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April 11, 2014

Bank of the Internet says that it has reached an agreement to buy Block Bank. It is the second time that Block has reached such an agreement in the last year. Last time the buyer was Republic Bank, but it was held up by regulators. The same contingency is on everyone's mind this time as well.

Back in November, I wrote that B of I was the likely suitor: My suspicion hinged on the announcement that B

April 8, 2014

Ninety-six percent of Americans live within fifteen miles of a Walmart and it will not be long before they can all save a lot when they want to transfer money. 

The new Walmart-2-Walmart service is an affordable option that should disrupt the domestic

December 20, 2013

In 2013, publicly-traded companies serving underbanked consumers outperformed the S&P 500 by approximately six percentage points.

That finding reflects my absolutely unscientific survey of a self-made composition of names. I put together a list of 35

October 18, 2013

Is there anyone out there that is still yet to read Lisa Servon's article that appeared last month in The Atlantic Cities? Is it possible that such an under-the-rock person would also have missed her follow-up article in the New Yorker's Currency blog? At this point, the reach generated from her story of working in a New York City cash-checking store rivals the reaction

October 14, 2013

It is a mistake to belittle the fortunes of  H&R Block just because the tax preparer stepped away from a deal that would have sold its bank to Republic Bank of Kentucky. 

Monday Morning second-guessers seem to think that Block's decision to call off its deal with Republic Bank can be

August 13, 2013

Lawmakers set goal to close loopholes in the Military Lending Act: Some lenders have re-designed their products to skirt the interest rate caps built in to the 2007 Military Lending Act. As initially constructed, the MLA limited interest rates to 36 percent on closed-end loans. Other provisions included bans on pre-payment penalties, mandatory arbitration, and some examples of "roll-overs." Given that structure, the MLA shielded service members from auto title loans, payday loans, and refund anticipation loans. But no provision was made for revolving lines of credit or for overdrafting. Now, however, innovative lenders have constructed open ended lines of credit with three-digit interest rates. Senators Reed, Brown, and Warren are leading an effort to get the Department of Defense to re-write the MLA.

Consumer Portfolio Services (CPS) outlines successful quarter: CPS' investor call revealed a couple of interesting things. For one, the discount it takes against loans it facilitates from dealers is dropping, which hints at increased competition. Also, the company reported that

August 12, 2013

I am taking a vacation this week. I will have only one entry this week. I will be back on the week of the 19th!

June 3, 2013

When the departure of First Citizen's Bank left Six Mile, South Carolina without a bank branch, the leaders of this small town in Northwestern South Carolina decided that they had to do something.

Like most towns suddenly left un-banked, people in Six Mile could not believe

May 31, 2013

Traditional banks face an interesting choice when the pick a strategy to acquire customers for their prepaid cards.

At first blush, most of the big bank cards have generated customers by reaching

May 29, 2013

The contentious discussion around the collection of short-term advances often referred to as "bank payday" may soon be winding up, as the comment period for new rules proposed by the FDIC and the OCC on deposit advances end tomorrow.

Currently, six banks offer deposit advances: Wells Fargo (Checking Account Advance), US Bank (Checking Account Advance), Regions Bank (Ready Advance), Fifth Third (Early Access), Bank of