DoNotPay Can Manage Your Free Trials

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A service called DoNotPay can manage your free trials. Sign up using its digital credit card number and you won’t be charged when the trial ends.

The Free Trial Card is a virtual credit card you can use to sign up for free trials of any service anonymously, instead of using your real credit card. When the free trial period ends, the card automatically declines to be charged, thus ending your free trial. You don’t have to remember to cancel anything. If you want, the app will also send an actual legal notice of cancellation to the service.

I’m interested to try this out. Currently I use a service called Privacy, which lets me generate virtual cards that I can lock to a certain merchant or money amount. The story by Wired is about free trials, but the app description sounds like it can do more, calling itself a “robot lawyer.”

Goldman Sachs Spent $1.3B on Consumer Transformation

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New York-based bank Goldman Sachs isn’t usually associated with average consumers. But it has spent US$1.3 billion to transform itself with initiatives like Apple Card (via CNBC). Goldman Transformation So far in 2019 Goldman Sachs has spent US$275 million on its new businesses like Apple Card and its consumer bank Marcus. In an earnings call…

New App Spend Stack Helps You Make Smarter Lists

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Available for pre-order and set to be released on July 18, Spend Stack is a list app that can keep a to-the-penny running total. It syncs to all of your devices and you can share and collaborate on them with anyone. Just add items to your list, and how much they cost (if you want!). Spend Stack will keep it all in sync in an easy to use interface. You can add images, notes and more to list items, share lists to collaborate, and more. I’ve been playing with it for the past several days on TestFlight and I think it’s a cool app. App Store: US$4.99

Apple 2019 Revenue Up 15% at $39 Billion From App Store

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Apple 2019 revenue for the first half of this year is up 15% from last year, topping US$39 billion from the App Store.

According to a new report from Sensor Tower, the iOS App Store and Google Play combined brought in $39.7 billion in worldwide app revenue in the first half of 2019 — that’s up 15.4% over the $34.4 billion seen during the first half of last year. However, at that time, the $34.4 billion was a 27.8% increase from 2017’s numbers, then a combined $26.9 billion across both stores.

You Could Get a TurboTax Refund if you Make Under $34,000

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If you make less than US$34,000 per year, you could get a TurboTax refund if the company made you pay them when you filed your taxes.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who made under $34,000 last year, you should have been able to use a free version of TurboTax. If TurboTax directed you to a paid version, it’s worth giving the company a call.

“I called today and they are issuing a refund on my credit card,” one reader said. “I just had to mention ProPublica.”

Thanks to lobbying by corporations like TurboTax, the IRS doesn’t do our taxes for us like other countries.

Backlash Against Cashless Stores

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There is no federal law that requires stores to accept cash, which was something that surprised me. So some stores are going cashless, but some argue this discriminates against poor people who don’t have a bank account and/or a fancy smartphone.

Advocates for cashless bans worry technology is moving too fast for the 6.5% of American households — 8.4 million — that do not have a bank account, according to figures from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Cashless is hard enough, but imagine if you walked into a store only to find out that it only accepts Google Pay. That might bring the reality a bit closer to home.

 

Apple Offers $9.7 Million to Cupertino for Transportation

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After the city of Cupertino agreed to hold changes to a business tax that would have cost Apple over US$9 million, the company has offered US$9.7 million on five transportation projects for cyclers and pedestrians.

[Last year’s proposal] would have generated $10 million in annual revenue, most which would have come from Apple, the city’s largest employer with 24,000 workers…The city decided to postpone a ballot measure to change the business tax until 2020, giving them time to work with Apple and other businesses on private funding to relieve commuter traffic. City staff have been meeting with Apple representatives once every two weeks since October.

Pay Bills With Apple Pay Using Doxo

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A bill payment app called doxo is adding the ability to pay bills with Apple Pay. With doxo you already have a single account from which to pay your bills. With Apple Pay you now have a safe, secure way to pay them. Steve Shivers, doxo CEO, said:

This is just one of many steps we’re taking on our mission to greatly simplify and reduce the hassle of bill pay for our millions of users, and thereby bring new benefits to the billers on doxo.

doxo currently serves over 2.5 million users who make payments to over 45,000 local and national businesses, making doxo the largest bill pay directory in the nation. I looked at doxo’s privacy policy and it sounds legit, too. I’m not sure how this free app makes them money but it doesn’t sound like it’s from selling customer data. App Store: Free

Pay Bills With Apple Pay Using Doxo

Poor People Need Privacy As Much as Everyone Else

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Elizabeth Brico writes how privacy might be turning into a luxury, and how poor people can’t afford the legal costs if their identity is stolen because of all the data breaches.

For her part, Gilman argued that many times, names and addresses can be enough to commit the types of identity fraud she has helped her low-income clients battle. “It can cost time and money to clean up the effects of identity theft because low income people are already living on the economic margins, any loss of funds can be catastrophic,” she said. “You have less privacy as a poor person,” Muentz added. “Privacy is becoming a luxury.”

In 2023 Apple Wants to Have Zero Net Cash

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Apple has US$245 of gross cash and other things like long-term securities. It has US$115 billion in long-term debt. This makes its net cash position US$130 billion, and Apple CFO Luca Maestri has said eventually the company wants to have a net cash neutral position. Tiernan Ray writes about issues that may arise because of this.

Come 2023, will investors balk at an Apple suddenly less generous with its capital returns? And if Apple puts off that day as much as possible, plodding along with no significant increase in capital returns, will it lose the support of those fickle buyers hungry for shares with meaningful dividend buyback increases every year?