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Eileen Ambrose | June 4, 2012
One more reason why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureauneeds to look at prepaid debit cards: College students are finding their scarce dollars eaten up by fees on the cards, which many schools are using for student IDs and to disburse financial aid, according to a new study by U.S. Public Interest Research Group. PIRG says information about the contracts between colleges and the financial institutions that provide the cards to students isn't widely available, but at least one school struck a deal worth millions to the college.
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BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2014
Customers who dined at P.F. Chang's China Bistro at the Inner Harbor during two months this spring may be victims of debit and credit card data theft, the Scottsdale-based chain warned Monday in an announcement of a widespread security breach at 33 U.S. locations. PF. Chang's was alerted to a possible breach on June 10 by the U.S. Secret Service and launched a still-ongoing investigation. The company said it had the problem contained by the next day and has been processing credit and debit cards securely since June 11. Chang's said its card processing system was breached.
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BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2012
Students across the country are headed back to college, and millions of them will get financial aid disbursed on a debit card. The cards are convenient and save money for the schools. But these debit cards can be expensive for students, who could see their financial aid eaten up by fees. This month, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced it had ordered the nation's largest player in campus debit cards — Higher One — to return about $11 million to roughly 60,000 students related to fees the company charged for insufficient funds.
NEWS
By David Horsey | December 24, 2013
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 against foreign leaders and cyber attacks abroad.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2011
You might not have paid attention to the fierce yearlong battle between merchants and banks over debit cards, but you'll likely notice last week's outcome in your wallet. The dispute was over the debit card interchange fee — the payment merchants make to banks to process customer transactions. Last year's Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act law required that the Federal Reserve ensure that the fee was "reasonable. " Last week, the Fed announced it was cutting the fee — but not by nearly as much as merchants wanted.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2010
Use your debit card to make a purchase, and the merchant will pay a fee to the bank for processing the transaction. You don't see this interchange fee, which is equal to about 1.5 percent of the amount of your purchase. But you can end up paying for it anyway if the merchant passes the cost to you through higher prices. As part of financial reform last summer, the Federal Reserve was charged with writing rules to ensure that interchange fees were "reasonable and proportional" to processing costs.
BUSINESS
By Brad Kuhn and Brad Kuhn,Orlando Sentinel | January 5, 1992
ORLANDO, Fla. -- As any accountant knows, where there's a credit, there must be a debit.But while most people know the power of a credit card, they are less familiar with the card's inseparable twin -- the debit card.Debit cards, which work like checks, have been around for years. They have just recently begun to gain attention, however, as the nation's largest card issuers, Visa and MasterCard, have begun to align themselves with automated teller machine networks.Use of old-style debit cards grew little in the past decade.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Staff Writer | November 7, 1992
Plastic is in at Giant Food.The Landover-based grocery company, the dominant chain in the Baltimore and Washington markets, will accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards, as well as MOST bank debit cards, at 92 of its 96 Maryland stores by Friday, company officials said yesterday.The decision came after a tryout last month at six or seven stores in Montgomery County was well-received by customers, said David Sykes, Giant's senior vice president for finance."It doesn't slow up lines at all," Mr. Sykes said.
NEWS
August 31, 1995
Post offices to begin accepting credit cardsBALTIMORE -- Starting tomorrow, larger post offices in the Baltimore metropolitan area will accept credit cards and debit cards for payments, the U.S. Postal Service said.Baltimore District Manager Richard W. Rudez said many customers have expressed a preference for cards as a matter of convenience.By 1997, payment by credit and debit cards will be available at all post offices nationwide, making the Postal Service the largest retail operation in the world accepting credit and debit cards, postal officials said.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2012
A 41-year-old Washington woman was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for her role in conspiring to steal $1.4 million from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland announced. In imposing his sentence, U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. also ordered Tyeast "Peaches" Brown to serve four years of supervised release after her prison term and to pay the public housing agency at least $1.4 million in restitution. She earlier pleaded guilty.
