About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 12 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor. Bill can be contacted directly at billh@lowcards.com

Mobile Payments Coming to Chevron Gas Stations

Visa and Chevron have joined forces to bring mobile payments to the pump. Today, the two companies announced they are launching a payment program at 20 Chevron stations in San Francisco and Silicon Valley later this fall. Consumers can pay for … Continue reading

Experian Data Breach Puts 15 Million T-Mobile Customers At Risk

On October 1, Experian, one of the country's leading credit rating bureaus, announced one of their servers had been breached. This server held the personal data of consumers who had applied for T-Mobile postpaid services between September 1, 2013 and September … Continue reading

Data Breach at Scottrade Affects up to 4.6 Million Customers

Scottrade, an online discount brokerage firm, confirmed it was the victim of a data breach that took place during late 2013 and early 2014. The breached database contained customer Social Security numbers, email address and other sensitive information, but the … Continue reading

Face-to-Face Interactions Keep Bank Branches Open

Most Americans still want to visit a physical branch to do their banking business, according to a new survey from Glory Globe Solutions. In fact, 61% of American consumers visit their bank once a month, and 73% believe they’ll still … Continue reading

CFPB Fines Fifth Third Bank for Illegal Credit Card Practices

Yesterday, Fifth Third Bank became the 11th credit card issuer to be slapped with major fines by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for illegal practices in the marketing or administration of credit card add-on products and services. Fifth Third Bank will … Continue reading

New Report Examines the Intricacies of Data Hacking

Trend Micro recently released a report that analyzed ten years’ worth of information about high-profile U.S. data breaches. The report from Trend Micro, a global security software company, moves past the discussion of the individuals affected and how they can protect … Continue reading

Capital One Cardholders Get First Access to iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tickets

The very popular iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concert tour will sweep the country once again in 2015, hitting 11 major cities throughout the United States. Nick Jonas will be performing at seven of the shows. Capital One will be this year's … Continue reading

Security Still a Concern for Mobile Payments

The security of mobile payments remains a very big concern for cybersecurity experts. ISACA, a global nonprofit information systems organization, surveyed over 900 cybersecurity experts about mobile payments. These experts are excited about the convenience of mobile payments, but there … Continue reading

New Chase Freedom App Redeems Rewards at Checkout

Recently, Chase introduced a mobile app specifically for the Chase Freedom card, which allows Chase Freedom cardholders the opportunity to redeem their cash back rewards and pay at the register at 30 top merchants. With the new Chase Freedom Mobile … Continue reading

Criminals Use Charity Websites to Test Credit Card Numbers

If your credit card bill contains an unauthorized donation to a charity, you are not alone. New information reveals that criminals are using unsecured charity websites to test stolen credit card numbers on a global scale. Many charity websites have simplified … Continue reading

EMV Credit Cards Still a Mystery for Most Consumers

The majority of Americans (56%) are unaware of what a chip or EMV credit card is, despite the upcoming transition on October 1st, according to a new survey from point-of-sale provider Harbortouch. The survey consisted of 18,000 adults throughout the … Continue reading

Fingerprint Security Introduced for Bank of America Mobile App

Nearly half of mobile device owners in America have used mobile banking at least once in the last month, according to a recent study. But with this usage comes one major concern: the security of such transactions. Bank of America … Continue reading

Android’s Stagefright Puts Millions of Users at Risk

On September 12, mobile security company Lookout e-mailed users to alert them of a security vulnerability called Stagefright, which allows an attacker to control and steal data from Android devices by sending infected multimedia messages (MMS). Stagefright is used on … Continue reading

Google Finally Launches Android Pay

After much anticipation, Android Pay is finally here. Google launched its mobile wallet yesterday, starting with a small group of Android phones running on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system at a minimum. The NFC payment system is scheduled to … Continue reading

Only 22% of Small Businesses Are Ready for EMV Deadline

Yet another study has emerged showing that small businesses are unprepared for the October 2015 deadline of transitioning to EMV card readers. Only 22% of small retailers are ready for the deadline, and 23% feel chip and PIN card readers … Continue reading

PayPal Launches PayPal.me, a New Digital Payment Service

With its newfound freedom from eBay, PayPal is already making significant strides in consumer-friendly payment solutions. Its latest development is PayPal.me, which allows quick and easy person-to-person money transfers. The new product is inspired by Venmo, which PayPal acquired last … Continue reading

CFPB Reports 56% Increase in Credit Reporting Complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released its monthly complaint report for July 2015, which showed a significant 56% increase in credit reporting complaints between June and July of this year. The report also showed a 45% increase in credit … Continue reading

