Banking on misfortune - Page 2

New debit cards for unemployment benefits funnel more fees and customers to Bank of America


"The issues with credit card charges in general is that it's all about the small print," says Hut Landon, Executive Director of Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. As with the Bank of America EDD card, unadvertised fees can occur through usage of debit and credit cards. On top of a base percentage, merchants must pay fees for rewards cards, mileage cards, and are sometimes charged for transactions, Landon explains. There is even a fee for manually entering credit card information instead of swiping it. The debit card fee is sometimes less, but merchants still could be suffering from the EDD's new system.

"While this may be a good situation for Bank of America," says Landon, "[for merchants] its definitely not a good deal."

Joel Bleskacek, co-owner of Potrero Hill favorites Plow and Ruby Wine, tells the Guardian he pays between 1.5 percent and 3 percent for credit card transactions at his restaurant and wine store. That's a significant amount of money lost with each transaction, money that goes directly to the banks or credit card processors. "For what we're paying at the restaurant, I could hire a general manager to work if we only accepted cash," Bleskacek says. But credit cards are more popular than cash at both his establishments. "A vast majority is credit card sales. People don't seem to carry cash anymore. Same at the restaurant. An overwhelming majority of sales are through the credit card machine." Credit card company's earnings quickly add up. "Basically 2.5 to 3 percent of our entire economy is going to credit card companies...," he says. "Somebody's making some money."


I wrote this to my state legislators:

"I only have a comment about Unemployment Insurance payment services
being turned over to Bank of America. To talk to live customer service
I had to talk to someone in Tennesee. Someone who is presumably not a
public employee and not even in California where the EDD is addressing
our unemployment . Isn't that ironic that the major business contract
B of A must have gotten to do this does not include a requirement of
"local " hire???"

Posted by Guest on Sep. 17, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

I here that the state of California is seceding the the union and will become a state in the "United States of Bank of America."

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

Meatlock, Matlock can always be counted on to leak his a stinking gasbag of a brain and embarrass himself.
Even when attempting to post anonymously.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

"Money can be accessed on the debit card through purchases, unlimited ATM withdrawals, or transferred to a bank account. Liehe opted to have the money transferred to an account independent from B of A, but says he found the process challenging, and the information and instructions difficult to find."

SFBG - do everyone a favor: Find out what the process was - publish it and share that knowledge...

oh wait... I googled it... hire me! :)

7. How can I transfer my funds to my checking or savings account?
You may transfer some or all of your benefits to your checking or savings account by performing a one-time or recurring direct deposit transfer online at or by calling customer service at 1.866.692.9374. Please Note: The Employment Development Department will not contact you under any circumstances to request personal bank account information. Any direct deposit transfer request must be initiated by you through Bank of America.

Ok so this is like having a direct deposit from an "employer" made into your bank account or credit union account - except this goes from the EDD via BofA to your bank / credit union etc

I'm sure BofA's "customer service" will try to persuade you to keep your money with them and I'm pretty sure you know what to tell 'em

Better article idea - How to get your money from BofA and not be financially illiterate in the 21st century.

Posted by Nusfrat Jones on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 12:10 am

FYI - The operative phrase in the above cut and paste is

"some or all of your benefits"


Posted by Nusfrat Jones on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 12:34 am

I immediately set up automatic transfer to my Credit Union with a phone call, and I think an online form. No hassle. Go to EDD website; search for 'Debit Card', all info is there.
@Oona. Thanks for drawing attention to this. I posted a comment some months ago.
IMHO this is just more criminal collusion between our 'representatives' and the Wall Street crooks. Unemployment and our economic downfall are largely attributable to their activities, and none of them are being held to account. I thought I had severed all relationships with BofA, and the rest of them, several years ago when I consolidated all my financial affairs with the SF Fire Credit Union, seems not. I do not think the unemployed or others receiving 'benefits' we have paid for, have any option other than using BofA debit card. We subsidized their 'bail out' with billions of dollars of our money. They hoarded or 'reinvested' it. They are now collecting interest on our UI after having caused the economic crisis, massive layoffs, downsizing etc.
We are comparatively powerless in the face of this Multinational Corporate conspiracy. However one small thing EVERYONE can do is transfer all your money and business transactions over to a local Credit Union or similar financial institution. While they will still probably find a way, like this Debit Card, to keep their hooks in you, but at least you can get their boot off your neck.,_Unaccountable,_Unrepentant_/15...

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 8:14 am

Exactly Pat.. get your money out of their hands where ever possible. They've clearly demonstrated they don't know what to do with it!

I can't comment on your theory of criminal collusion, but I do know that one of the main reasons to shift to debit cards & electronic payments is an attempt to stop the enormous theft and fraud by criminals (both petty and organized) of the benefits system.

It's just pathetic & sad that a greedy, incompetent behemoth like BofA was put in charge of the operation...

Posted by Nusfrat Jones on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 2:54 pm
Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 8:28 am

In a free democracy we would be allowed to have our money deposited directly into the financial institution of our choice.

Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

You raise the very azimuth of a thinking person's economic politik about where their money goes...

IRAs 401ks SEPs 403s under my mattress, in the feed container... etc

Every financial instrument that generations have invested in over decades have been destroyed by greedy individuals playing with other people's money...

It is really not that complicated.

Financial literacy for all now!

Posted by Nusfrat Jones on Sep. 19, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

you can have your funds deposited directly into another account, it's acually very easy. you call the # on the back of the card1-866-692-9374 and tell them you like to have your funds derectly deposited into another account ( in my case it waved my account fees).

Posted by ohmy on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

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