NEWS
July 18, 2013
Investigators looking into alleged corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center appear to have made a major breakthrough this week when Black Guerrilla Family prison gang leader Tavon White, the inmate accused of masterminding a drug- and contraband-smuggling ring inside the jail, agreed to name additional staffers who participated in the scheme beyond the 13 female guards already charged. Now that Mr. White is talking to prosecutors, we can hope that more indictments will follow and give a much more complete picture of the wrongdoing at the facility.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2012
A 41-year-old Washington woman was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for her role in conspiring to steal $1.4 million from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland announced. In imposing his sentence, U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. also ordered Tyeast "Peaches" Brown to serve four years of supervised release after her prison term and to pay the public housing agency at least $1.4 million in restitution. She earlier pleaded guilty.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | August 23, 2012
Let's table, for the moment, our chat about how much, if anything, should be tipped to the folks who rustle up your morning coffee. But even customers who customarily would toss in their change, or a whole dollar bill, in the tip jar when they've paid with cash often leave el-zippo when paying with plastic. It's DipJar to the rescue, as reported on by Bon Appetit . "It's as simple as a cash tip jar but with the technology to accept and pass along tips left with credit and debit cards," according to the DipJar website.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2012
Students across the country are headed back to college, and millions of them will get financial aid disbursed on a debit card. The cards are convenient and save money for the schools. But these debit cards can be expensive for students, who could see their financial aid eaten up by fees. This month, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced it had ordered the nation's largest player in campus debit cards — Higher One — to return about $11 million to roughly 60,000 students related to fees the company charged for insufficient funds.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2012
Tens of thousands of people in Baltimore who use food stamps to buy groceries can now do their shopping at the Baltimore Farmers' Market and Bazaar under the Jones Falls Expressway, thanks to a new token system launched Sunday. Customers who don't have cash at the fresh-produce market off East Saratoga Street can now swipe their debit cards to make purchases as well. At a public opening of the market's new welcome center, where debit and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | June 4, 2012
One more reason why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureauneeds to look at prepaid debit cards: College students are finding their scarce dollars eaten up by fees on the cards, which many schools are using for student IDs and to disburse financial aid, according to a new study by U.S. Public Interest Research Group. PIRG says information about the contracts between colleges and the financial institutions that provide the cards to students isn't widely available, but at least one school struck a deal worth millions to the college.
BUSINESS
Liz F. Kay | October 4, 2011
Citibank will start charging fees in December for several checking accounts that were formerly free , reports the Los Angeles Times. Customers can avoid the fees either by maintaining high balances or by downgrading to a basic account and commiting to direct deposit of paychecks along with at least one automatic payment. You could also keep a combined balance of $1,500 in checking and savings to avoid fees. The news comes on the heels of news that Bank of America will now be charging customers who use their debit cards to make purchases . Citi customers, have you received your notice in the mail?
FEATURES
By Susan Bondy and Susan Bondy,Creators Syndicate | December 10, 1995
Credit-card debts are rising to alarming levels. Americans now owe more than $381 billion on credit cards alone, a $44 billion increase so far this year.Bankruptcies in the last year rose by 1.5 percent, and delinquencies on credit-card payments grew to 3.26 percent of outstanding bills in the second quarter of 1995, the fourth-highest level in a decade.Many banks, reacting to cardholders' mounting credit-card debts, are doubling credit-card interest rates. According to Bankcard Holders of America, a national nonprofit consumer credit education group: "With the holiday shopping season approaching, consumers could owe hundreds or thousands more on their credit cards and face paying interest rates as high as 25 percent."
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | May 23, 2012
Prepaid debit cards have been called the Wild West because of their rapid growth, uncontrollable fees and little regulation. That soon may change - or at least the regulation part. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking its first step toward adding customer protections on the cards by requesting public input on how to make fees and terms transparent while also ensuring that consumers' money is safe on the plastic. So-called general purpose reloadable cards have been rapidly growing, and much of that comes from consumers using prepaid cards as an alternative to a traditional checking account, the CFPB says.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | May 13, 2012
Prepaid debit cards are everywhere these days — and so are their fees. The cards allow you to load cash onto them and are accepted by businesses just like other types of plastic. But you might have to pay a fee to activate the card, make ATM withdrawals, check your balance, talk to customer service or reload money onto the card. Monthly fees can be as high as $14.95, and you could be dinged up to $5.95 if you haven't used the card in a while. "This is sort of a gift card with lots of fees," says Ruth Susswein, a spokeswoman with Consumer Action, which recently published a survey on prepaid card fees.
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