November 9, 2012

Friday Tech, Money & Business: Bad Lending, Mobile Paying and Big Giving

Almost 40% of Pay Day Loans Used to Buy Food

According to a report from the consumer watchdog, almost half of all payday loan customers are struggling to fulfill their most basic needs, with almost 40% of them using the interest rich money to buy food, a plight that has the potential to damage society much in the same way as alcohol and drug abuse.

Which? Executive director, Richard Lloyd, said ‘Payday loans are leaving many people caught in a spiral of debt and taking out more loans just to get by. That’s when they’re hit by excessive penalty charges and roll over fees.”

With the Consumer Credit Counseling Service giving advice to over 16,500 people on payday lenders and 69% of customers saying they regret the decision to take the loans, isn’t it time the government acts to put the brakes to this undeniably backwards industry before it catches any more momentum?


Starbucks Now Accepting Payments With Square Wallet




Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s new baby, Square, is to capitalise it’s partnership with Starbucks by rolling out the mobile payments system across 7,000 U.S. stores.

The app, which will allow people to pay for their coffee with a few clicks of a button, is the first step in a far-reaching agreement that has seen Starbucks invest $25million into the two-year-old startup, which is already valued at $3.25billion.

The new partnership is paving the path for merchants with mobile payments, with e-commerce startups such as Groupon battling to get into the equation with their own efforts. However, with the backing of Starbucks and a board consisting of Dorsey (recently named innovator of the year by Wall Street Journal) and Schultz, it’s hard to look beyond Square as the one to watch in this exciting arena.


George Lucas Goes to the Dark Side, Donates $4billion to Charity




Not every Star Wars fan will welcome the news Lucas is selling their beloved franchise to Mickey Mouse’s parent company. However, the news is a double-edge sword – sorry light saber – in that he’s promised to pledge the majority of the proceeds to his ‘philanthropic endeavors’.

Although the move will by no means make him the biggest giver the world has ever witnessed (Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have donated $45billion between them), it does place him well up there in the rarified company of philanthropists. Lucas can now sit besides the likes of George Soros (Investor, $8billion), Gordon Moore (Intel founder, $6billion) and Carlos Slim Helu ($4billion) at the table of the world’s most generous.

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