Magazine article American Banker

Card Groups Launch Efforts Tied to U.S. Consumer Week

Magazine article American Banker

Card Groups Launch Efforts Tied to U.S. Consumer Week

Article excerpt

A number of credit card organizations are honoring National Consumers Week, which concludes Saturday, with new educational initiatives.

The U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, which sponsors the annual event, chose the theme "Know your consumer fights."

Visa U.S.A. kicked off the week by announcing new partnerships with three state governments to support.and endorse the association's educational program for high school students, Choices and Decisions.

"The banking committees of state governments have an interest in exposing high school students to this kind of information," said Susan Murdy, Visa's vice president of public affairs.

Specifically, two banks have hooked up with congressional representatives: First Interstate Bank with Rep. Elizabeth Furse of Oregon and Star Bank with Rep. Eric Fingerhut of Ohio. At the same time, First Union National Bank and the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs are sponsoring a joint program to present Choices and Decision to teachers.

Though the state governments are not paying for or distributing the program to schools, Visa views their support as a way to give it more visibility.

Approximately 10,000 schools across the country are using Choices and Decisions, which teaches high school students about personal finance issues.

MasterCard International Inc. is marking the week with a new wrinkle in its "Know the difference, hang up on fraud" campaign.

The New York-based association is teaming up with the National Fraud Information Center and the National Council of La Raza, a Washington, D.C.based advocacy group that reaches two million people through its 170 affiliates. Those organizations and Polly Baca. special assistant to President Clinton and director of the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, will reach out to the Hispanic community, offering advice on how to avoid telephone seam artists. …

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