LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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How Your Voice Can Protect You from Credit Card Fraud
That call to your bank is being recorded for more than just “quality assurance purposes.” Some banks are using voice biometrics and other technology to help determine who is calling and where a call is coming from. The reason: call-in center fraud is surging. The internet used to be a treasure trove for scammers, but financial institutions caught on and increased security, causing fraudsters to shift gears. New credit card technology has shifted criminals toward call-in centers, as chip-enabled cards are difficult to copy and replicate. Call-in centers remain a point of vulnerability. Once unscrupulous callers trick their way past security and gain access to an account, they can do things like take out loans, transfer money or request new credit cards. To help combat the fraud, some banks are using voice biometrics. Just like your fingerprint, your voice has characteristics that make it unique. Story by Kathryn Vasel for CNN Money.

Marco Rubio Confronts New Scrutiny Over Use of Party Credit Card
A decade after he began using a Republican Party credit card for personal purchases like paving stones at his home, Senator Marco Rubio on Wednesday pledged to disclose new spending records from that account as he sought to inoculate himself against what could be his biggest liability as a presidential candidate: how he manages his finances. Story by Michael Barbaro and Steve Eder for The New York Times.

State of Florida Can’t Ban Credit Card Surcharges, Court Rules
Pointing to the First Amendment, a federal appeals court has struck down a Florida law that bars businesses from imposing a surcharge on customers who pay with credit cards. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision Wednesday, sided with four small businesses that faced potential prosecution for telling customers they would face additional costs for using credit cards. A key part of the ruling focused on part of Florida law that allows businesses to offer discounts to customers who pay with cash but bars surcharges for credit-card transactions. Story by Jim Saunders for the Orlando Sentinel.

Why Millions of Millennials Can’t Get Credit Cards
A huge segment of the country’s largest generation is having trouble qualifying for a credit card, according to a new survey. A third of millennials said they were unable to obtain some kind of credit, largely credit cards, versus a quarter of the national sample, according to a VantageScore survey released this week. That adds up to 27.7 million Americans born between 1982 and 2000 who, as a result, may have a harder time getting a mortgage or car loan down the road. Thirty-four percent of millennials said they were turned down because they had no credit score, while 42 percent said their limited credit history was the reason. Story by Janna Herron for The Fiscal Times.

Amazon Discontinues Its Mobile Credit Card Reader
After only a year on the market, the mobile card reader known as “Amazon Register” is being pulled from the virtual shelves. Amazon announced it will be discontinuing its mobile payment processor as of February 1, 2016. Amazon Register was introduced in August 2014 to compete with other card readers such as Square and PayPal Here. At the time, there was great promise for Amazon Register because of its low fees and user-friendly application. Business owners received a small credit card reader that allowed them to accept card payments from their phones or tablets. Amazon undercut Square’s transaction fees to lure customers by offering a promotional fee of 1.75%, which then increased to 2.5%. Square’s transaction fee was 2.75%. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Few People Are Using Apple’s Mobile Payments Service
Relatively few people are using Apple’s new mobile payments service, called Apple Pay, according to a new study from Trustev. Only 20% of people participating in mobile payments in the United States are using Apple Pay. Of those using Apple Pay, 56% have reported that they have used the service once during a typical week. Another 15.3% say they have never used it during their week. While few people may be using Apple Pay, fewer are using other services provided by Google and Samsung. All of these services have been competing for the attention of consumers, but they have struggled to find a foothold with mobile shoppers. Story in Mobile Commerce Press.

RushCard to Compensate PrePaid Debit Card Users for Outage
On October 29, RushCard announced it is creating a “multi-million dollar” fund to cover the costs that its prepaid debit card customers incurred after their cards stopped working in mid-October. When RushCard moved to a new payment processor on October 12, technical problems ensued that left hundreds of thousands of RushCard customers unable to access their funds. Some users lost access to their money for as long as two weeks. Since many RushCard customers are low-income Americans who don’t have traditional bank accounts, not being able to access their money meant that they had trouble buying food, paying bills or filling up with gas to go to work. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.

Mobile Malware Makes Mobile Banking Treacherous
Kaspersky Lab report shows rate of mobile malware occurrence exploding in Q3. The number of mobile threats percolating on devices worldwide has risen precipitously this year-over three-fold. And though the occurrence of enterprise breaches caused by mobile devices continues to be questioned by experts, attackers do seem to be profiting from their attacks by targeting individual users’ bank accounts. Story by Ericka Chickowski for Dark Reading.

Should There Be Affordability Checks for Credit Cards in the UK?
Credit card issuers need to do more to help up to 1.6 million people struggling with their credit card debt and paying only the minimum amount each month, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said. Following a year-long review, the regulator has concluded that the £60bn credit card market is working reasonably well for those who default on their loans and that there is effective competition in the sector. But it is concerned about those who only manage to keep their heads above water and who on average will take 10 years to pay off their debts, according to the Financial Times. The FCA’s report points out that the two million Brits who do default on repayments are extremely unprofitable to the card companies as statistics show they are unlikely to ever pay off their debts in full. Story in The Week.

MasterCard Names Craig Vosburg, President, North America Markets
MasterCard announced the appointment of Craig Vosburg to president, North America Markets, effective January 1, 2016. This appointment comes as Chris McWilton announced he will leave MasterCard on December 31. McWilton joined MasterCard in 2003 as corporate controller and was appointed chief financial officer in October of the same year. As CFO, McWilton played a critical role in the company’s successful initial public offering in May 2006. The MasterCard IPO was the largest domestic IPO of 2006 and the 12th largest domestic IPO in U.S. history at the time. Story in MarketWatch.

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 14.58 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.48 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.51 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 6, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.