As we’ve noted multiple times over the years, some banks love to lump all transactions made by a customer during a day or weekend together and then process them not in the order they were received, but from largest to smallest. For customers on the brink of overdrafting, this can result in numerous fees that may have been avoided if the charges had been processed chronologically. In a rare bit of positive Bank of America news, the bank has decided to stop this high-to-low transaction processing (for many debit purchases). [More]
One of the more contentious aspects of the recent financial reforms was a directive from Congress for the Federal Reserve to set a cap for swipe fees — the amount charged to retailers for each debit card transaction — in order to bring the fees in line with what it actually costs to process the transactions. This morning, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Fed disregarded the intention of the reforms by setting that cap much higher than it should have been. [More]
The notion behind an overdraft fee — in which a bank customer is charged a penalty for overdrafting his account — is twofold: To incentivize consumers to pay attention to how much money is in their accounts, and to allow the bank to recoup any money it lost by covering the overage. But a new report claims that these fees have become such a profit center for banks that it’s now in their interest to push account-holders with low-balance bank accounts toward overdrafting. [More]
A few weeks back, we told you about the new photo ID cards being issued by the city of Oakland that could also be used as prepaid debit cards. We also told you about how these debit cards came loaded with sky-high fees. Now it looks like the city has decided to ditch some of these exorbitant charges. [More]
Bank overdraft fees can pile up rapidly, making it increasingly more difficult for a consumer to get back to zero, which is why Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York recently introduced legislation aimed at limiting how much and how frequently banks can ding account holders for these fees. [More]
Yesterday we told you about the sky-high fees associated with the combination photo ID/prepaid debit card being issued by the city of Oakland. Now comes a report that Chicago-area residents who choose to opt in to the prepaid debit option on their transit cards will also see their cash eroded by fees.
The city of Oakland has begun offering ID cards that can also double as prepaid debit cards. Not inherently a bad idea, except for the fact that these cards come loaded with fees that will chisel away at the user’s funds. [More]
We’ve mentioned any number of times how federal laws offer more protection to consumers who make purchases with credit cards because $50 is the most you can be held responsible for a fraudulent purchase, while the sky could be the limit with debit cards. But how do the various networks compare? [More]
Bank Employee Explains Why It Takes So Dang Long To Process Debit Card Fraud Claims & Disputes… And Other Fun Stuff
We hear a lot from readers who say their debit cards were charged for services they didn’t receive — whether by fraud or by ineptitude on the part of a merchant — and who are now waiting for their bank to please put back the money that was wrongfully taken from them. [More]
Consumerist reader “A.M.” has a small business running a Minecraft server that brings in a bit of money via PayPal. He recently applied for a PayPal/Mastercard debit card, only to be denied. That wasn’t such a big deal; the real problem was his sudden inability to access the money in his PayPal account. [More]
After being misled and provided incorrect information about her purchase, Nicole says Best Buy then managed to charge her debit card twice. Now she’s stuck waiting for a refund and there’s not much anyone can do about it. [More]
Michael had a gift card to Buffalo Wings & Rings to use up. His balance was less than a dollar under what he spent on his meal, but he put the remainder on a debit card anyway. Sure, handing over a dollar would have saved him some time in the end, but he had no way to know in advance that the employees of this particular outpost of the chain were all incompetent. When the waitress accidentally ran the entire balance on a credit card, she shrugged and made it Michael’s problem. She didn’t know how to reverse a charge. Guess he’d have to come back and use the gift card another time.
If you’ve found your way to this site, you’re probably savvy enough to know that it’s a very, very poor idea to snap cell phone pics of your debit card and post them to the public photo-sharing service Instagram. We would have thought that would be common sense for anyone intelligent enough to own both money and a functioning smartphone. We were wrong. You see, the NeedADebitCard Twitter bot retweets photos that people post publicly online of their credit and debit cards, often with the numbers in full view. It always seems to have fresh material, but those featured do often take their photos down. The rest remain, with names and numbers in full view.
Mobile apps that can pay for things are pretty neat, but lead to a huge headache if your phone is lost or stolen. Especially if you don’t have a credit card, and use your debit card number instead. When Megan’s iPhone was stolen, she was ready to deal with the annoyance of getting a new debit card and changing her information on each app. She didn’t expect a cascade of incompetence and obnoxiousness from Citizens Bank.
Everyone (except consumer advocates like us) seems to love prepaid debit cards. You can get student loan fundage on them, unemployment benefits, and even federal and state tax refunds. And now they’re handling your paycheck. Christopher just took a job as a pizza delivery driver for a major chain, and he has only one option for receiving his pay (other than tips): a prepaid debit card. He doesn’t like it.
Earlier today, we told you about the U.S. Public Interest Research Group report on how the growing number of ethically questionable partnerships between U.S. colleges and financial institutions was resulting in millions of college students being pushed toward receiving their financial aid payments on cards costing hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to users each year. The study appears to have gotten the attention of some folks in Washington.
It’s not uncommon for someone to steal your credit card and ring up some huge charges on the account. This is why there are such strict limits on liabilities for fraudulent transactions. The protections are not as stiff for debit cards, but they do exist. Regardless, a thief shouldn’t be able to walk into a bank and walk out with $6,500 of a customer’s cash after the debit card associated with that account has been reported stolen.