Nearly two weeks after Russell Simmons’ RushCard fiasco came to light, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it is investigating the freezing of financial accounts that left customers without access to their funds.
Debit-card thefts at ATMs located on bank properties surged 174 percent from Jan. 1 to April 9, compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, attacks against nonbank machines soared by 317 percent.
Twenty-nine percent of 45 banks studied this year did not clearly identify the “overdraft default option,” which prevents customers from getting dinged with overdraft fees.
The CFPB’s rules will require prepaid companies to limit consumers’ losses when funds are stolen or cards are lost, protections common to bank- and store-issued credit cards.
Bank of America on Thursday launched something called the “SafeBalance” account, which costs $4.95 a month and comes with no paper checks. Its primary selling point: you won’t overdraw your account. But current bank regulations already protect consumers from overdraft penalties.
The GAO recommends requiring financial firms providing debit and prepaid card services to colleges to file their agreements for public review. “The financial marketplace functions best when consumers are fully informed and have unbiased information,” the GAO said.
T-Mobile announced Wednesday that it is now offering Mobile Money, a checking account service that promises zero fees for everyday banking-type services. Now, let’s see how long it takes for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint to follow T-Mobile’s lead again.
The hack attack against Neiman Marcus went undetected for several months, from July to December, and the breach was not fully contained until five days ago, according to a report by the New York Times.
Target confirmed Thursday that the PIN data of its customers’ bank ATM cards were stolen in the previously-reported huge breach affecting 40 million card accounts. But the third-largest U.S. retailer said it was sure that the PIN information remains “safe and secure.”
Add debit cards to Google’s ever-expanding stash of offerings. The Internet giant Wednesday launched an actual non-virtual (real) prepaid card.