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News Scan Mar 2012

Credit Card News, Economy News, Banking Industry News - Mar 2012
28
Mar 2012
  • MasterCard will offer a new tool to help merchants mitigate the risk of fraud in online transactions.
  • MasterCard's Expert Monitoring Fraud Scoring for Merchants provides businesses with a predictive fraud score for card-not-present purchases in real time to measure the likelihood that a transaction is fraudulent.
  • This is done through fraud detection models designed specifically for online merchants. The service will be available beginning in May.
27
Mar 2012

Backlog

Source: Americanbanker Category: Banking Industry News
  • Recent regulation has altered the fee structure and required more independence between bankers and appraisers.
  • As a result, scores of appraisers have abandoned their trade. Bankers, overwhelmed with a need for re-appraisals, are finding it more expensive and time-consuming to get valuations. In some cases, the changing landscape is costing bankers real estate loans.
  • These rules have caused the appraisal industry to be buried with appraisal requests which, in effect, has lengthened the appraisal time period.
  • Delays occur partly because there are not enough appraisers, especially those who specialize in commercial properties, to keep up with increasing demand.
  • There are 37,887 active appraiser certificates and 13,277 licenses in the United States.
  • Nationally, that would be roughly five certified appraisers for every U.S. bank, though one appraiser could hold multiple certificates.
27
Mar 2012

U.S. corporate tax rate: No. 1 in the world

Source: Cnn Category: Economy News
  • United States gets a distinction no nation wants --the world's highest corporate tax rate.
  • The U.S. rate stands at 39.2% when both federal and state rates are included.
  • Loopholes and other special treatment for different kinds of businesses mean that businesses pay an effective rate of only 29.2% of their income, which puts the United States below the average of 31.9% among other major economies.
23
Mar 2012

Jobless rates fall in most metro areas

Source: Reuters Category: Economy News
  • Jobless rates decreased in 345 of the 372 areas, which typically include a city and its surrounding suburbs, and those in Decatur, Alabama, and Monroe, Michigan, dropped the most.
  • At the same time, 201 areas recorded January unemployment rates below the U.S. rate of 8.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
  • The seasonally adjusted national jobless rate in February and January was 8.3 percent.
14
Mar 2012

Fed gives mostly high grades in bank stress tests

Source: Reuters Category: Banking Industry News
  • Most of the largest banks passed their annual stress test, in a conservative report card that underscored the recovery of the financial sector but called out a few laggards. Failing grade for Citigroup was a shock.
  • 15 of the 19 banks tested would have enough capital, even if they suffered a financial shock that would see unemployment hit 13 percent and housing prices drop 21 percent.
  • The results paved the way for many of the passing banks to announce highly anticipated plans to boost dividends and buy back stock.
  • The outcome showed a middle-of-the-road approach. The Fed failed enough banks to give the tests credibility and to elicit industry outcries about the tests being too tough, but it reassured markets that the U.S. bank industry is generally healthy.
13
Mar 2012

Web Banking Fraud Actually in Decline

Source: Americanbanker Category: Banking Industry News
  • In the last few years internet banking fraud losses have actually plummeted in most developed economies.
  • In the U.S. also average fraud resolution time dropped 30% in 2010 to 21 hours. The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center reported a 10% drop in Internet crime related complaints in 2010.
  • E-retailer revenue lost to fraud has dropped dramatically in the last 10 years, from 3.6% of revenue in 2000 to just 0.7% last year.
  • The reality is that when technology is utilized effectively, fraud tends to decrease. Better technology means that banks and card providers are more likely to recognize a fraud and put a stop on the offending account before it does real damage.
12
Mar 2012
  • The Bancorp Bank Payment Solutions Group announced that it is the new issuer for the PayPal Debit MasterCard card.
  • The PayPal Debit MasterCard card can be used worldwide at ATMs, online, and everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted.
  • It also offers the possibility to earn 1 percent cash back whenever a cardholder is enrolled into the PayPal Preferred Rewards Program.
09
Mar 2012

Job growth strong again in February

Source: Reuters Category: Economy News
  • Employers added 227,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, while the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.
  • It marked the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three months in a row.
  • The economy created 61,000 more jobs in December and January than previously thought, and the jobless rate held steady even as more people returned to the labor force.
06
Mar 2012
  • American Express which is trying to expand beyond the affluent customers it normally lends to be testing the sale of prepaid cards in some Wal-Mart stores.
  • The New York-based lender is marketing the reloadable cards, which can be used wherever American Express is accepted, under the name "bluebird" in about 180 of the discount retailer's stores on the West Coast.
  • Wal-Mart operates more than 4,400 stores in the U.S., including its Sam's Club warehouses. Customers can also sign up for the card online.
05
Mar 2012
  • Services index rose to 57.3 in February last month from 56.8 in January, in sharp contrast to economists' expectations for a drop to 56.1.
  • The services sector accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
  • Growth in the first three months of the year is seen backing off from the 3 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2011, though a string of recent positive data has suggested underlying resiliency. Expectations range from 1.9 percent to 2.5 percent.
05
Mar 2012

More Lawmakers Considering State-Owned Banks

Source: Americanbanker Category: Banking Industry News
  • At least 17 states are considering bills to create a state-owned bank or give banking powers to existing state-government agencies.
  • Lawmakers filed a new bill this year to bypass the task force and simply create a state bank.
  • A state-owned bank would also compete with other banks for a limited supply of borrowers. The California Bankers Association has not yet taken a position on the bill introduced this year.
  • The assertion by state bank supporters that the banking industry doesn't want to lend is ludicrous.
  • With the Federal Reserve keeping risk-free government securities at all-time-low interest rates and the federal funds rates at 0%, banks have nowhere to put their money.
  • People used to be able to get a credit line from their bank at 8%, but now they have to get a credit card at 16%.
  • Whatever the too-big-to-fail banks are doing, they could be doing much more if they had the help of a public bank.
  • The model for the Public Banking Institute is the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-owned bank. The bank, formed in 1919, helps other banks with liquidity requirements, which allows those banks to offer cheaper credit. Further, the bank guarantees those loans.
01
Mar 2012

The Credit Card Is the New App Platform

Source: Forbes Category: Credit Card News
  • Credit and debit cards are ubiquitous, but they’re mostly pretty dumb. That's about to change.
  • Over 170 million people in the U.S. have credit cards, and the average card holder has 3.5 of them. And those totals are not even counting debit cards, which are roughly 40% of the total market and growing.
  • In spite of the promise of mobile payments, plastic cards are not going away any time soon.
  • Online commerce is now a $200 billion industry, but it’s still small compared to offline transactions.
  • Up to 70% of consumer spending is influenced by Web and mobile research, but over 90% of actual transactions are still conducted in the physical world.