LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 9, 2015

October 9, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Expect More Online Fraud as New Credit Cards Arrive
The new chip credit cards that shoppers are getting in their mailboxes may prevent criminals from stealing from stores, but many thieves are expected to move their operations online. Small businesses could be the most vulnerable. Online fraud in the U.S. is expected to nearly double to $19 billion by 2018 from $10 billion in 2014, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, a consulting company based in Pleasanton, Calif. In Britain, which began shifting to chip cards in 2001, online fraud rose 55 percent from 2005 to 2008, according to the UK Cards Association, an industry group. Small businesses are likely to be most vulnerable because many can’t afford the sophisticated software big retailers use to quickly determine whether transactions are fraudulent. Banks no longer have the liability in such cases. And there’s another wrinkle that could make operating difficult for businesses that experience a lot of online fraud: Companies that exceed a limit on fraudulent transactions – usually 1 percent of their total transactions – may be barred from accepting credit cards. Story by Joyce Rosenberg for the Associated Press.

Beware of New Smart Chip Credit Card Scams
Ingenious scam artists, the only criminals we refer to as artists, are taking advantage of the situation by contacting people by email posing as their credit card company informing them that in order to issue a new EMV chip card, they need them to either update their account by confirming some personal information or click on a link to continue the process. This is a case of you are in trouble with either option. If you provide personal information in response to the email, you have just turned over this information to a scammer who will use it to make you a victim of identity theft. Alternatively, if you click on the link, you may end up downloading keystroke logging malware that will steal the personal information from your computer including your Social Security number, passwords and sensitive financial information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft. Story by Steve Weisman for USA Today.

Chinese Hackers Breached LoopPay, Whose Tech Is Central to Samsung Pay
Months before its technology became the centerpiece of Samsung’s new mobile payment system, LoopPay, a small Massachusetts subsidiary of the South Korean electronics giant, was the target of a sophisticated attack by a group of government-affiliated Chinese hackers. As early as March, the hackers–alternatively known as the Codoso Group or Sunshock Group by those who track them–had breached the computer network of LoopPay, a start-up in Burlington, Mass., that was acquired by Samsung in February for more than $250 million, according to several people briefed on the still-unfolding investigation, as well as Samsung and LoopPay executives. LoopPay executives said the Codoso hackers appeared to have been after the company’s technology, known as magnetic secure transmission, or MST, which is a key part of the Samsung Pay mobile payment wallet that made its public debut in the United States last week. Story by Nicole Perlroth and Mike Isaac for The New York Times.

Mobile Payments Deliver Big Hits for Mobile Gaming
A report from Newzoo suggests that mobile gaming spending will hit around $40.9 billion, which will actually beat the level of console spending, just by 2017. But that’s not all the boost for mobile gaming; revenue from in-game purchases was around $2 billion back in just 2011, but by the end of 2016, that number will more than double, reaching nearly $5 billion. Throw in the growth of social gaming like “Farmville” and the like, and the picture becomes clear. Mobile gaming represents a huge market and an even bigger potential opportunity. Story by Steven Anderson for Payment Week.

Lawmakers Question Switch to Microchip Credit Cards
Lawmakers are concerned that financial institutions are rushing a transition to microchip-enabled credit cards, hurting businesses and consumers in the process. The House Small Businesses Committee on Wednesday heard from financial institutions about how a switch to chip-enabled, or EMV, cards is affecting retailers. The meeting came a week after an Oct. 1 deadline where merchants who had not upgraded their technology to accept these EMV cards became responsible for covering the cost of fraudulent transactions. Story by Kyle Plantz for The Hill.

It May Soon Get Easier to Sue Your Bank
Most consumers probably aren’t aware that they’ve signed away their right to join class actions against their bank or credit card company. Now, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to ban companies from including so-called arbitration clauses in their service agreements, calling them a “free pass to avoid accountability.” The clauses generally require consumers to go into arbitration over a dispute, rather than to seek redress in the courts or join a group lawsuit pursuing compensation from a company that has broken the law or caused harm. These stipulations are often embedded in the contracts that consumers agree to when they open a bank account or credit card, but customers often don’t understand them or even notice them. The CFPB has been studying the clauses as part of its mandate under the Dodd-Frank Act, which also bans the use of arbitration clauses in mortgage contracts. More than half of credit card companies include such a clause in their agreement, but three out of four consumers had no idea they had agreed to it, according to the CFPB. Story by Aimee Picchi for CBS News.

Experian Data Breach Puts 15 Million T-Mobile Customers At Risk
On October 1, Experian, one of the country’s leading credit rating bureaus, announced one of their servers had been breached. This server held the personal data of consumers who had applied for T-Mobile postpaid services between September 1, 2013 and September 16, 2015. These records include all of the data T-Mobile would need for a credit assessment, including the customer’s name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and an identification number (such as a driver’s license or passport number). Experian assures customers that banking and payment card information were not obtained. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

What Actually Happens When Your Credit Cards Get Stolen?
We`ve all heard the warnings about credit card fraud, and some of us have been greatly affected by having our information comprised. But what actually happens to your credit card information when it lands in the wrong hands? Stolen credit card information is added to a stock. Other criminals buy a collection of card numbers on a credit card buying hosting site. The criminals can choose either to keep these cards or sell them again. If a criminal wishes to use the information at actual stores, technology exists where they can print a version of the card. Criminals make fraudulent purchases of items they can resell. Story by Alicia Revelle for WHNT.

Is Mobile Banking Really More Secure?
Numbers from the Federal Reserve are a smack in the face of mobile banking proponents. Some 87% of U.S. adults have mobile phones, but only 39% have used mobile banking in the past year. Among smartphone users, just 52% have used mobile banking in the past 12 months, up a slim 1% from the year earlier. The take-away: mobile banking adoption has stalled. What’s the hang up? Per the Fed: “Concern about the security of the technology was a common reason given for not using mobile banking or mobile payments (62% and 59%, respectively, of non-users).” Story by Robert McGarvey 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 14.56 percent, slightly higher than last week’s average of 14.55 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.47 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.56 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 9, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.