Consumer Catch-up: Employee pay on the rise, Google Android Pie, peer-to-peer payment safety

Employee pay bump

Workers received a nice pay bump in July. That's according to pay rate data from Glassdoor.

They found that pay rates across the U.S. rose an average of 2.2 percent compared to July 2017. Those rates mark the highest increase in 14 months.

In San Francisco, Glassdoor says the median salary is $69,404. It's an increase of 2.7 percent compared to last year.

Google rolls out Android Pie

Google has a new operating system for its smartphones - Android 9 Pie.

The OS, available on Pixel phones starting today, will use artificial intelligence to adapt to how you use the phone.

Android will set screen brightness by studying your manual adjustments instead of using levels based on ambient light.

A feature called Slices will offer "slices" of information from your most-used apps without having to open them.

There will also be a "wind down" mode to fade the phone's screen to gray at a designated time. Its goal is to help the user disconnect before bedtime.

Peer-to-peer payment safety

Consumer Reports says peer-to-peer (P2P) payment systems are generally safe, but users need to know about the risks.

The organization checked out five different systems - Apple Pay, Facebook Payments in Messenger, Square's Cash App, Venmo, and the Zelle app.

Researchers list three main concerns when using the P2P systems; problem resolution, payment security, and privacy.

Consumer Reports says complicated agreements make it difficult for users to know exactly what they've signed up for, and there may not be assistance if something goes wrong.

The study finds most P2P companies are using extra layers of security, but almost all could do more, including defaulting to the highest security level. Then users would have to opt out to use a lower security setting. Only Apple requires payment confirmation before sending.

As for privacy, researchers say most of the systems allow for broad use of your data, including for marketing purposes. They applauded Apple Pay for its strict data collection policies, but warned about Venmo's setting to make payments public by default.

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

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