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"Cash 'til Payday" loans, operated in 40 states, have grown from about $3 million in 1995 to $400 million in 2001. Interest on the loans runs 15% to 20% over two weeks. OCC, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/4/02

The proposal before U.S. Congress is for driver's licenses in all 50 states that can electronically store information, such as social security numbers and fingerprints. 37 states already store data on their driver's licenses, some with a double bar code and some with magnetic strips. Associated Press, 1/8/02

MasterCard's new product, "e-Duction", allows people who have had their jobs at least six months and who earn at least $20,000 a year to charge up to 2.5% of their annual income on the card. The employee would be charged a $29 annual fee but no interest, and the payments would be automatically deducted from their paycheck. Journal News, West Chester, NY, 1/7/02

The actual name of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 is: The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

Euro Update: More than 15 billion bank notes and 52 billion coins - worth 646 billion euros, or $568 billion - were produced for the switch on New Year's Day. Depending on the country, people have up to two months to get used to their new currency while the old one is phased out. The euro, meant to trade at rough par with the dollar, is worth about 88 cents. AP, NY, 1/1/02

Budgets in U.S. banks will show an average of a 4% increase for information technology (IT) in 2002, with the larger banks spending as much as 25% of their total expenses on IT.Celent Communications, Boston, MA, Business Wire, 1/16/02

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports over 80,000 complaints of identity theft in 2001. Privacy advocates say the figure should be closer to 750,000. The FTC reports it costs the average victim more than $1,000 to clean up the mess left by identity thieves. FTC Consumer Statistic Web Site, 1/26/02,
Copyright © 2002 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2/02

First published on 02/01/2002

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