Bad Credit May Double Your Homeowners Insurance

Having a bad credit score may affect more than just your lending options. A recent study shows that bad credit scores could almost double the cost of your homeowners insurance. The study compared the average price of homeowners insurance for … Continue reading

Banks Offering Mobile Banking But Consumers Slow to Adapt

Financial institutions are offering mobile banking faster than consumers are adapting to it, according to a recently published survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Banks and credit unions are using this as a tool to attract and retain … Continue reading

Data Breach at Web.com Affects 93,000 Customers

Web.com--a company that provides website and Facebook design, marketing, e-commerce, Web hosting and domain registration for small businesses--discovered a data breach on Thursday, August 13. They believe the attack had actually occurred five days earlier. The data of 93,000 of … Continue reading

Merchants Still Not Saving after Durbin Amendment

Nearly four years after the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act went into effect, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has released a study assessing the impact the changes have had on merchants. Though the amendment was designed to save … Continue reading

Discover Credit Cards Rank Highest in Customer Satisfaction

Today, J.D. Power released its 2015 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, and for the first time, Discover sits alone as the number one card in customer satisfaction. It is also the first time in the nine-year history of the study … Continue reading

American Express Now Offers Serve Cash Back Prepaid Card

Prepaid cards are enjoying a significant upsurge in America, and American Express is trying to capitalize on this trend. Today, American Express expanded its line of Serve prepaid cards by introducing the Serve Cash Back card, the first prepaid debit … Continue reading

Mobile Banking Usage to Double in Four Years

Mobile banking usage throughout the world is expected to double in less than four years, according to a new study from KPMG and UBS. In 2014, the number of mobile banking users was close to 800 million, but that number … Continue reading

New Device Authenticates Mobile Payment Using Your Heartbeat

Wearable biometrics provider Nymi has teamed up with TD Bank and MasterCard to create the world's first wearable mobile payment solution. Backed by biometric technology, this wearable uses a person's heartbeat to verify identity and authorize contactless credit card payments. … Continue reading

Are Balance Transfers Worth It?

Many consumers are flooded with direct mail offers from credit card companies, where issuers dangle 0% interest rates for a substantial number of months if consumers simply transfer the balance from their existing card. These "balance transfer" offers are extremely … Continue reading

Small Businesses Are Not Ready to Accept EMV Cards

Many small businesses in America are not prepared to switch to EMV card technology by the October 2015 deadline, according to a new survey from Wells Fargo and Gallup. The survey asked 600 business owners about plans to upgrade their credit … Continue reading

Discover Gives $20 Bonus to Cardholders with Good Grades

Students who sign up for a new Discover credit card can earn a $20 bonus each year for good grades. New cardholders on the two Discover student cards will receive the bonus if they have at least a 3.0 GPA … Continue reading

Scott Walker Struggles with Credit Card Debt

Presidential candidate and Governor Scott Walker may be like a lot of other Americans who struggle with debt. According to his financial disclosure form released Monday, Walker has a credit card from Barclays with an incredibly high interest rate of … Continue reading

How We Pay: Digital Payments Rise, But Cash is Still King

More Americans are making digital payments but traditional payment methods are still overwhelmingly preferred, according to a new survey from Blackhawk Network. The survey, entitled "How America Pays in 2015: Traditional, Digital and Mobile Convergence in Payments," assessed how American shoppers currently … Continue reading

42% of IT Decision Makers Aren’t Moving on EMV Transition

Many businesses are not prepared for the upcoming October 1st deadline for processing chip-embedded credit cards, according to a new survey from Randstad Technologies. A large portion of IT decision makers--those involved with deciding the technological state of a company--still have … Continue reading

Americans Overwhelmingly Support Payday Loan Regulations

New research from Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the proposed payday loan regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Only 1 in 10 Americans surveyed in May saw payday lenders in a positive light, and 75% said … Continue reading

Mike Tyson Reportedly Enters Bitcoin ATM Business

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is apparently putting his name on a bitcoin ATM venture in Las Vegas. The machines will convert cash into the digital currency. Over the weekend, he tweeted to his nearly five million followers, "Coming … Continue reading

Appeals Court Rules CFPB’s Constitutionality Can Be Challenged

On Friday, a federal appeals court dealt the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a potential setback when it ruled that a small Texas bank could proceed with a lawsuit against the constitutionality of the CFPB structure. In June 2012, the State … Continue reading

Amazon’s New Credit Card Gives Prime Members 5% Cash Back

Amazon has introduced a new credit card for its Prime members that gives cardholders an extremely lucrative reward. The Amazon Prime Store Card gives Amazon Prime members 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases, not just purchases made on Prime. The … Continue reading

