Tag Archive | "consumers"

Will People Still Patronize the White iPhone4?

The buzz about the white iPhone4 has grown louder and louder today as everybody anticipates for its release. Although it is not yet confirmed, the likelihood that the white iPhone4 will be released this week is really strong.

It has been 10 months since consumers have started hearing reports about the release of white iPhone 4. Yet, no one has seen even a prototype of this mobile phone.

The blogosphere, a known tech-savvy blog, released a screenshot of Best Buy’s database which included iPhone4. Moreover, it showed that the phone is expected to be released today. Reliability of those screenshots is not yet confirmed.

But the main question remains. Will people still purchase the white iPhone4? Everywhere, people will see someone using an iPhone4. Thus, many question the chances that its white version will be patronized.

Analysts say that the white iPhone4 will still be a big hit even though the only thing that sets it apart from the black iPhone4 is its color. They say that getting an iPhone has become more of a social symbol than for practical uses. Therefore, the pent-up anticipation for the iPhone4 will prompt people to get one for them.

With the launching of the equally elusive iPhone5 pushed back to September, the sales of the white iPhone4 may reap the benefits. People will be torn between waiting for another five months and giving in to what’s available now.

Both the launch and the success of the white iPhone4 still remain to be seen.

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JP Morgan Considers a $50 Roof on Purchases via Debit Cards

JP Morgan debit card limitsYour spending habits may soon be changed after a reliable source disclosed that JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the nation, will consider capping transactions using your debit card at $100 or even $50. This decision is due to interchange fees.

At the moment, retailers pay around 44 cents for every debit card transaction. Those little charges sum up to $16 billion annually; this goes directly into your bank’s profits. However, the Wall Street reform
submitted in 2010 proposed that those fees be slashed to 12 cents beginning July of this year.

This could cost JPMorgan Chase, and all other major issuing banks, more than $1 billion annually. Joe
Price said that this overwhelming decrease in interchange fees will force banks nationwide to increase
their debit card transactions fees and possibly limiting their payment.

On top of the $100 to $50 limit on debit card transactions, Chase is also considering imposing a $3
monthly debit card fee. Also, the bank has stopped issuing debit reward cards since November of 2010.
However, the spokesperson of Chase Banks refused to comment on this issue.

Major Banks said that the interchange fees help them make up for fraudulent transactions. If banks
cannot find a way to cover that cost, they will need to pass on the charges to their consumers by issuing
additional charges.

If this pushes through on July, people will be forced to issue checks or withdraw from ATMs. This will
greatly affect those who have bad credits and are not eligible for a checking account or a credit card

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Credit Card Balance Transfers Fighting it out in February

Credt Card Balance Transfers Fight it out in FebruaryFebruary is proving to be possibly one of the best months of 2011 for balance transfers. This is because Discover is offering two limited time promotions for the month of February. The first offer, which is a no balance transfer fee card, is 0% interest for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases. This is probably one of the best deal for consumers and many are taking advantage.

Discover is also offering a 24-month interest free balance transfer. This card, however, requires a 5% balance transfer fee. This may be the best option for consumers who will require more time to pay off their balances.

Consumers can get 0% interest for 18 months with a 3% balance transfer fee by using the Cit Platinum Select Card.

Many credit card companies, including Bank of America, are making competition fierce. However, Discover’s two limited time offers, which expire in February, are the main reason the balance transfer market is so strong for the month of February. If you were to take the offers from Discover and Citibank out of the equation, you would see that the overall market for balance transfers is surprisingly weak. This is because the average balance transfer deal is only 9 months long which doesn’t give consumers the confidence that they can pay their balances within that time frame.

The Chase Slate credit card offers great balance transfer terms, up to 18 months. However, consumers with less than perfect credit may only be offered 6 months to pay their balances. Those with perfect credit can expect the appealing 18 month terms.

Other banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank also offer balance transfer deals. However, these are usually unpopular due to the short terms, some lasting only 9 months to pay balance transfers. Transfer fees are also relatively high for these banks making these offers less appealing to consumers.

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Fed Says Banks Slightly Loosened for Business Loans

The Federal Reserve informed on Monday that banks modestly loosened their lending standards for particular business loans over the past three months, but they still kept tight standards for consumer loans.

The Fed said that 12 percent of banks that responded to their recent survey had eased their standards to some extend on industrial and commercial loans. But, the survey discovered little change in the firm lending standards forced on consumer loans since the housing market crumpled.

With regards to the business loans, banks said the modest easing in standards portrayed a less uncertain economic outlook and raised competition from other banks to make business loans.

The survey run by Fed covered a total of 57 domestic banks that included all of the nation’s biggest institution. It represented the bulk of lending activity in the entire country.

Forty-nine banks said their policies on commercial and industrial lending were unchanged. One bank said it had slightly tightened their standards while seven banks, or 12 percent, said they had somewhat eased their lending standards.

Many small businesses have complained that the $700 billion financial bailout the government sponsored did not succeed in protecting them from being cut off from their normal lines of bank credit.

The bailout program was supposed to provide sufficient capital for banks to allow them to continue lending even as the country fell into recession.

But banks that were faced with increasing loan losses remarkably tightened their standards. That has dragged the overall economy as it caused depression on consumers, as well as business borrowing.

Banks had firmly tightened their lending standards for business and consumer loans during the peak of financial crisis in 2008. Even with loosening of loan standards for the past year, it is still much difficult to get a loan than before the crisis.

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Last-Minute Shopping Boost U.S Sales

More last-minute shoppers came to several U.S stores this year than last year’s final Saturday before Christmas. Also, shopper spending is expected to go even higher during the latter part of the week.

According to the research firm ShopperTrak, U.S sales went up on Saturday as many people continued shopping for gifts. Sales were up 15.1 percent from last year. However, this year also profited most than last year because of the blizzard that hit the East Coast.

But, many shoppers are still procrastinating with less than a week left before Christmas. About 23 million shoppers are still expected to be out on Christmas Eve according to a survey done by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

As Christmas nears, consumers have increased their shopping pace and purchases. Retail shops are also shaping up to get favorable holiday sales and December performances.

December 23 is considered to be the year’s second biggest day when it comes to shopping sales and the third biggest foot traffic, according to ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. The foot traffic on Saturday was up 10.1 percent in comparison to last year’s record.

Almost three quarters of Americans are already done with their shopping on Saturday. Last week, only half of the Americans completed their Christmas shopping.

The Saturday shopping mooed increased the retailers’ sales for the whole. ICSC-Goldsman Sachs weekly chain store sales index showed an increase of 4.2 percent sales from the previous year.

Yet, ICSC found that spending will not yet end on Christmas. Many consumers are still planning to go shopping a day after that, and will be out the whole week between Christmas and New Year.

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