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STOP THE BREACHES; Merchants Need Accountability

STOP THE BREACHES; Merchants Need Accountability

By: Patrick Conway, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Credit Union Association If you shopped at Target, Home Depot, and Neiman Marcus, or if you had dinner or dessert at Jimmy John’s, P.F. Changs or Dairy Queen, you were also likely a victim of a data breach in 2014. The Identity Theft Resource Center estimates over 500 data security breaches have occurred this year, exposing more than 75 million data records. While these merchants faced a public relations crisis, credit unions and other card issuers experienced a financial crisis. Credit unions not only must cover the fraudulent charges, but also shoulder the costs of blocking transactions, reissuing cards, increasing staff to handle inquiries, and monitoring consumer accounts. Credit unions had to replace millions of cards at a cost of upwards of $2.50 each, along with the millions of dollars in fraudulent charges. The...
Credit Union Members Enjoy Low Fees
In today's credit crunch, more consumers are fighting back against the high transaction fees charged by their banks. But credit union members have a much more effective way of influencing fees and other charges--as member-owners, you keep fees down simply by using credit union services. The more services you use, the more cost-effective all services become. And credit union fees are low to begin with, because credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives that return income to members in the form of lower fees and loan rates and higher savings rates. Here are some examples of how credit unions benefit their members from CUNA's Economics and Statistics December 2013 report: *The average interest rate for a credit card from a credit union was 4.34% lower than a bank's interest rate, 11.44% compared to 15.78%. *Money market accounts at credit unions earned an average interest rate of .17%, while the same...
Smart Money Management Skills Help Avoid Overdraft Fees
Debit card use is growing. Debit card payments accounted for 43% of 110 billion transactions in 2011, an increase from 19.4% in 2003, according a study from Moebs Services, Lake Forest, Ill. That was the year that the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21 Act) was enacted. Check 21 eliminated the "float" on checks that kept many consumers from overdrawing their accounts. The lack of float and increased debit card use has made the time between initiating payment and depositing payment almost nonexistent. With 87% of checking account users not reconciling their checking accounts, the probability that the average consumer will overdraw is immeasurably increased, according to the Moebs study. Though credit unions' median charge for an overdraft is less than the national median for all financial institutions, and is much lower than what Wall Street banks charge, you can avoid overdraft fees altogether...

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NEW -Kmart announces breach possibly affecting credit and debit cards (Reuters).