Dec 09, 2012 Dave King
Business owners and financial executives are hopeful about the financial spending outlook into 2013. Although, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate jumped 0.1 percent from 7.8 in September to 7.9 percent in October, gains are being seen in spending. Underbanked customers may turn to alternative credit sources during the holidays, and as such short term lending options could meet consumers' needs. An article on creditunions.com highlighted this holiday trend, and how many credit unions encourage holiday loans by offering them at a lower rate than most major credit cards. Keeping lending rates lower encourages the opportunity for more holiday spending. Mobile pay
The growing popularity of mobile payments reflects fact that the population is increasingly capable of accessing web-based services on-the-go. Mobile payment options often simplify payment methods for the consumer, as data from the customer's account is electronically transmitted to payment terminals. Customers do not need to have the card present, which may add security during a season in which customers and identity thieves alike may be inclined to rely on the convenience of credit cards. Mobile payment options also can benefit the consumer as transactions are settled in real time, whereas credit card transactions sometimes take several business days to process. PayPal and Google Wallet
PayPal's mobile payment is a model that works well for individuals who seek out alternative means of lending. These clients may be seen as a credit risk to larger financial institutions, but may be improving their consumer credit reports with prepaid credit cards. Google has also newly introduced a mobile payment application called Google Wallet. The application allows individuals with smartphones to sync all of their credit card information onto his or her device, which can be tapped against a credit card machine as a form of payment if the hardware is compatible. Google wallet also will sync payment information to a personal computer, limiting the need for swiping plastic.