LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 11, 2015

September 11, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Consumer Credit in U.S. Increased More Than Forecast in July
Consumer credit in the U.S. rose more than projected in July, boosted by bigger credit card balances and loans for automobiles. The $19.1 billion increase followed a $27 billion gain in the prior month that was larger than previously estimated, Federal Reserve figures showed Tuesday. Americans are becoming more willing to borrow for large-ticket purchases such as cars as the job market strengthens, home values rise and household finances improve. Sustained demand for credit highlights steady-as-she-goes consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, rose by $4.3 billion following a $7.5 billion increase, the Fed report showed. Story by Sho Chandra for Bloomberg.

Google’s Android Pay Rolls Out in U.S.
Google’s Android Pay rolled out Thursday to US customers, becoming the latest system to allow consumers to tap their phones to pay for purchases at retailers. The tap-to-pay system was announced earlier this year as part of an effort to ramp up the Android challenge to Apple, which has a similar system for iPhones. Similar to the Apple Pay system unveiled last year, Android Pay will allow consumers to store their credit card information on their handsets along with loyalty cards and other data. For extra security, Android Pay will generate a one-time “token” or virtual account number so the actual credit card data is not revealed in a transaction. Story on Yahoo Tech.

Countdown is on for Discover Credit Cardholders to use Apple Pay
Credit card company Discover said that it would integrate with Apple’s mobile payments technology, Apple Pay, starting Sept. 16. For background, Apple Pay lets users upload credit and debit card information to a “mobile wallet.” They can then use their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for goods at retail stores in the U.S. and U.K. that have point-of-sale registers equipped with near field communication technology, known as NFC. Users can also use their accounts to pay for items within apps, if an app developer has Apple Pay integrated. Apple had already started accepting users with MasterCard, American Express and Visa cards. By turning on the spigot with Discover, Apple is now compatible with all major credit cards. Story by Leena Rao for Fortune.

Only 22% of Small Businesses Are Ready for EMV Deadline Yet another study has emerged showing that small businesses are unprepared for the October 2015 deadline of transitioning to EMV card readers. Only 22% of small retailers are ready for the deadline, and 23% feel chip and PIN card readers are completely unnecessary. Business owners report that they need extra time to research and implement the new technology, or it is simply too expensive to make the switch at this time. Surprisingly, about one in 10 business owners still said they did not know about the approaching deadline. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

JPMorgan Uses its Might to Cut Costs in Credit Card Market
JPMorgan Chase is cutting prices for a group of its credit card customers and getting Visa to shoulder at least some of the burden of the lost revenue, underscoring how the largest U.S. bank’s size can help it hang onto business in fiercely competitive markets. At stake are the billions of dollars that banks receive annually from consumer use of a credit card to pay a retailer. Chase, which generated roughly $3.6 billion of revenue last year from those fees, is increasingly occupied with fending off banking rivals like Citigroup, as well as Silicon Valley companies such as Paypal and Square. Chase’s revenue from those fees is showing signs of eroding. In the first half of 2015, fee income in the bank’s credit and debit card business fell 2 percent from the same period a year earlier, even as the bank processed a higher volume of transactions. A person familiar with the matter said lower processing fees were a critical part of that decline. Story by David Henry for Reuters.

MasterCard to Lift Limit on Mobile Payments in Europe by 2017
MasterCard said new standards it is introducing in Europe will make NFC-based payments easier on mobile devices, including lifting the fixed limit on how much consumers can pay in several European countries. The credit card firm said the aim of the new standards was to drive authentication of NFC-based transactions onto the mobile devices, either through biometrics or via a PIN code, both entered by consumers. On-device authentication, said MasterCard, means the limit on smartphone payments can be lifted. In several countries, users can only tap and pay to a fixed limit (€25 in France and £30 in the UK). Story by Richard Handford for Mobile World Live.

Nearly Half of Mobile Device Owners Use Mobile Banking
According to a new survey from the American Bankers Association, 39% of Americans and 45% of mobile device owners use mobile banking at least once a month. The rise of smartphone technology and the increasing availability of digital financial solutions allows bank customers to manage their accounts with ease, no matter where they are. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.

3 Trends In Mobile Payments You Need to Know About
The mobile payments space has been touted as the next big thing for some time now. For almost as long as the mobile device revolution, industry watchers have predicted that the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices signaled the end of the traditional wallet–that, soon, cash and credit cards would give way to a new technology embedded into our mobile phones. So far, it hasn’t happened. Most people continue to pay for things using traditional credit cards and cash. But don’t get me wrong, the mobile payment revolution is coming–it’s only a question of when. Here are three recent trends that are set to help accelerate the pace of innovation in this space. Story by Ilya Pozin for Forbes.

Sam’s Club to Accept American Express Credit Cards
Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s warehouse division, will accept American Express credit cards starting Oct. 1, in addition to the other cards it already accepts in its stores. Sam’s Club will also accept Amex’s Bluebird prepaid debit card, sold in Wal-Mart stores, which was launched in 2012 as an alternative to bank checking accounts that can carry high fees. American Express lost a crucial relationship with Sam’s Club competitor Costco Wholesale Corp. earlier this year. Costco stopped accepting Amex cards exclusively, and switched to Visa instead. Citigroup Inc. will issue Costco Visa credit cards. Story by Dan Wilchins for Reuters.

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 14.59 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.60 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.46 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.46 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 11, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.