Consumer Protection Advocate Mike Bannon joined WBCB for UpWords with Chris Ermer to discuss the many questions people have surrounding credit cards.

Ermer opened the conversation revealing a misstep he had taken in paying a credit card bill in which he paid off the debt but the company counted it as a late payment.

Though the original payment had been made, the credit card company continued to charge Ermer late fees on his late fee. Ermer stated he felt this was morally wrong, but acknowledged the legality of the company’s actions.

“Well, unfortunately, if it was late, then they do have a right to go after that according to the fine print,” Bannon said. “But it is a problem because then the interest can compound and go from there. So it is something that you should deal with, Chris. It’s an unfortunate one and we can try to help you on that but there are no rules.”

Ermer also asked for clarification on how to determine if a purchase was made using credit or debit on cards that allow for both options.

“If they ask for your PIN number, then that’s a debit purchase, which means that they’re taking the money directly out of your account that you already have in there,” explained Bannon. “As opposed to no PIN number, the transaction goes through and it’s delayed a little bit and it’s given to you on credit and there’s also a credit card fee, not charged by you but to the processor, for using that particular card.”

Before he left the show, Bannon revealed information he picked up on regarding the future of credit card purchases, similar to how many businesses use chip readers on cards instead of magnetic strips for swiping.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that the one change that is going to happen with credit cards, and I’m not necessarily a big fan of this, but they’re doing away with the signature process,” Bannon stated. “So when we go up and put our credit card into the chip machine as they changed a few years ago from the magnetic strip to the chip machine, we’re going to stop needing to sign that with our signature.”

For more consumer protection tips, tune in Tuesday afternoons between 1 and 2 p.m. for UpWords with Chris Ermer on WBCB 1490 AM and video streamed on WBCB’s Facebook page.