Now that the holidays are over, the stress of higher credit card charges arrives with the bills. NerdWallet estimates that the average U.S. household had $14,478.78 in credit card debt in 2012 and that 46.7% of U.S. households carry credit card debt. According to CreditCards.com, 2.93% of consumers are delinquent on their credit cards. Credit card usage has dropped in recent years as some consumers are concerned about developing debt they cannot pay. Who carries debt and what credit cards they use varies across consumer types.
This article explores the types of consumers who charge a lot on their credit cards each month versus those who don’t. Also, it compares the types of consumers who carry American Express and Discover cards.
Credit card debt
Americans hold more than 600 million credit cards, according to CreditCards.com. This averages out to 3.5 cards per person. Many consumers use their cards quite avidly, charging everyday purchases such as food and gas. (read more…)
Online shopping grows larger and larger each year. Forrester Research predicts that 167 million consumers in the U.S. will spend $226 billion online in 2012. Consumers shopped online in full force on Black Friday in 2012. ComScore reports that Americans spent $1.04 billion to kick off their holiday shopping. What type of consumer is most likely to shop online and where do they live?
The online shopper
Buying everything from books to computers to even groceries from online retail stores has become more and more common since the ability emerged in the 1990s. While people from all sorts of backgrounds from across the country will shop online, some people are much more likely than others to buy online.
Esri, the world’s leader in geographic information systems, provides Market Potential data that includes a Market Potential Index. The index measures the probability that adults or households in a specific area will exhibit certain consumer behaviors compared to the U.S. (read more…)
Small businesses face a number of challenges, with security at the top of the list. Yet many small-business owners don’t even realize the substantial risk they face while banking online. Let’s take a look at some of the bone-chilling events happening in the small-business payments world today — cyberattacks that can devastate your business.
- Experi-Metal lost $550,000 through phishing attacks
- Sanford School District lost $117,000 to bogus payroll disbursements
- Hillary Machinery lost $800,000 through ACH and wire transfers
The list goes on. A recent report by Symantec found that targeted attacks against companies with 250 or fewer employees jumped to 36% in the six months that ended in June 2012, from 18% in December 2011.
And here’s the REALLY scary part — most SMB owners are unaware that unlike personal bank accounts that give you 60 days to report unauthorized transactions, commercial account holder only have 24 hours. Banks are not liable after that and most SMBs just don’t have the resources needed for litigation after a cyberattack. (read more…)
News and analyses worth a read this weekend …
Sen. Rob Portmann, R-Ohio, wrote in The Wall Street Journal about the “regulatory cliff” facing the business community: “According to a 2011 Gallup survey, overregulation tops the list of ‘most important problems’ facing America’s small-business owners. With our economy stuck in the worst jobs slump since the Great Depression, the pressing need is to build a regulatory climate that encourages investment, growth and job creation. Avoiding the coming regulatory cliff, like the fiscal cliff, will require new leadership at the top.”
Andrew Ross Sorkin discussed in The New York Times’ DealBook what Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., brings to the GOP ticket: Ryan dislikes Dodd-Frank but appears to support breaking up big banks. Ryan talked of how the Troubled Asset Relief Program offended his principles, then voted for it. “So while financiers may cheer Mr. Ryan’s pro-market policies, they may want to reassess just what those policies mean for their businesses.”
Reuters reported on the death of Goldman Sachs’ independent research arm: Some, including former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, blame the failure on investors not wanting to pay for research. (read more…)