Citibank to Refund $700 Million Over Illegal Credit Card Practices

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Citibank to refund $700 million to 8.8 million customers for illegal credit card practices. The CFPB said Citibank engaged in deceptive marketing and unfair billing of credit card add-on products from 2003 … Continue reading

Hacking Fears Also Close Costco, Rite Aid Online Photo Sites

The possible data breach with a third-party supplier that handles the online photo centers for major retailers has now closed down the operations of some additional chains. The online photo centers at Costco, Rite Aid, Sam's Club and Tesco have … Continue reading

Data Breach at Online Cheating Site Ashley Madison

This is not your ordinary credit card data breach. Ashley Madison, a website that promotes adultery by connecting married people looking to cheat on their spouses, was hacked by cyber criminals who are threatening to release information on the company's … Continue reading

Students Stress about Finances, Despite Good Credit Card Habits

According to a survey from the The Ohio State University, 72% of college students are stressed about their finances. Nearly 60% of college students in four-year universities worry about being able to pay for school, and those in junior colleges are … Continue reading

CFPB Proposes a Faster Payments System in America

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a new set of guidelines for faster payment systems in the United States. While financial institutions and payment processors work to reduce "pocket-to-pocket" payment times, the CFPB wants to ensure that the upgraded … Continue reading

Consumers Not Enthusiastic about Digital Wallets

Americans are simply not that enthusiastic about the digital wallet. Despite the development of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and a number of other independent digital wallet services, Americans aren't taking to virtual payments as expected, according to a … Continue reading

JP Morgan Chase to Pay Millions to Settle Credit Card Debt Probes

JP Morgan Chase will have to pay back $50 million to consumers and another $166 million to settle probes by both federal and state authorities for selling bad credit card debt and illegally robo-signing documents, the CFPB announced today. The … Continue reading

A New Way to Protect Against Identity Theft

Another day and another data breach. Actually, two of them. Trump Hotel Properties and Harvard University both announced recently they had possible breaches of their databases, exposing customers and students to identity theft. Significant data breaches are happening almost every … Continue reading

Possible Data Breach at Trump Luxury Hotels

Donald Trump's line of luxury hotels may be the latest victim of a credit card data breach, according to Krebs On Security. The possible breach was discovered when some financial institutions noticed a pattern of fraudulent activity on credit and … Continue reading

CFPB Slams Two Credit Card Add-On Companies for Unfair Billing Practices

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fined two companies, Intersections, Inc. and Affinion Group Holdings, Inc, for selling credit card add-on products to consumers, but never providing the services to the buyers. Many credit card companies work through third-party … Continue reading

Barclay Launches Apple Pay Competitor In UK

Barclaycard is trying to beat the competition by releasing a contactless payment system ahead of Apple Pay's UK launch next month. The mobile payment solution, known as bPay, comes in three forms, allowing customers to pay for transactions on the … Continue reading

Greece Shuts Down Banks, Caps ATM Withdrawals Due to Crisis

The five-year financial crisis in Greece has taken a turn for the worse, with the government shutting down banks throughout the country until Monday, July 6. Many analysts are questioning whether Greece will remain part of the 19-nation group using … Continue reading

Recent Stories & News

Growing Acceptance of Mobile Banking Apps in America

Growing Acceptance of Mobile Banking Apps in America

According to a new survey from TSYS, consumers across America have adapted well to mobile banking ap[...]
The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report for October 6, 2015

The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report for October 6, 2015

The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report is based on our Complete Credit Card Index which tra[...]
Android Security Team Holds off Mobile Banking Trojans in Russia

Android Security Team Holds off Mobile Banking Trojans in Russia

The security team at Android has successfully managed to identify and stop an onslaught of mobile ba[...]
Mobile Payments Coming to Chevron Gas Stations

Mobile Payments Coming to Chevron Gas Stations

Visa and Chevron have joined forces to bring mobile payments to the pump. Today, the two companie[...]
Sterling Offers Free EMV Card Protection Plan for Businesses

Sterling Offers Free EMV Card Protection Plan for Businesses

The transition to EMV credit cards has shifted a great deal of liability to retailers, leaving them [...]
Louisiana Ends Tax Refunds on Prepaid Debit Cards

Louisiana Ends Tax Refunds on Prepaid Debit Cards

As of last week, taxpayers in Louisiana can no longer receive their tax refunds on prepaid debit car[...]
Beware of the New Credit Card E-Mail Scam

Beware of the New Credit Card E-Mail Scam

Criminals are finding a way to scam consumers with the recent conversion to the more secure chip-emb[...]