The FDIC recently published its Summer 2011 Consumer News. Some excerpts that I thought would be useful to highlight include:
- Person-to-Person Payments by Smartphone and Mobile Computer Add Convenience and Pose Risks - I've covered several internet banks that have begun offering P2P payment services. Ally Bank's P2P payment service is the latest one. In my review of ING Direct's P2P payment service, one reader expressed concern about its security. This FDIC article reviews some of the security concerns:
The P2P services offered by banking institutions have the same federal consumer protections that you get when using your credit or debit card if the payment is funded by linking it to your credit card or checking account, respectively. That means, for example, that if someone steals your smartphone and uses it to transfer money you may have limited or no liability for that unauthorized transaction provided you report the problem in a timely manner.
- Lost and Found or Safe and Sound: How to Solve Mysteries of Old Bank Accounts - Most readers of this blog probably keep good records of their bank accounts, but what if you become an executor of a deceased person's estate? You may have to deal with old bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. This article has some useful tips on this issue. With many bank failures over the last few years, there may be more cases of banks turning over unclaimed accounts to the states. Here's what the article mentions about such cases:
following a certain period of inactivity, the FDIC or the other bank will turn unclaimed property over to the state — after 18 months in the case of deposit accounts (under federal law) and after one or more years for the contents of safe deposit boxes (in accordance with state law).
I think I missed the FDIC consumer news that came out last spring. I didn't find many useful articles in this edition. Here's one that's worth mentioning:
- Bank CDs: Key Questions to Ask - I'm not impressed with this article. They leave out two very important questions: what's the early withdrawal penalty and can the bank refuse an early withdrawal request. However, the article does bring up an important issue of dealing with non-bank agents and brokers to purchase CDs. Have you noticed ads in your local newspaper listing very high CD rates? Last year I gave an overview of these newspaper CD ads. Here's the tip this article provided:
There have also been examples of some non-bank companies advertising above-market rates on CDs that, according to FDIC attorney Richard M. Schwartz, were "schemes devised by finance companies and insurance agents eager to get consumers in the door" to eventually purchase a non-insured investment.
Please refer to my February post for highlights of the FDIC's Winter 2011 Consumer News.