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Neiman Marcus Card Data Breach Compromises 1.1 Million Customers
Jan 24

Neiman Marcus Card Data Breach Compromises 1.1 Million Customers

Luxury specialty department store chain Neiman Marcus announced that a data breach had compromised roughly 1.1 million customer payment cards from July 16, 2013 to Oct. 30, 2013. “We deeply regret and are very sorry that some of our customers’ payment card were used fraudulently after making purchases at our stores,” the company said in

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Holder: Legal Marijuana Businesses Should Have Bank Access

Holder: Legal Marijuana Businesses Should Have Bank Access

Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Obama administration is planning to roll out regulations allowing banks to do business with lawful marijuana businesses. Holder said legal marijuana businesses should have access to the U.S. banking system. The rules aren’t expected to allow banks to accept deposits and provide other services, but they would

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Setbacks the Middle Class Has Faced

Setbacks the Middle Class Has Faced

Focusing on the prosperity of the middle class and getting the economy back into good form are the two things President Obama has tried to achieve during his presidency. Despite a recovery being underway, there are still many setbacks the middle class has faced to see a completely positive turn for the better. The U.S.

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Home Sales Last Year Were Best Since 2006
Jan 23

Home Sales Last Year Were Best Since 2006

Homeowners sold more than five million homes in 2013, which is the highest amount of sales seen since 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors. About 5.1 million homes were sold in 2013, up 9.2 percent from 2012 and 20 percent from 2011. The lower unemployment rate, drop in foreclosures, and low mortgage rates

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Retailers Push Banks to Issue ‘Smart Cards’

Retailers Push Banks to Issue ‘Smart Cards’

Recent high-profile data breaches at places like Target and Nieman Marcus have pushed some retailers to call on the banking industry to switch from easy-to-hack magnetic stripe cards to more secure Pin and Chip ones. These chip-based “smart cards” are more difficult to counterfeit because account information is encrypted and stored in an embedded microchip.

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T-Mobile Now Offers a Prepaid Debit Card

T-Mobile Now Offers a Prepaid Debit Card

Mobile Money is now offering a Visa-branded prepaid debit card with great perks for T-Mobile customers. Though anyone can sign up for the card, those with a T-Mobile number forego paying an activation fee, monthly maintenance fees, direct deposit fees, reload fees, ATM fees for in-network ATMs, and more. Additionally, card holders are free to

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Keeps Friday Dining Rewards Program in 2014

Chase has extended its First Friday Favorites dining rewards program for Chase Sapphire Preferred cardmembers through 2014. On the first Friday of each month of the year, cardmembers earn three points per dollar spent on dining, instead of the standard two points per dollar on dining. The dining rewards program was initially launched in the

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Jan 22

North Shore Bank Launches Video Teller ATMs

North Shore Bank has introduced video teller ATMs that allow customers to speak with remote bank tellers through an ATM via video-conferencing. The ATMs operate seven day a week during extended hours. The ATM technology provided by NCR, a major manufacturer of ATMs for the nation’s largest banks. “With this new software from NCR, we

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Snow Forces Federal Offices to Close, Grounds Flights
Jan 21

Snow Forces Federal Offices to Close, Grounds Flights

A forecast for more than 6 inches of snow forced federal offices in Washington to close and has grounded thousands of flights. The frigid weather also forced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to cancel a planned inauguration party on Ellis Island. According to the website FlightAware, 2,619 flights were canceled as of 10:42 a.m. EST.

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Illinois Bank is First Bank to Fail in 2014

DuPage National Bank, based in West Chicago, Ill. with roughly $61.7 million in assets and $59.6 million in deposits, was closed by federal regulators on Friday. Republic Bank of Chicago, based in Oak Brook, Ill., agreed to purchase the assets and assume the deposits across the three branches of the failed bank. Customers are advised

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Jan 17

Citibank to Replace All Debit Cards Affected By Target Data Breach

As a precautionary measure, Citibank plans to replace all debit cards that were part of the recent data breach that hit Target, according to the New York Times, an undisclosed source at Citi. The bank did not announce the reissuance of debit cards earlier last month when the breach was public because it did not

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Housing Starts Fall in December

Housing Starts Fall in December

New residential construction fell in December, but at a less than expected rate. The Commerce Department said Friday that housing starts dropped 9.8 percent from a high in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000. Overall, a rebound in the housing market in 2013 pushed housing starts up 18.3 percent higher than 2012,

