LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
weekly-credit-card-update (1)

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 is expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2018. If these predictions hold true, roughly 25% of the world’s population will have a mobile banking account by the end of 2018. Adoption rates for mobile banking are highest in developing countries, like China, India, South Africa and South Korea–all ranging
between 50% and 60%. The United States and Australia reported a more modest adoption rate of 30-35%, while the UK reported just under 30%. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Discover Edges Out AmEx in Satisfaction Survey
Discover has overtaken American Express as the highest-rated credit card issuer for customer satisfaction, pushed to the top spot by its rewards and benefits, according to a J.D. Power study released Thursday. Discover rated a score of 828 out of 1,000, topping American Express, at 820, and Chase, 792. It’s the first year in the nine-year history of the study that Discover ranked alone as best, last year sharing the top spot with American Express, at 819. Story by Gregory Karp for the Chicago Tribune.

Hackers Publish Names, Data of Ashley Madison Users
The hackers responsible for breaking into the systems of cheating Web site Ashley Madison have apparently made good on their threat to publicly dump data Relevant Products/Services about the site’s millions of users. First revealed in July, the hack attack Relevant Products/Services by a group calling itself the “Impact Team” was launched with a warning for the site–as well as another site called Established Men–to shut down. Run by a Canada-based company called Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison was founded in 2001 and has a reported 33 million users in 46 countries. The hackers published 9.7 gigabytes of data on the dark Web, reportedly containing user information taken from the Avid Media Life sites during last month’s hack attack. According to a text message titled “Time’s Up!” accompanying the files, “Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud Relevant Products/Services, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data.” Story by Shirley Siluk for CIO Today.

Target to Pay Visa Issuers up to $67 Million over Data Breach
Target will pay Visa card issuers up to $67 million in a settlement over a massive 2013 data breach. The agreement would follow the rejection of a proposed $19 million deal with MasterCard, which needed approval from 90 percent of banks representing affected cardholder accounts. The settlement brings another step of closure to the retail giant after one of the largest data breaches in recent years, which exposed about 40 million credit and debit cards. The settlement costs were already reflected in Target’s 2013 and 2014 results. The deal with Visa will not require approval from a certain percentage of card issuers. Story by Jacob Pramuk for CNBC.

American Express Serve Cash Back Card Is the First to Offer Rewards to Prepaid Users
For the first time ever, users of prepaid cards can get in on the rewards that were once reserved just for credit card users. The new American Express Serve Cash Back prepaid card puts money in your pocket every time you use it. Prepaid cards are surging as an alternative payment method, with a TD Bank survey finding that a quarter of Americans have used prepaid cards. But for many people, they lack the pizzazz of a rewards credit card. Serve Cash Back cardholders can earn 1% cash back on all purchases, making it the first prepaid card that offers a rewards feature. Story by Ben Luthi for Nerd Wallet.

Asia Pacific to Lead World in Mobile Payments
Steep growth in mobile payments across Asia Pacific is forecast by IDC, as a result of financial inclusion policies and the rise of so-called semi-closed wallets that are linked to bank accounts. Governments across the region want to engage with the unbanked, often putting mobile-based services at the forefront of such policies. Plus, limited penetration of credit/debit cards encourage a shift to mobile wallets linked directly to users’ bank accounts. IDC predicts worldwide mobile payments will account for US$1 trillion in value in 2017, up 124 per cent from the less than US$500 billion expected in 2015. Story by Richard Handford for Mobile World Live.

American Express Unveils FICO Scores for Cardholders
The largest U.S. credit card issuer by purchase volume is showing its cardholders their FICO score. American Express began showing all its consumer charge card and credit card users their FICO score for free this week. The lender joins a growing list of large credit-card issuers, including Citigroup, Discover Financial Services and J.P. Morgan Chase, which have begun showing the scores to their cardholders. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal.

Why Debit Cards Have Risen in Popularity
U.S. consumers love their debit cards, using them on an average of 21 times per month, according to new data from Pulse. That’s a 32% rise in usage over the past ten years; in 2005, there were only 16.1 monthly transactions. Americans spend, on average, $9,291 annually with their debit cards, up from $7,807 ten years ago. Interestingly, cash withdrawals using a debit card are down, from 3.4 withdrawals per month in 2005 to 2.0 withdrawals per month in 2014. That downward trend in withdrawals may be due to increased usage of mobile app payments in an economy where cash transactions are on the decline. Even so, usage of debit cards is rising, and that growth should continue, experts say. Story by Brian O’Connell for The Street.

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 14.65 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.68 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.45 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.47 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 21, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.