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money news round up

Money news round-up

Anyone else felt like January was never ending? As the longest month comes to an end, this week’s news saw average deposits for houses doubling, Mastercard announcing plans to verify payments by selfies or fingerprint scans and changes to MOT rules from May.

Mortgage approvals drop

New figures from UK Finance revealed that the number of mortgages being approved by UK banks has fallen to their lowest level in nearly five years.

36,115 mortgages were approved in December, making it the lowest number since April 2013.

Move over passwords, it’s all about the selfie

From next year, Mastercard has ordered that any bank issuing a Mastercard-branded debit or credit card must offer biometric authentication, as part of the EU's new requirements for 'strong customer authentication'.

In other words, when you use your phone to pay for something online you will have the option to confirm your identity by using either a selfie or your fingerprint.

Deposits double

Although the number of first time buyers has increased by 6% in the past year, the average deposit has now doubled. New figures from the Halifax First-Time Buyer Review revealed that the average deposit jumped from £17,740 in 2007 to £33,339 a decade later, an increase of 91%.

Outside London, the largest increase was in the South East, where deposits have risen 157% to £51,457.

Bulk buying going to waste

Research from Top Cashback shows that although three quarters of consumers regularly bulk-buy, a fifth of people don’t use the items they purchase.

With the main reason for buying in bulk being to save money, the unused items are actually costing consumers around £430 each year.

Changes to MOT rules

New rules starting in May this year might make it harder for diesels to pass an MOT, as tougher emission tests and faults rated into three defect categories come into play.

A RAC spokesman said they fear the changes could end up confusing motorists, as the Dangerous, Major and Minor categories relies on testers making a judgement on which category the fault falls into.

And finally…

In the US Amazon have opened a supermarket with no checkouts or self-service tills.

Shoppers enter through barriers using their Amazon Go app and, with the aid of cameras and sensors, go about adding items straight into their bags with an electronic receipt issued to you as you exit…something from an episode of Black Mirror perhaps?

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