Consumer Catch-up: Facebook banking data, FDA recalls blood pressure drugs, credit perks disappearing, Walmart using robots

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018
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Facebook is doing damage control after a report it wants your banking data. Plus, the FDA has a major recall on certain blood pressure drugs. The consumer news you need to know for Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

Facebook banking data

Facebook is doing damage control, one day after a report the company was looking to partner with several banks for customer banking information.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Facebook was considering offering its users banking data in its Messenger app, like account balances or fraud alerts.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNN Money the article, "implies incorrectly that we are actively asking financial services companies for financial transaction data -- this is not true."

Facebook says any banking service is opt-in and completely up to the user.

Users can already track PayPal purchases and account balances in Facebook Messenger.

FDA expands blood pressure drug recall

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expanding its large recall of blood pressure drugs including the ingredient valsartan.

Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. The FDA says the recalled products include an chemical compound called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which could potentially cause cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency says it can cause liver damage in humans.

This NDMA is included in valsartan made at a pharmaceutical company in China.

The FDA says this potentially cancer-causing NDMA may have been in valsartan products for as long as four years.

It is important to note that not all drugs containing valsartan are under recall. Still, the FDA says patients taking the impacted blood pressure drugs should keep taking them until their doctor has a replacement.

You can find the full list of recalled drugs on the FDA website.

Credit card perks disappearing

All those travel incentives and other credit card perks from years past are slowly disappearing.

Consumer Reports says some card issuers are scaling back the perks, or doing away with them altogether.

Last week, Citibank scaled back options like price protection, purchase insurance, and trip cancellation insurance.

Also this year, Discover and Chase each cut back on their card perks, including lost luggage protection and auto rental insurance. More cuts are expected from both companies this month.

Consumer Reports says the credit card companies blame low customer use of the costly programs. However, says companies may also cut back because the perks are too popular.

The organization says you should always read the fine print to make sure you understand your options, and consider ditching a card that no longer meets your needs. Also think about using an app to show you all your benefits, and make sure you can take advantage of them.

Walmart using robots to fill orders

Walmart is turning to robots to help fill online grocery orders and speed up the process.

The pilot program will be tested out at the Walmart Supercenter in Salem, New Hampshire.

It's called "Alphabot," and Walmart plans to have it up and running in Salem by the end of the year.

Right now there are no plans to expand to other stores.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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