LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 17, 2015

July 17, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Credit Cards are the Preferred Payment Method
It’s all in the cards–the days of cash and carry are long gone. When consumers pay for purchases today, whether in person or online, the overwhelming majority prefer to use a debit or credit card. That’s the finding of a recent survey that asked more than 500 people 18 years and older about their preferred payments methods. When people pay in person, 42 percent use debit cards and 38 percent use credit cards, while only 17 percent use cash and 3 percent use checks, the survey reported. Online, the breakdown was 50 percent credit cards, 30 percent debit cards and 20 percent PayPal or similar bank account-linked services. The respondents who prefer debits cards said they are convenient and allow them “to use real money.” In the case of credit cards, respondents said they want rewards points. Story by Gregory Bresiger for The New York Post.

Are Millennials Not Interested in Mobile Payments?
On the surface, it sounds like a ludicrous question. Why wouldn’t Millennials–currently those in the 18 to 34 age bracket–be interested in mobile payments? After all, this is the future of payment technology, right? But a new study from Trustev suggests that there might be some issues holding the rise of mobile payments back a bit. 91 percent of Millennials had at least one debit card, and routinely used them. 80 percent, meanwhile, had a standard credit card. When it comes to online payments, the older Millennials–between 25 and 34–were more likely to turn to a credit card, and 67 percent of the younger Millennials were following suit. What’s more, alternative payment systems weren’t unknown to the Millennial crowd, just often unused. 66 percent of Millennials reported having at least one payment app installed-be it Venmo, PayPal, or something else, but these apps weren’t often used. Bitcoin was also sufficiently unappealing. While 63 percent have heard of it, just 12 percent have actually used it. Story by Steven Anderson for Payment Week.

Apple Pay Brings Contactless iPhone Payments to U.K.
Apple is making the U.K. the first market outside the U.S. for its digital-wallet system as the company fights for a place in the electronic-payments industry. The Apple Pay service was made available at 250,000 retail locations in Britain on Tuesday, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The setup lets consumers use devices such as the iPhone 6, iPads and Apple Watches to make payments similar to transactions with contactless debit and credit cards. U.K. Apple users can now buy everything from coffee to diesel with their devices. “The U.K. is an important market for Apple because the level of contactless penetration in cards and accepting terminals far exceeds that of the U.S.,” said Eden Zoller, an analyst at Ovum. Story by Mark Beech for Bloomberg.

Wal-Mart Canada Shuts Online Photo Centre over Potential Credit Card Data Breach
Wal-Mart Canada is contacting customers who may have been affected by a potential data breach of its photo website. In an online statement, the company said it was recently informed of a “potential compromise of customer credit card data” of its photo site. Wal-Mart Canada would not confirm how many customers may have been affected, when or how the potential breach was discovered or when the potential breach occurred. Wal-Mart said it has no reason to believe that in-store, Walmart.ca or Walmart.com transactions had been affected. The photo centre website–since disabled–is operated by a third-party, PNI Digital Media, which is owned by Staples. Story by Katrina Clarke for The Star.

Samsung Starts Testing its Apple Pay Rival in Korea
Samsung Pay, the mobile payments service announced alongside the Galaxy S6, is getting closer. The company is inviting select S6 and S6 Edge owners in Korea to participate in the first public trial of Samsung Pay before a wider rollout kicks off in the coming weeks. Samsung Pay combines NFC, which is used by Apple Pay and Google Wallet, with technology that the company picked up with its acquisition of LoopPay. This allows Samsung’s phones to communicate with magnetic stripe card readers, making Samsung Pay instantly compatible with most payment terminals you’ll find at retailers today. Story by Chris Welch for The Verge.

Americans Would Rather Have Nude Photos Stolen Than Financial Data
According to a new survey from MasterCard, 77% of Americans worry about the security of their personal information. 62% worry about their emails getting  hacked, and 46% worry about being pickpocketed. But what is more surprising is the value that Americans put on their financial security. 55% of survey participants said they would rather have naked photos of themselves stolen than their financial data. A staggering 92% of participants said they take precautions to protect their financial information, but 46% say they rarely change the passwords on their accounts. 39% reported they use public networks to check financial accounts from their phones, which makes them far more vulnerable to hacking than checking the information on a secure personal network. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com.

Cyber-Crime Hits Napa County Wineries
As many as 250,000 customers who used their credit cards at dozens of Napa Valley wineries this April had their financial information and personal data stolen by a cyber-thief. However, according to one attorney, no evidence of significant fraudulent use of the data has been found yet. The intruder gained access to customer names, credit/debit card numbers, related billing addresses and any dates of birth from winery clients using eCellar Systems created by Missing Link Networks of Calistoga. Story by Jennifer Huffman for the Napa Valley Register.

Senate Banking Puts CFPB and Cordray in the Crosshairs
The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday for his twice-a-year legislative grilling, where lawmakers raised ongoing concerns about the bureau’s massive data collection, its management, its lack of oversight and its overspending. Chairman Richard Shelby noted that the CFPB has grown to over 1,450 employees and it has recently expanded enforcement actions to cover telecom companies and broadened its authority over the auto finance industry. Shelby also raised concerns about the CFPB’s profligate spending and lack of budgetary oversight. In particular, there was concern for the cost of renovating the CFPB headquarters in a building that was, in a bit of irony, formerly leased by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Story by Trey Garrison for Housing Wire.

Do You Have to Respond to a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Card?
If you own a credit card, chances are you’ve experienced the disquiet that comes from an alert saying someone may have stolen your card. Whether you got the bad news via text, email or an old-fashioned phone call, word of potentially fraudulent behavior on your credit card seems to be one of the pernicious downsides of shopping in the modern world. Dealing with fraud alerts can be time-consuming, so you may be wondering if you have to respond to every single time, or whether your card company can just take care of the problem itself. After all, you’re shouldn’t be liable for charges that you didn’t actually make. Story by Taylor Tepper for Money 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 14.65 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.44 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.49 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 17, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.