Latest News in Personal Finance May 2019

Last Update: September 8, 2021 Financial News

In the last few weeks, there have been several major announcements in the world of personal finance. We consolidated the most important ones to help keep you up-to-date.

Earn up to 4% Interest with T-Mobile Money No Fee Checking Account

Taking the plunge into online banking, T-Mobile offers a 4% annual percentage yield (APY) on checking account balances up to $3,000.

So how do you qualify?

  • Enroll in a qualifying T-Mobile wireless plan.
  • Register for perks with your T-Mobile ID.
  • Deposit at least $200 each month into your MONEY checking account.

Keep in mind that for balances of over $3,000 and those that don’t meet the requirements above – you earn a 1% APY. As an added benefit, there are also zero fees. That means no account, overdraft, maintenance, minimum balance, or ATM fees.

Barclays Increases Credit Card Features within its Mobile App

Designed to help customers stay on top of their credit card spending, Barclays U.S. Consumer Bank just added new digital features to its mobile app that allows card members to control how, when, and where their Barclays credit card is used.

The new update also allows you to customize card features by applying spending limits to specific merchants and transactions and offering real-time push notifications. The new suite also offers enhanced fraud protection and security.

Its main features include:

  • SecurHold, which allows you to lock lost or stolen credit cards temporarily.
  • Spend alerts, which provide real-time alerts every time your credit card is used.
  • The ability to customize spending limits across merchants, including restaurants.
  • The ability to set per-transaction spending limits helps you stay within your budget.

MasterCard Acquires Cloud-Based Online Lender Vyze

With its ability to disrupt traditional lending platforms, Vyze helps provide financing solutions by connecting borrowers with multiple lenders. By increasing the lending pool, Vyze provides increased access to credit both online and in-store. For MasterCard, the acquisition also creates payment synergies as Vyze complements its current ARCH-based solutions.

By adding the cutting-edge technology, MasterCard estimates the acquisition will deliver a better lending experience and help facilitate lending approval rates of up to 90% — well above the industry average.

Coinbase is Launching a Visa Debit Card That Allows Users to Pay with Cryptocurrency

The Coinbase Card is the first of its kind only available to UK customers. The debit card allows you to use cryptocurrency as effortlessly as cash in your bank account through its partnership with Visa. Accepted at millions of locations worldwide and ATMs, the new card allows you to purchase online or in-store using bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many other cryptocurrencies.

It works like this: when you make a purchase, Coinbase automatically converts the cryptocurrency in your account to GPB. The fiat currency is then used to pay the retailer and complete the purchase.

As an added feature, you can also track your spending using the Coinbase Card App. You can customize your crypto assets and receive instant receipts, transaction summaries, and spending data by category.

More Credit Cards are Adopting Virtual Account Numbers

Credit card issuers are turning to virtual account numbers that eliminate all figures on the physical card itself to combat identity theft and fraud. Like the new Apple Card – which uses Face ID, Touch ID, and virtual numbers for added security – Capital One Eno also removes numbers from its physical card. The program is free to enroll, and it’s built upon using merchant-specific credit card numbers – which are then used to complete the transaction. It makes it much more difficult for scammers to steal your information by allocating a different card number to each merchant.

Through its ShopSafe Program, Bank of America also allows you to create your own credit card numbers. The program is free, but it’s only available to Visa and MasterCard customers who use its online banking platform.

44% of Credit Card Applications Now are Using a Mobile Device

From an advertising perspective, while direct mail accounts for just over half of all credit card ads, 73% of actual applications are made using smartphones, tablets, or computers. While customers often receive card offers in the mail, they actually apply through a digital channel. Breaking down the digital half of the advertising numbers, nearly 23% of credit card advertisements come from the issuer or third-party websites, while 11% come through emails from the card issuer, 6% through social media, 6% through mobile apps, and 3% through text message.

Credit Card Usage Rising Among College Students

According to a recent Sallie Mae Report, 57% of college students and 83% of college graduates own at least one credit card. In 2016, students reported owning an average of three cards and carrying an average balance of $903. In 2019, students now owned an average of five cards and carried an average balance of $1,183.

As well, 35% of students chose their first card because a parent or guardian recommended it. Rewards points – at 34% – were cited as the number one reason for choosing a particular card, while ease of approval – at 42% – was the number one reason for choosing a card among respondents who didn’t complete their degree.

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans Don’t Save any Money from Their Monthly Paycheck

Through its 2019 Savings Survey, First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) found that 74% of Americans allocate 10% or less of their monthly paycheck towards savings, while 23% of Americans don’t save any money at all. Moreover, 63% of Americans don’t have an annual savings goal, while 53% live paycheck to paycheck. Citing the increased cost of living, 26% of respondents attributed day-to-day expenses as the main reason they’re falling behind on their savings. Another 13% cited credit card debt as the main catalyst, while another 13% cited the high education cost.

Interestingly enough, the study found that 25% of Americans never had to make a withdrawal from their savings account for emergency spending, while 24% had to do so once a month and 21% had to do so once per year.

As it relates to retirement, only 27% of respondents cited saving for retirement as their top priority. However, 60% reported they were somewhat on track to retiring by age-65.



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