Money Minute: Target Wants Smarter Cards; Banks Nix Payday-Like Loans


Target wants to lead the effort to improve consumers' financial safety.

Target (TGT) wants the retail industry to switch to a credit card technology that's widely used in Europe. Cards there are imbedded with a computer chip instead of the line of black tape we're used to seeing on the back of our cards. The problem is, the smart chip requires costly upgrades that most retailers and card issuers have rejected in the past. But after the massive hack attacks we've seen recently, the time for this may have arrived.

Also on the consumer front: several large banks say they will stop issuing high-interest, payday-like loans. Federal regulators say they might violate consumer protection laws.

A growing number of economists expect the pace of growth this year to reach 3 percent or more.
That would be the best annual U.S. growth rate in nine years. One reason is the budget agreement in Washington that removes some of the uncertainty that has held back growth in recent years.

Paramount Pictures has become the first major Hollywood studio to end more than a century of making movies on film. According the Los Angeles Times, the Viacom (VIA) unit will only distribute films in digital form. Other studios are likely to follow suit, because it's much cheaper to distribute digital movies. But some movie theaters will have to make costly upgrades, or only offer movies put out on film by smaller studios.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) edged higher last week, but the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged lower.

The focus on Wall Street this week will be corporate earnings, with IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Starbucks (SBUX) leading the earnings parade.

And Freedom Industries has filed for bankruptcy protection. This is the company responsible for the chemical leak that poisoned the water supply two weeks ago for hundreds of thousands of West Virginia residents. It's now facing at least 20 lawsuits.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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January 21 2014 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Banks already make Pay- Day like loans. Just at a much higher rate. Need a tank of gas "no money", just put it on the debit card and you get your tank of gas and a $35 bank charge. So to borrow $50 you pay $35, You can do it again that month but then you pay up to $70 for the second one. How to rob the poor. And "your?" government lets it happen.

January 21 2014 at 4:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cabo79's comment

I agree it takes a lot of nerve to charge people like a fee that we agreed in advance to be charged when we spend the banks money because we have none of our own.

Do they really expect people like you and me to be able to determine for ourselves whether that tank of gas was worth $85 to us?

January 21 2014 at 4:43 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Oh, It's cryin' time again, I'm gonna lose you....

January 21 2014 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

a pretty easy change over... 2 cards for 18 months... then start phasing out the mag strip. After 24 months no more mag strip cards. Most of the mag strip card readers wont work half the time after 2 years anyway... have to use the plastic bag trick to make them read.

January 21 2014 at 11:38 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Once the cards are issued the costs will drop. Retailers will need to upgrade equipment to read the new cards. Have you seen most retailers equipment? Most of the machines don't work well are primitive and difficult to use. Now is the time to set standards for these machines so that no matter what store you go to they work the same. If the credit card companies want to save money combine their technology onto one card so that you would need to choose what account you want to use. Finally is it cheaper to upgrade or accept paying for all of theft of information currently going on?

January 21 2014 at 9:36 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Poor Visa, profits over custumer service. Europe has no issue with the higher standard.

January 21 2014 at 9:18 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dencuddy's comment

You could always move to Europe.

January 21 2014 at 10:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment

Being zombie's like my buddy mily and I is a lot cooler than some of you seem to realize. After all, thinking can be hard.

January 21 2014 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down