The FDIC just released its Winter 2009/2010 Consumer News. Some excerpts that I thought would be useful to highlight include:
- Online Banking, Bill Paying and Shopping: 10 Ways to Protect Your Money.
Nelson suggested checking your accounts online about once or twice a week, but he also noted that "more and more banks are making it easier for their customers to keep an eye on their accounts electronically. For example, many banks offer e-mail or text message alerts when your balance falls below a certain level or when there is a transaction over a certain amount."
Consider using a separate computer solely for online banking or shopping.
Using a credit card generally offers more purchase protection than a debit card or other electronic forms of online payment.
- New Federal Rules Highlight Overdraft Costs, Limit Fees
when an institution provides a consumer with account balance information through an automated system - including an ATM, Web site or telephone - it must provide the actual balance, without additional amounts that could be used to cover overdrafts.
And, under another new rule from the Federal Reserve Board, beginning on July 1, 2010, financial institutions will be prohibited from charging fees for overdrafts on ATM withdrawals and one-time debit card transactions at "point of sale" (POS) terminals in stores unless the individual agrees up front ("opts in") to pay those fees.
- Ideas for Growing a Small Business
Money that your business has on deposit with a bank is insured separately from your personal accounts at the same institution if the funds are in an account opened in the name of a corporation, partnership or other legal entity. But if you operate your business as a sole proprietorship, your business' funds are insured together with your personal deposits at that same institution in the "single account" category (those in your name alone and not including certain Individual Retirement Accounts), rather than being insured separately.
Refer to my November post for highlights of the FDIC's Fall 2009 Consumer News.