LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 16, 2015

October 16, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Target Converts to Credit Cards with PINs, Not Just Signatures, for Security Reasons
Two years after its catastrophic data breach, Target has become the first major credit card issuer to convert to cards that contain a PIN. The department store–which also issues a Visa credit card that consumers can use anywhere that accepts credit cards–began notifying credit card customers this week that new cards are coming. The new cards will be MasterCards and will contain computer chips as well as PINs. The decision comes as the FBI is saying that credit and debit cards that require PINs, and not just signatures, are safer. Meanwhile, most banks and other credit card issuers are resisting converting to PINs because of cost and because they say customers don’t want another piece PIN in a world filled with passwords. Story by Teresa Dixon Murray for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

New Report Exposes Prices for Stolen Data on the Dark Web
Intel Security released The Hidden Data Economy Report, which details how stolen data is packaged for sale and how much it garners on the black market. The study explored the pricing for stolen credit and debit cards, bank account login credentials, stealth bank transfer services, and online payment service login credentials. To compile the data for the report, they worked with IT security vendors and law enforcement. They also examined numerous online communities where stolen data is bought and sold. Payment card data is the most common type of data that is stolen. Bank login accounts are the most valuable. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Netflix Blames Slow U.S. Growth on New Credit Cards
Netflix is hooking fewer U.S. viewers than it hoped, even as its binge-watching addiction rapidly spreads to other parts of the world. But Netflix didn’t gain as many U.S. subscribers during the latest quarter as management anticipated, a shortfall that it blamed on an unusually large number of accounts cancelled because the company couldn’t charge their credit cards. The company believes the trouble is tied to the new credit-card account numbers banks are issuing as they adopt card technology based on computer chips instead of magnetic stripes. More of the cards still need to be issued, raising the specter of more subscriber cancellations in the months ahead. Netflix also recently announced a price increase on its most popular U.S. plan. Story by Michael Liedtke for the Associated Press.

Wells Fargo Shifts Strategy in Bid to Double Credit Card Loans
The fourth largest U.S. bank has long prided itself on selling more products to its customers than any of its rivals, a business practice known as “cross selling” that few lenders can do successfully. The bank’s skill in cross selling has made it one of the most profitable of the major U.S. banks, and the most valuable in terms of market valuation in the world. But cross selling won’t help Wells Fargo build up its credit card business from here, because it already has sold cards to so many of its customers: 43 percent of its 70 million customers have Wells Fargo cards. Getting much higher than that will not be easy. The bank instead plans to target new customers, which is risky because it knows less about them than those who, for example, have their paychecks directly deposited in their Wells Fargo checking account. The bank instead plans to target new customers, which is risky because it knows less about them than those who, for example, have their paychecks directly deposited in their Wells Fargo checking account. Story by Dan Freed for Reuters.

Scotiabank buys JPMorgan’s Canadian Credit Card Operations
Scotiabank has agreed to buy U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase’s credit card portfolio in Canada, which includes the Sears Canada credit cards. The bank announced the deal Thursday, but did not release financial terms. Scotiabank is acquiring JPMorgan’s MasterCard and Sears card portfolio, along with the call centre and security operations associated with the cards. It is Scotiabank’s first foray into MasterCard in Canada. It gains about two million credit card customers and receivables of about $1.7 billion a year. Story by CBC News.

Credit Card Breach Hits America’s Thrift Stores
America’s Thrift Stores, which operates 18 donation-based thrift stores across five states, is the latest organization to discover it has been hit by a cyberattack. The company recently learned it was a victim of a data breach that originated through software used by a third-party service provider. America’s Thrift Stores confirmed it has been working with an independent external forensic expert, as well as the U.S. Secret Service, to investigate the breach, which it believes affected sales transactions between Sept. 1, 2015 and Sept. 27, 2015. The malware-driven security breach resulted in the theft of customers’ payment card numbers and expiration dates, but America’s Thrift Stores confirmed the U.S. Secret Service does not believe customer names, phone numbers, addresses or email addresses were compromised in the attack. Story in PYMNTS.

An “Average” Cyber Crime Costs a U.S. Company $15.4 Million
The cost of cyber crime is skyrocketing. A new study shows a cyber crime incident in the United States costs a company an average of $15.4 million, an increase of 19%. Cyber crimes in the United States are much costlier on an average basis than any other country surveyed. In fact, the average cyber crime incident throughout the world is $7.7 million. Germany had the second highest average, with Japan third. Not only are the costs rising, the number of successful attacks have also increased 46% in the past four years. In 2012, companies faced 68 security breaches. In 2015, that number has climbed to 99 breaches. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

MasterCard Corporate Cards Now Eligible for Mobile Wallets
MasterCard today announced that it will provide tokenization services to commercial credit card issuers to enable corporations and business travelers to load eligible corporate credit cards into participating mobile and digital wallet services. MasterCard said the new functionality for corporate cards is made possible through the MasterCard Digital Enablement Service, which allows a connected device to be used securely for business purchases and payments. Cardholders in the U.S. and the U.K. are among the first to have access to this new feature, according to the announcement. Story in Mobile Payments Today.

Square, Mobile Payments Giant, Just Filed For Its IPO
Square, the mobile payment firm co-founded by Jack Dorsey, on Wednesday filed for an initial public offering. Square said its shares would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SQ.” The company’s Form S-1, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, did not specify the price of the shares or how many would be available for sale. Square hopes to offer up to $275 million in stock, though that amount may be subject to change. Based in San Francisco, California, the business is currently helmed by Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Twitter. Square offers peripherals for smartphones and tablets, allowing vendors to accept credit card payments, track their stock and send invoices. Story by Damon Beres and Alexander C. Kaufman for the Huffington Post.

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 14.56 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.45 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.57 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 16, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.