Selasa, 29 April 2008

Banks and card companies should give customers examples of what they are paying on their credit card bills, according to a representative of one debt counselling service.

James Falla, director of Thomas Charles, supported the idea of market regulators asking companies to “clearly print” the examples for card holders to avoid confusion on items such as interest rates.

Mr Falla explained: “Particularly with cards that do have high interest rates, they should be illustrating what a person is going to be paying back if they only make a minimum payment.

“That would then show us that with some of these cards, if you just make the minimum payment, it’s going to take you ten years plus to repay the amount, and you’re going to be.”

He concluded: “The card providers should spend more time illustrating the amount that people are going to pay back.”

Figures from Credit Action show that the total of personal debt in the UK increased by £122 million in the 12 moths up to October 2007.
http://fininformer.com/


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Credit Card

A credit card is a system of payment named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. A credit card is different from a debit card in that it does not remove money from the user's account after every transaction. In the case of credit cards, the issuer lends money to the consumer (or the user) to be paid to the merchant. It is different from a charge card (although this name is sometimes used to describe credit cards), which requires the balance to be paid in full each month. In contrast, a credit card allows the consumer to 'revolve' their balance, at the cost of having interest charged. Most credit cards are the same shape and size, as specified by the ISO 7810 standard. The most common credit card size, known as ID-1, is 85.60 × 53.98 mm.
Credit cards are issued after an account has been approved by the credit provider, after which cardholders can use it to make purchases at merchants accepting that card.

When a purchase is made, the credit card user agrees to pay the card issuer. The cardholder indicates his/her consent to pay, by signing a receipt with a record of the card details and indicating the amount to be paid or by entering a Personal identification number (PIN). Also, many merchants now accept verbal authorizations via telephone and electronic authorization using the Internet, known as a 'Card/Cardholder Not Present' (CNP) transaction.

Electronic verification systems allow merchants to verify that the card is valid and the credit card customer has sufficient credit to cover the purchase in a few seconds, allowing the verification to happen at time of purchase. The verification is performed using a credit card payment terminal or Point of Sale (POS) system with a communications link to the merchant's acquiring bank. Data from the card is obtained from a magnetic stripe or chip on the card; the latter system is in the United Kingdom and Ireland commonly known as Chip and PIN, but is more technically an EMV card.

Other variations of verification systems are used by eCommerce merchants to determine if the user's account is valid and able to accept the charge. These will typically involve the cardholder providing additional information, such as the security code printed on the back of the card, or the address of the cardholder.

Each month, the credit card user is sent a statement indicating the purchases undertaken with the card, any outstanding fees, and the total amount owed. After receiving the statement, the cardholder may dispute any charges that he or she thinks are incorrect (see Fair Credit Billing Act for details of the US regulations). Otherwise, the cardholder must pay a defined minimum proportion of the bill by a due date, or may choose to pay a higher amount up to the entire amount owed. The credit provider charges interest on the amount owed (typically at a much higher rate than most other forms of debt). Some financial institutions can arrange for automatic payments to be deducted from the user's bank accounts, thus avoiding late payment altogether as long as the cardholder has sufficient funds.