Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Not just another Bank Holiday a.k.a another day off…

by Erica Starr 14. January 2011

Dr. King is known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and around the world. Each year on the third Monday of January schools, federal offices, post offices and banks across America close as we celebrate the birth and the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  January 17, 2011 (the observed holiday for Martin L King Jr. Day) marks the 25th anniversary of the national holiday commemorating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you’re one of the fortunate who has the day off, then take advantage of the opportunity. Instead of using the day to lay around the house or finish up that last bit of gift returns/exchanges, get out and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  legacy by learning about his life at one of the many celebrations and programs at Baltimore area museums and libraries.

The city of Baltimore and its surrounding counties do a fabulous job providing numerous activities in which folks can learn and honor the life and dreams of one of the greatest visionaries in recent history.  For starters, come out and enjoy the city’s 11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade as it proceeds down MLK Blvd. Too cold? That’s okay, stay warm at the American Visionary Arts Museum as they celebrate Martin Luther King Day at the AVAM. Not lucky enough to have the day off on MLK Day? That’s okay too.  Port Discovery is hosting their “I have a Dream Weekend.” Another weekend event that you might want to check out is the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History ‘s “Martin Luther King. Jr. Weekend”. As you can see, Baltimore is all about options - from parades to lectures, there are plenty of different activities out there for you and your family to spend the long weekend.

Although it is a most welcomed day off for some, please remember that it is also a national day of service to honor the life and dreams of the man responsible - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here for details on Baltimore MLK events.

Visitors from Japan talk with us about Mariner360

by Kevin Lynch 8. December 2010

We recently had the honor and pleasure of hosting five Senior Analysts from the Information Technology Research Department of Nomura Research Institute (NRI). NRI is a Tokyo-based technology consulting firm with over 6,200 emloyees around the world. They were visiting various organizations across the United States doing reserach on new technologies. We were the first stop on their tour.

Along with other topics, they mainly were here to talk to us about Mariner360, our newest online offering powered by Geezeo. According to our guests, there is not any type of Personal Financial Management (PFM) software available to Japanese consumers today. They are interested in offering this type of system to them.

They did note one signficant difference between the Japanese and American consumer. Their consumers do not typically have credit cards or carry the associated balances, unlike many American consumers today. So their consumers desire to aggregate their accounts is less important than the budgeting and goal setting tools available in the PFM.

Visa change could impact you at the pump

by Kevin Lynch 20. August 2010

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.

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