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Banking

The Occupy Debit Card

by Luke Landes
Occupy Banks

Can an organization offer mainstream financial products while being ideologically opposed to the mainstream financial industry? That’s the question I began considering when I first heard that the Occupy Wall Street movement was in the process of developing a prepaid debit card product. The Occupy Debit Card is still just a concept, but if the […]

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GE Capital Bank Online Savings Account: I Was Declined

by Luke Landes
GE Capital Bank

This article started as a regular review of an online savings account. I’ve written many of these for Consumerism Commentary over the years, and I’ve always followed a similar process: I open a new account in my own name, naturally, I link the account to an existing account of mine, I transfer money into the […]

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PerkStreet’s Closing Signals Danger for Rewards Debit Cards

by Luke Landes
PerkStreet Closing

If you have been a customer of PerkStreet, you joined to take advantage of the company’s debit card rewards program, and had accrued rewards as of August 12, you just got screwed, to put it bluntly. PerkStreet is closing, the company canceled their rewards program, and the company will not be paying out any accumulated […]

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Capital One 360 Customer Service: Unsolved Issue With Customer’s Mortgage

by Luke Landes
Capital One 360

When Capital One purchased ING Direct and ultimately rebranded the bank as “Capital One 360,” long-time customers of the online bank asked the same questions. Would Capital One continue ING Direct’s tradition of competitive rates and excellent customer service? Not everyone’s experience with ING Direct has been perfect, but overall, the bank was as beloved […]

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Debit Card Swipe Fees Could Shrink, But Will Banks Punish Consumers?

by Luke Landes
Debit card swipe fees

It’s the lobby of retailers versus the lobby of retail banks. Retailers claimed a small victory recently when a U.S. District Court struck down a rule that capped debit card swipe fees at about $0.24 a transaction. The original cap proposed by the Federal Reserve was $0.12 but as the Federal Reserve operates more for […]

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Many Low-Income Families Can’t Use Mainstream Banking Even If They Wanted

by Luke Landes
Bank

I’ve written previously about many different reasons households, particularly those in locations where families typically have low incomes and those in areas where certain minorities constitute a majority of households, are more likely to take advantage of the high-cost alternative banking system including payday loans and check-cashing storefronts. For example, traditional banks find it difficult […]

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PNC Offers Videos and Interaction With Financial Advice

by Luke Landes
PNC Achievement Sessions

Last week, I criticized the McDonald’s corporation for producing a website and a toolkit, aimed at their employees, designed to help those employees tackle the financial obstacles they are most likely to face. My first point was that financial literacy education hasn’t been proven to help the most needy, and in some studies, has been […]

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Capital One 360 Independence Day Sale

by Luke Landes
Capital One 360 Account Overview

Capital One 360, the online bank formerly known as ING Direct, is offering special deals for new customers. I’m a long-time customer, and I opened my account when ING Direct was offering one of the best interest rates available among online savings accounts. The interest rate, like all interest rates, has shrunk over the course […]

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Prepaid Debit Cards Are Riskier Than Checking Accounts

by Luke Landes

Thanks to heavy marketing campaigns, including endorsements and partnerships with everyone from Russell Simmons to Kim Kardashian to Suze Orman (it’s hip! it’s popular! it’s financially smart!), use of prepaid debit cards has surged. Prepaid debit cards were once a fringe financial product. They were intended to be used by people who have a communal […]

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Damage Control: Taking an Unwarranted Vacation (From My Finances)

by Luke Landes
San Francisco

This week should have been a vacation. It has been, for the most part, but not entirely. While I’ve traveled occasionally over the past few years, and even chosen destinations meant for relaxation and time alone with loved ones, I haven’t had one of those fabled true vacations. My cell phone was still near by. […]

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