
Interchange plus pricing is traditionally reserved for large companies and has the lowest possible costs for accepting cards as a form of payment. Fees applied to transactions are upfront, with rates determined on a per-card basis. Tiered pricing is the most common form of pricing for credit card processing services. This is also known as “bucket pricing,” and prices are usually high enough to cover fees.
Americans traveling in other parts of the world are sometimes bewildered to discover that their debit or credit cards don’t work at automated kiosks that use new chip and PIN technology rather than magnetic stripes. (The technology is also referred to as EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three card brands that created the chip in Europe and Canada.)
EMV cards have been the standard in Canada, Europe and other parts of the world for several years now, but they’re not as widely used in the U.S. That’s likely to change next October, when liability for fraud shifts from U.S. card issuers to merchants if merchants don’t upgrade their payment terminals to properly accept chip-based cards. (Some smaller merchants may be slow to adopt the new technology if they feel it’s less expensive to assume the fraud risk than update their payment terminals.) President Barack Obama also recently signed an executive order to embed this technology in all government-issued credit and debit cards.
If you happened to have had a bad day during the Great Recession, the odds are you’re rebuilding your credit. If your credit score took a major hit, or if you’ve filed bankruptcy, it’s quite possible that you’ll get an offer in the mail from a company that wants to help you on your financial ‘comeback’. The company will tell you they “think a loan should be convenient and on your terms”, and they’ve “changed the way you borrow money”. Rocky Balboa’s face, strong and determined, is prominently displayed in the advertising copy.
You can start your comeback by filling out a simple application for a pre-approved $3,500 loan. This money will be deposited directly to your bank account. The rate may be steep in the beginning, but it will decrease as you show your ability to make payments. After all, there is a risk to providing you credit, but the company wants to help restore you as a respected member of the financial community.
The company dying to help you is RISE, a brand of Think Finance, who packages itself as an ‘emergency non-bank lender’. This is just double speak for a sophisticated form of predatory lending. The APR on their loans range from 36 to over 360%. A recent offer carried an interest rate of 199%. For the privilege of receiving $3,500, you’ll pay back $10,800 in payments of $289 made every two weeks. Instead of Rocky Balboa, their promotional icon should be Tony Soprano.
If your credit is less than perfect, you’ll have a more difficult time obtaining and using a credit card. The flip side is that responsible use of a credit card is a fantastic way to rebuild your credit score.Even with bad credit, you have some great options to start rebuilding your financial future. The best credit cards for bad credit come in two different varieties: secured and unsecured low credit cards.
PayPal is best known for its payment-processing solutions for online merchants and shoppers. But did you know that the company also has a processing solution for in-store and mobile merchants?
Introduced in 2012, PayPal Here is a credit card reader and accompanying app that allows businesses and individuals to accept a wide range of payments — from credit cards to checks— on iOS and Android devices.
Here’s a breakdown of what reviewers are saying about Paypal Here.
New security standards released today by Visa, Mastercard, and other credit card companies are going to have a big impact on any business that accepts credit card payments from customers.
The rules, formulated by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which represents the major card brands, are aimed at making your customers’ credit card data more secure–but they will undoubtedly add to your administrative and operational costs too.
Take a look at the requirements you must follow, as of January 1, 2014:
Consumers were confident enough at the end of 2011 to push borrowing levels up by $20.4 billion in November, the Federal Reserve reported late Monday.
Outstanding consumer credit rose to $2.48 trillion during that month, the Fed said. That was the highest level since November 2001, and it was more than twice the predictions of economists surveyed before the report was released.
The credit increase corresponded with healthier employment numbers; people are more likely to borrow if they believe they will have the wherewithal to pay the money back without serious penalty. So, it is likely that the December credit levels are higher than they have been for the past several years during the recession and slow recovery.
Is Increase Sustainable?
Still, the increase might not be sustainable, so small businesses shouldn’t adjust their sales forecasts just yet.
It’s time to stop looking for “recovery” (as in ways to resurrect this drooling zombie of an industrial economy) and start seeding transformation (as in building a 21st century economy, that turns most or all of the toxic dynamics above upside down). It’s time to stop thinking about getting back to yesterday’s prosperity — and time to start thinking about how to get past it.
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Tagged american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009, business, credit cards, Depression, economic crisis, economy, entrepreneurs, ethics, financial crisis, financial institutions, funding, jobs, meltdown, money, Recession, small business, stimulus package
In the video, uploaded on Saturday, the anonymous group, self-described as loosely connected and Internet based, allegedly claims that the Federal Reserve is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and calls for the resignation of Ben Bernanke. In addition, the group would seem to demand the break up of the Federal Reserve and other major banking institutions
Posted in News and Views
Tagged a new kind of war, annonymous, bailout, banks, business, central banks, credit cards, Depression, economic crisis, economy, ethics, financial crisis, financial institutions, fiscal policy, funding, hackers, meltdown, people hate banks, Recession, technology, The Federal Reserve