An art sales boom, cash app fraud, small cash loans and more!
Eye of the Beholder: Online art sales have surged during the pandemic as investors seek new investment opportunities . Auction house Sotheby’s claimed triple their 2019 revenue with over $285 million in fine arts sales. But since most art pieces never appreciate much in value, Bloomberg offers novice art collectors a few pieces of key advice for those who are considering investing.
Fraud alert: People have flocked to instant payment apps like Cash App and Paypal’s Venmo in order to avoid retail bank branches during the pandemic. Many of these apps have even begun to offer incentives like debit cards and routing numbers that allow users to leverage the app like a traditional checking account.
But as The New York Times reports, many are unaware of the risks associated with these quick payment services. Fraud rates among payment apps are three to four times higher than traditional payment methods, and has surged in recent months as more people are transitioning to their services.
Balance Assist lending: Bank of America will begin offering loans of up to $500 next year for a flat fee of $5 to customers who have had checking accounts with the bank for more than a year, per Banking Dive. The program, which the bank is calling Balance Assist, will be available in increments of $100, and can be repaid over the course of 90 days in three equal installments.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Federal Reserve and FDIC issuing principles encouraging more banks to issue small-dollar loans to help consumers struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.
Something Old; Something New: More people than ever before are banking and making payments online. Digital lenders like Nubank have hit their stride in recent months as a surge brought on by the pandemic created a new wave of users. The Economist reckons that the share of cashless transactions worldwide has risen to levels they had not expected it to reach for another two to five years. But as digitization may mean the end to some industries like entertainment and retail, the finance sector is likely to live on as they adapt to coexist with new online banking and payment options.