lA recent change enacted by Visa© could have an impact on you the next time you go to fill up the car. Beginning in August, gasoline dealers have been given the option to replace the one dollar status check toany amount, up to $500. In the past few weeks, we've seen pre-authorized amounts ranging from $25 to $120. These typically drop off in one to two business days, once the actual transaction posts to a customers account. So what does this mean to you?
Let's look at this from the perspective of Reg E and the opt in/out option. (see my previous post on this subject here) Say you go to the pump to get $25 worth of gas and you have $75 in your account. If you've opted out and the merchant puts through a pre authorized amount of $120, your purchase will be denied. If you've opted in, the purchase would go through but you'd still have a hold on your account for the $120 until the purchase posts. Imagine being in a hurry, your almost out of gas and being denied. Not a very pleasant thought.
So next time you go to buy some gas, check to see what amount is being pre authorized by that merchant. If it's for $120, you may want to find another dealer for your next fill up.
In the most recent edition of the USBanker magazine, two articles caught my attention. The first, entitled "Say Goodbye to Checks", addresses the declining use of checks by consumers. With a new study coming out from the Federal Reserve later this year, the decline is expected to be much higher than the 4.1% percent decrease in 2007. Here are a couple of reasons why:
- The number of bills paid on line by consumers increased by 1 billion a year from 2006 to 2009
- With increased debit card usage, retailers are reporting a 15% decline in checks annually A second article, entitled "Banking 2020:Smartphones Rule", discusses the impact of technology innovation on the branch banking system.
With the introduction of alternatives like ATM's and online banking, and now the advent of the smartphone, consumers have more ways to bank then ever before.
Both of these articles highlight the impact technology's had on consumer behavior and the likelihood that it will continue. We've been tracking these trends as well and are constantly looking for innovative ways to service our customers. In the coming weeks, we'll be introducing some new services that we think will help you more effectively manage your financial life. The future is now. Stay tuned!
Long time customers are the cornerstone of any successful business and banking is no exception. The customers who stick it out through thick and thin provide us with a sense of stability and allow us to feel like we are doing something right.
Whether volunteering to test pilot a new product or investing in the organization, these customers embody our mission to “become a trusted part of the communities in which we operate and to focus on meeting the financial planning and servicing needs of our customers in a way that is personal and professional”.
It is feedback from our customers, good or bad, that gives us the incentive to continuously improve. Below is some feedback from one of our business clients, Riparius Construction, Inc in Baltimore.
As the Chief Financial Officer of one of the largest general contractors in the Baltimore metropolitan area, Riparius Construction, I am thrilled with the support we’ve received from 1st Mariner Bank. They are extremely responsive to all of our requests and financial needs and they are very proactive in making sure we have all of the latest systems that assist us in streamlining our banking operations
We look forward to a continued mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
Mark L. Luterman
Chief Financial Officer
Riparius Construction, Inc
Thank you to Mr. Luterman and all of our customers for keeping the faith and giving us the opportunity to provide you with “Red Carpet Service”.