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Food Stamps Cut for 850,000 People

Food Stamps Cut for 850,000 People

A deal in Congress could cut the amount of money people collecting food stamps would receive by $90 on a monthly basis. According to the Congressional Research Service, the overall plan would be to cut nine billion dollars from food stamps over the next 10 years. This isn’t the first sign of food stamp cuts

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U.S. Bank to Discontinue Payday Loan Product

U.S. Bank will stop offering its Checking Account Advance loan product to new customers starting Jan. 31, 2014. The announcement is in response to regulatory guidance governing payday loans. The short-term, small-dollar deposit advance product will discontinue on May 30, 2014. “We are committed to finding new solutions that meet the needs of all of

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U.S. Cost of Living Expenses Increase By Most in 6 Months
Jan 16

U.S. Cost of Living Expenses Increase By Most in 6 Months

The cost of living in the U.S. climbed in December to its highest amount in six months, the Labor Department reported today. The 0.3 percent rise in the consumer-price index was the biggest since June. Increases in fuel and rents helped push cost of living expenses up, while decreases in medical commodities like prescription drugs

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Frugal Tips for Saving Major Cash

Frugal Tips for Saving Major Cash

Saving money is one thing that can put your mind at ease, and there are a variety of simple ways you can keep more cash in your pocket. For instance, many retailers have a policy of matching the price of any competitor, so take advantage of price-matching. Also, did you know that many vegetables can

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Regions Bank Launches New Secured Loan, Stops Offering Payday Loans

Regions Bank is offering a new type of loan that is secured by funds deposited in a Regions savings account. “We have introduced a new savings secured loan product and we are developing other credit products in 2014 that will appeal to a broad group of current and potentially new Regions customers to assist them

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TD Bank Launches Prepaid Card for Teens

TD Bank introduced a reloadable prepaid card — called TD Go — for teenagers. Parents can open and fund the card through direct deposit, a debit card or credit card. And, they can monitor the balance and transactions on the card. “With the launch of the TD Go Card, TD Bank is offering parents a

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Fed: High Student Debt May Restrict Economic Growth
Jan 15

Fed: High Student Debt May Restrict Economic Growth

With Americans owing more than $1 trillion in student loan debt, Federal Reserve economists are trying to figure out the impact that high education debt could have on U.S. growth. In the third quarter of 2013, outstanding student debt exceeded $1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. And the share of

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Win the Lottery, With Your Savings Account?

Win the Lottery, With Your Savings Account?

Imagine getting a call from your bank to hear that you’ve won the lottery. That’s exactly what happened to a married couple in the state of Nebraska. LaVerne and DeAnn Brickner won $25,000 after buying lottery tickets from their local credit union. In 2009, credit unions in the state of Michigan began allowing customers to

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Google Buys Nest for $3.2 Billion: Why?
Jan 14

Google Buys Nest for $3.2 Billion: Why?

Google has announced it is buying Nest Labs, a smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker, for $3.2 billion. So what is the tech giant hoping to get out of the acquisition? Google says Nest will still have its own identity as a company, but the partnership could be a sign of the tech giant’s plans to

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Target Confirms Source of Data Breach, Announces Free Credit Monitoring

Target Confirms Source of Data Breach, Announces Free Credit Monitoring

In an interview with CNBC, Target CEO and chairman Gregg Steinhafel has confirmed that malware was installed in the retailer’s point-of-sale registers, which allowed hackers to steal sensitive card payment information from customers. As an added layer of protection for affected Target customers, the company has also opened enrollment to one year of free credit

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The Rich Got $524 Billion Richer In 2013
Jan 13

The Rich Got $524 Billion Richer In 2013

The rich are getting richer. In 2013, the wealthy added $524 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals. The index found that the aggregate net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the end of 2013. The

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Workers Not Receiving Enough Hours

Workers Not Receiving Enough Hours

Low wages are not the only thing preventing American workers from earning enough money to make a liveable income; retail and fast food employees claim low hours are also preventing them from making enough money a month to pay for the cost of living. Low hours means a wage increase won’t do much for someone

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Target Raises Estimate of People Affected by Data Breach
Jan 10

Target Raises Estimate of People Affected by Data Breach

Target announced Friday that more people were affected by a data breach than initially estimated and cut its fourth-quarter earnings forecast. The nation’s second-largest discount retailer said that personal information, including phone numbers and mailing addresses, were stolen from as many as 70 million customers who shopped there between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Initially,

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