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Financial Conversations with Fitz #92 - The Electronic World We Live In! - 01/12/2011

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Well the second week of the year starts out with a soft DOW action this morning.   Quite a weekend of weather.   Looks like it will be the same challenges today.   Just visited with a teacher in Spencer that has called off school today.  

Hope everyone got a good start on their goals for the year!

Wanted to visit today about a topic that we all have mixed emotions about.   Our electronic world is ever gaining a stronger foothold in our world.   That is the noncashpayments with our debit card and other non cash with our businesses.   The Fed said we had 20 billion more of these in 2009 vs 2006.   Even our debit card that most of us use has increased by 12.8 billion payments.   We are now at 37.9 billion in 2009.   That is a 14.8% increase since last year.  Debit card payments accounted for 34.8% of all non cash payments.   They have now passed checks as the most used instruments.   Another one is the ACH that we all see so much on our statements.   When you send a check in the mail the business even takes it out electronically.   You will also notice is most of the box stores that they hand your check back to you.   This is considered an ACH transaction.   It comes out just like a debit card, immediately.   Another electronic is the prepaid cards that are used as gifts or travel item.   They are handy when you don’t want to carry a lot of cash for people that don’t have a regular checking or a debit card.  They have increased by 21.5% annually since 2006.

The other one is with the Federal agencies themselves.   Labor taxes and federal benefits will be electronic this year.   Anyone that signs up after May 1, 2011 will be enrolled as electronic.  If you are already getting a check it will switch to electronic on March 1, 2013.   80% of federal benefits are currently electronic.   The rest will be on March 1st.  If you have any concerns about your comfort of the electronic be sure to check with us at TSB to visit about it.   We have many methods to protect you in case of a problem.  Talk to anyone of our personal bankers to reach your comfort level.   You can go to www.frbservices.org for more detailed information if you want to read about this before you stop in to see us. 

Call or stop in to see us if you have any questions in any of our three offices in Titonka, Forest City or Thompson.

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations.  When you work with them, you know that you will also see them sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.