Archive for the ‘Credit Cards’ Category

Where do ATM charges go?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

article_45Ever wondered where the money goes when you pay the annoying $2.50 charge to use a local ATM machine?

It’s tempting to think that you’re paying a bank or a financial service provider. That’s partly true. But you’re also lining a normal investor’s pockets as well.

Most private ATMs are actually owned by individual investors – normal people – who put up the cash to install the machine and then receive a cut of the fee charged for every withdrawal.

Typically, the ATM service provider – the company that insures and maintains the machines – will receive around half of the fee ($1.20).

The venue receives $1 per withdrawal, while the investor receives the remaining $0.30.

The machines can cost between $11,000 and $28,500, according to Own Your Own ATM, and they are becoming quite a popular investment.

An average $11,000 machine might be used 26 times a day, the company said, which would generate at least $235 per month for the investor.

If this was fed into the market-leading savings account, the machines would take around four years to pay for themselves, before all subsequent revenue became profit.

The problem is, of course: this burgeoning industry is encouraging people to profit from a basic service – allowing people access to their cash.

And the $2.50 fee is a steep cost for convenience. Consumers who want to be more efficient with their cash should avoid private ATM machines and stick wherever possible to their own bank’s ATM network, which will rarely charge a fee.

Cards at the Ready: Online Spending Up By Over 10%

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Australians’ online spending has risen by more than 10% in a year, as the 2013 total approaches $15 billion. Measured by proportion, however, this remains some way behind other major Western economies.

credit card online (article_02bc)National Australia Bank’s online retail sales index has shown that $14.6 billion was spent between November 2012 and November 2013 – over 10% higher than the previous year.

Consequently, the calendar year of 2013 could see figures approaching $15 billion, depending on how many people turned to their credit cards to complete their Christmas shopping online.

And despite concerns about the ease of buying abroad, well over $10 billion of this online spending has remained in Australia, benefiting domestic retailers.


Open Up OneTab to Pay For All Your Drinks

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

For those of you in South Australia, there’s a new smartphone application available that will removed the need to get your wallet out when you’re paying for a drink.

The OneTab application was developed by Queensland-based team Paul Wyatt and Scott Cross to allow hotel customers to set a limit for their food and drinks tab at selected venues – removing the need to hand over a credit card to make their payment – through their point-of-sale system.

SmartPhone Text Charges

All patrons need to do is located the venue within the app, open up a tab and set their credit limit. Once this has been completed and their card balance has been verified, a code is generated by the app which just needs to be shown to the bartender. It’s really as simple as that.

Living the High Life

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

There’s motorhomes and campervans. And then there’s this: a mobile home with a difference (if not quite so mobile any more).

Bruce Campbell, an American engineer captivated by planes, has spent a total of $220,000 creating his dream home inside a decommissioned Boeing 727-200 jet.

The retired Olympic Airways jet was bought for $100,000 in 1999, and has since been converted into a mobile home. The fuselage has been stripped of its seating and now comprises a living area, bedroom and office – a renovation job which ended up costing $117,000.

It’s been an exhilarating project, the engineer decrees. The 727 jet now sits modestly tucked away in the woodlands of Oregon, and is becoming quite the tourist attraction.


Banking in Australia and Great Britain: A Comparison

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

It’s not unusual for Aussies to shadow the UK’s developments, and in many cases, to learn lessons from them.

Firstly, there was the MPs expenses scandal, which struck the UK back in 2009. This prompted a small probe by Australia’s Daily Telegraph into the practices of Canberra MPs.

But it’s only really struck notoriety in 2012, with the report into MP Craig Thomson and the revelations about credit card misuse by a number of government departments.

There’s also the case of Australian banks. Having witnessed the collapse of Northern Rock in the UK and the considerable bailout afforded to the Royal Bank of Scotland, large Australian banks have kept revenues and profits high.

There will be few who argue against the merits of strong banks, particularly given the fate of European and American counterparts. Many of these are now under investigation for alleged manipulation of the inter-bank lending rate during the inception of the global financial crisis.

But for many, it’s hard to accept the banks’ ability to pull in record profits during a global financial crisis, when many are living on the breadline and trying to negotiate their way through a stuttering economy.


Payday Lenders Under Fire

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Payday lenders are out to exploit those hit hardest by the domestic slowdown, welfare bodies are warning.

The South Australian Council of Social Service has spoken out against payday lending companies after receiving a volume of complaints from concerned consumers.

Borrowers are being unfairly lured into taking out loans which, in some cases, appear to be interest-free, but which instead incur massive fees.

Cash Converters is one firm that has come under particular scrutiny for this practice. Despite their claims that no interest is payable on their loans, the charges often result in huge return rates for the lender.

The Advertiser reported that a desperate mother who took out a loan of $1,500 from the Cash Shop faces repayments totalling $2,600 in just four months – 73% interest.

Consumers turning to payday loans because of their struggles against the increasing cost of living are finding their problems exacerbated by interest rates and/or fees in excess of 100%.