LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 15, 2016

April 15, 2016, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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ATM Card Skimming Incidents Up 546%
If you still have the “it’ll never happen to me” perspective on fraud, here’s a stat that might persuade you to change your view: ATM card skimming incidents increased 546 percent from 2014 to 2015. That figure comes from financial analytics company FICO and its FICO Card Alert Service software, which is designed to detect fraud resulting from things like debit and credit card skimming. Story by Christine DiGangi for Credit.com.

Facebook Could Blow Up Credit Cards and Make Loans to Millions
Facebook seems ready to radically reimagine credit cards-minus the “card” part, of course. It’s already a foregone conclusion that by next decade carrying a plastic card to buy stuff will be as anachronistic as hauling around a boom box to listen to music. Facebook is reportedly going to give its Messenger app the ability to make payments, much like Apple Pay or Android Pay. If Facebook provides you with the ability to pay, starts collecting your transaction data and adds that to your social data that already says a lot about your character-well, then Facebook will have the kind of information it needs to become a stand-alone credit card company.That would mean Facebook could jettison Visa, MasterCard and FICO scores and directly offer you credit based on everything its machines can learn about you-while charging much lower interest rates and cheaper fees than current cards. It would be free from all the costly infrastructure and middlemen now involved in credit cards. Story by Kevin Maney for Newsweek.

Japan Rolling Out Fingerprint ID as Payment Ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Japan will begin testing this summer on a system that would allow tourists to conduct credit card and ATM transactions using only their fingerprint. At least 200 business are participating in the trial, which could expand significantly in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Visitors would be able to register their prints at airports and then leave their wallets at home, making regular payments with only a tap of a finger. Story by Adam Toobin for Inverse.

How Credit Card Fraud in the US Supports Russia’s Underground Economy
HPE researchers have uncovered a complex web of shipment scams which rely on US operators and stolen credit card information to provide goods  fraudulently to customers in Russia. Credit card fraud is big business. Data breaches at high-profile companies are becoming commonplace, and as data collection–and theft–surges, the sale of stolen information has become established as a business in its own right. In a study taking place between August 2015 and February 2016, the team found that reshipping websites are commonly used to maintain contact with “stuffers”–those who use stolen credit card data in the United States to purchase items fraudulently–and “drops,” who often unwittingly will accept these products for reshipment across restricted areas, such as Russia and Ukraine. Drops are most often recruited in the United States through email, where they later visit reshipment websites to be assigned their tasks. Story by Charlie Osborne for ZD Net.

EU Approves Security Plan to Track Airline Passenger Info
European Union lawmakers on Thursday approved a scheme to share airline passenger information that can be used to track foreign fighters heading to and from conflict areas like Syria and Iraq. They endorsed the Passenger Name Record law in a series of votes at their legislature in Strasbourg, France, ending years of wrangling over how to balance security needs and privacy rights. Under the scheme, traveler details will be collected from any flights entering or leaving the EU and from flights between member countries. The information will be kept for six months. The agreement would give law enforcement agencies in the 28 EU nations access to information gathered by airlines, including names, travel dates, itineraries, and credit card and contact details. Story by the Associated Press.

Obama Names Cyber Experts from Business, Academia to New Panel
The chief executive of MasterCard Inc, the former head of the National Security Agency and officials from Microsoft and Uber will join a commission to strengthen U.S. cyber defenses, the White House said on Wednesday. After high-profile hacks in the private sector and an embarrassing theft of information from government personnel files, President Barack Obama this year set up a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. The commission, due to make long-term recommendations by early December on tightening cyber security in the private sector and government, is part of Obama’s $19-billion proposal to boost defenses against hackers. Story by Roberta Rampton for Reuters.

Behavioral Biometrics Verifies Identity by the Way You Hold Your Phone
Researchers in the United Kingdom are working on a new form of mobile banking identity verification that analyzes each user’s individual body language. The program assesses how people hold, type or swipe their mobile devices in order to authorize transactions. Every person has a special way of interacting with a smartphone. It may seem as though we all make the same basic gestures on the device, but the movements we make are unique to each of us. Researchers aim to tap into these movements through technology known as “behavioral biometrics.” Researchers found that 70% of the adults in the UK click “forgot password” twice a month, and that same percentage want more security without having to remember another password or PIN. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Prepaid Debit Cards Are Not Quite As Terrible As They Used To Be
There are contexts where prepaid debit cards are useful. Consumers without bank accounts who would otherwise deal all in cash use them, and they’re also useful for distributing allowances. The problem with prepaid cards is that they impose high fees for functions like reloading, using out-of-network ATMs, or monthly fees for simply having the card. However, they’re better than they used to be, largely because at least they disclose those fees. Story by Laura Northrup for Consumerist.

Mobile Payments Coming to NYC Subway, But Not Anytime Soon
If you’re hoping Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or one of the many other mobile-payment platforms will come to the New York City subway sometime soon, don’t bet on it. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has put out the call for a company to install mobile, contactless payments across the subway. Don’t expect to tap and go just yet, though. Any sort of mobile payment system probably won’t be in effect until at least 2021. Mobile payments have found their way into taxi cabs in New York City. Rolling out a new system to all 469 of the city’s subway stations and other purchase points, though, will take time and money. The agency expects the full design and implementation to cost more than $10 million. Story by Don Reisinger for PC Magazine.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.77 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.80 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.56 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.45 percent.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 15, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.