LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 13, 2015

March 13, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Why was your Credit Card Number Stolen? Retailers are Lazy
If a shop wants to accept credit cards, it needs to abide by strict payment card industry (PCI) rules and pass a test. But a new Verizon cybersecurity report shows that companies act like high school students cramming for an exam. Companies will bulk up IT security just in time for their PCI inspection. But only 29% keep it up afterward, according to Verizon’s 2015 PCI compliance report. So, while businesses claim you’re safe because they’ve met credit card industry standards, your data isn’t as protected as it seems. Story by Jose Pagliery in CNN Money.

Banks Take Steps to Avoid Apple Pay Fraud
Financial institutions are improving their verification measures to avoid fraud through Apple Pay, as recent reports highlighted possible fraud through the new contactless payment system. The fraud didn’t arise due to issues with Apple Pay, but instead was the result of bad security on the side of banks. Criminals had reportedly attached cards to Apple Pay with very little information, and then used the system to make purchases. Banks are responding by asking more questions and adding other forms of verification that people must go through in order to attach a card to Apple Pay. Story by Seth Fitzgerald for Technology Tell.

European Parliament Votes to Cap Credit Card Processing Fees
On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted in favor of a new bill that caps the processing fees retailers pay on debit and credit card transactions. The bill received overwhelming support, passing with 621 votes for and only 26 against. The reformed legislation would cap fees for credit cards at 0.3% of the transaction and debit cards at 0.2%, and will also give merchants the opportunity to accept only consumer cards if they choose. The European Commission reports a potential savings of 6 billion Euros or $8.43 billion in U.S. dollars for retailers in hidden fees, as well as a 730 million Euros in savings for consumers. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.

The Fight for your Wallet: A Look at the Mobile Payment Scene’s New Big Three
Apple, Samsung and Google are major forces in the smartphone industry and these three companies are about to advance their fight to a new emerging space: mobile payments. Not exactly a new concept, but these three tech titans are now competing to replace your wallet with one of their respective platforms. At a glance Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay might all look similar. They all use near field communication (NFC) tech in some shape or form and they each have the word “pay” in their name. However, when you really start to take a closer a look at what these three mobile payment platforms have to offer, you’ll notice that there are some noteworthy differences. Story by Mark Hearn for Android Authority.

CFPB Says You Should Be Able to Sue Your Credit Card Company
For years, consumer advocates have claimed that binding arbitration clauses have quietly but dramatically limited consumers’ ability to seek justice and have their day in court. On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released results of a broad study that appears to support those claims. While a majority of banking customers are subject to arbitration agreements that restrict their ability to join class-action lawsuits, three-quarters of consumers are unaware of the agreements, and only 7% realize a clause in the agreements restricts their ability to sue in court. Story by Bob Sullivan for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

PayPal Buys Israeli Cybersecurity Firm CyActive
PayPal confirmed its purchase of a cybersecurity firm to assist in its fraud prevention efforts. The firm, CyActive, is based in Israel, and has been in operation since 2003. Reports indicate PayPal paid $60 million for the company. CyActive believes current cyber measures are retroactive, fixing problems after they have already occurred. The company tries to take a more proactive approach, making changes to protect companies and consumers before the problem ever occurs. So, CyActive specializes in technology that can predict how malware will develop. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com.

Everything You Need To Know About The Apple Watch
April 10 is the preorder date and the first day you’ll be able to try the Apple Watch on in an Apple Store. The product will be available to own April 24. The most basic version of the watch, Apple Watch Sport, will start at $349 for the 38mm watch face. The 42mm face is priced at $399. Upgrading to the stainless steel version takes the starting price to $549. Finally, the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000. Keep in mind that for many of the features to work, the Apple Watch needs to be paired with an iPhone 5 (or later) running the latest version of iOS 8. Here’s a recap of the Apple Watch’s features. Story by Damon Beres for Huffington Post.

Should Consumers Mostly Use Credit or Debit Cards?
As Americans make a growing number of purchases with plastic, the question of what kind of card they use more often–credit or debit–has a clear answer. The number of purchases made with debit cards in the U.S. each year exceeded the number of purchases made with credit cards for the first time back in 2004, according to the Federal Reserve. And in 2012, debit cards were used to make 47 billion payments, compared with 26.2 billion payments made with credit cards (though the total value of credit-card purchases is higher). But are the people who pay with debit cards onto something, or would they be better off using credit cards for those purchases instead? Story by Allison Martin for The Wall Street Journal.

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 14.46 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.46 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.48 percent.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 13, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.