April 3, 2024

Credit card firms provide both consumers and businesses with a convenient way to handle payments that eliminates the need to deal with large amounts of cash all the time. Still, this service doesn’t come for free: not only can customers rack up large amounts of interest on their credit card bills, companies also must pay a fee for every transaction they make. These “swipe fees” can add up quickly. Last year alone, U.S. merchants paid $101 billion in swipe fees Continue reading

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April 13, 2023

Since launching its digital payment system in 2014, Apple has steadily increased its market share in a space traditionally dominated by big banks. This video looks at how Apple Pay has frightened Wall Street stalwarts like JPMorgan Chase and caused financial institutions to expand their own digital payment efforts in order to compete. 


  1. What advantages and disadvantages does Apple Pay have compared to traditional financial firms?
  2. Do you prefer to pay with cards or digital platforms like Apple Pay?
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February 18, 2020

Rather than worry about having cash on hand, many American consumers now prefer to use credit or debit cards as their preferred methods of payment. Companies are usually happy to oblige cashless customers since cards are easy to process and keep busy lines moving. In fact, a number of retailers and restaurants across the country have switched to cashless payment models that rely entirely on cards or mobile apps. According to consumer advocates and lawmakers, however, these businesses could be Continue reading

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November 15, 2019

This week, Google announced that it’s launching a banking service next year that will offer “smart checking” accounts to mobile-focused customers. Known as Cache, the program is the result of a collaboration between the search giant and two banks: Citigroup and Stanford Credit Union. Although details of the partnership remain limited at this time, Google eventually wants Cache to become an extension of its Google Pay app. The company also claims that customers will “benefit from useful insights and budgeting Continue reading

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June 21, 2019

Last weekend, Target shoppers around the country received some unwelcome news when they reached the checkout counter. Due to an “internal technology issue,” the retailer’s registers crashed for about two hours on Saturday afternoon. Soon social media became filled with footage of long lines at Target stores as employees completed cash transactions by hand. Of course, many customers abandoned their carts and went home after they learned about the problem.

Eventually Target announced that the registers had come back online, Continue reading

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April 10, 2018

Paying with a credit card is an almost entirely electronic process except for one notable step: the signature. Although this final part of the transaction is meant to provide another layer of security, many consumers quickly squiggle something down on the line just to get the procedure over with. Then there are people like Doug Taylor, who goes the extra mile by signing his receipts with a doodle of a little dog wagging its tail. “It gets a laugh, most Continue reading

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August 10, 2016

For the last few months Americans have been confronted with a peculiar dilemma at the cash register: to swipe or not to swipe? That is the question as shoppers and businesses across the country struggle to adapt to the credit card industry’s transition to chip technology. While 75 percent of cards are currently chip-enabled, only one-quarter of American merchants have the equipment to read them. The frustration continues even after upgrading as customers endure long waits for payments to Continue reading

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August 2, 2016

With credit cards commonplace and mobile payments steadily growing in popularity, Americans just don’t spend cash the way they used to. For instance, the salad-selling chain Sweetgreen claims that cash payments accounted for 40 percent of all transactions when they opened nine years ago. Now, fewer than 10 percent of the company’s sales are completed with cash. In January Sweetgreen eliminated cash transactions at a few locations to see if the change would upset customers. Complaints ended up being scarce Continue reading

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Over the last few years, large retailers have become increasingly vulnerable to attacks by hackers looking to steal important company and customer data. In order to prevent these breaches, stores across the nation are upgrading to new credit card readers that scan an embedded chip rather than the card’s magnetic strip. Each transaction on a chip-card receives its own unique code, making shopping safer for consumers and companies alike. 575 million of these new cards are expected to land in Continue reading

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