In the summer, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s hammer went down on credit-card issuers for using tricky tactics to market credit cards and accompanying services. Major card issuers were ordered to refund customers who were pressured by these marketing practices and they could be seeing checks in the mail soon.
- Bank of America is delaying an increase to monthly fees on checking accounts, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources. The bank has been testing different fees in Arizona, Georgia and Massachusetts — with intention to roll out these fees nationwide.The new fees are postponed at least until late 2013, according to the sources.
- Dwolla, rival of PayPal, has introduced Guest Checkout, which allows online merchants to collect customer payments easily. When checking out as a guest, customers provide personal information and their phone number before connecting to their financial institutions to make the payment — no Dwolla account is necessary. With Dwolla’s low-cost structure, this feature may be the more attractive choice for paying when online shopping.
- Small U.S. banks are facing a “fiscal cliff” of their own as a temporary deposit-insurance program is scheduled to expire on Jan. 1, 2013. The Transaction Account Guarantee program offered unlimited insurance on non-interest-bearing accounts. Without this program, the insurance limit reverts to $250,000, causing many depositors to move to money in order to protect it. For small banks, the exodus of deposits could have an impact on their ability to issue loans.
- The Chase Freedom cash-back credit card, which offers 5% cash back on bonus categories that change every quarter, has unveiled the categories for 2013. Knowing the cash-back calendar can come in handy — you can plan major purchases to maximize the cash back on those purchases.
- Consumers who are eligible for refunds and restitution due to deceptive marketing practices by credit-card issuers can expect to see payouts in the coming weeks. American Express, Capital One, Discover and Bank of America are the card-issuers that will be paying out to existing and past customers, as ordered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.