LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 25, 2015

September 25, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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What’s the Chip in Your New Credit Card Do?
The microchip on your credit or debit card helps make it more difficult for fraudsters in two important ways. It makes it harder to physically counterfeit the card and it creates a unique transaction code that’s passed to the merchant every time you make a purchase with the card. Stealing a unique transaction code and using it for fraudulent purchases is like having an expired password: it won’t do anyone any good. But while new chip cards can protect you from what’s known as “card–present” fraud-where perpetrators are using physical counterfeit cards-the technology has yet address online fraud. That makes up an estimated 16 percent of total fraud losses of credit and debit cards. Story by Sharon Epperson and Judy Gee for CNBC.

Criminals Use Charity Websites to Test Credit Card Numbers
If your credit card bill contains an unauthorized donation to a charity, you are not alone. New information reveals that criminals are using unsecured charity websites to test stolen credit card numbers on a global scale. Many charity websites have simplified their donation platform to encourage more people to give to their organizations. This added convenience comes at a price though, costing some organizations thousands of dollars due to false donations made to their websites. Transactions processed as “card not present” puts the burden of repayment on the non-profit organization, not the credit card company. Cyber criminals are beginning to take advantage of the limited security measures on charity websites to verify the validity of stolen credit card numbers so they can be used for future fraudulent purchases. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Federal Reserve Board Announces Enhancements to ACH Service
The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday announced the approval of enhancements to the Federal Reserve Bank’s same-day automated clearing house service. The enhancements are intended to align the Fed’s same-day ACH service with recent amendments to NACHA’s ACH operating rules and will facilitate the use of the ACH network for certain time-critical payments; accelerate final settlement; and improve funds availability to payment recipients. Story in Mobile Payments Today.

Why Apple Pay and Other Mobile Wallet Services Could be Regulated Like Banks
Mobile payment services are slowly starting to catch on in the United States. But while the payment services seem simple–just plug in a debit or credit card number, enter your email and scan your phone using a bar code or QR code at one of a growing number of stores, from Kohl’s to the hamburger chain White Castle–one larger question looms over the services: are they replacing traditional banks, and should they be subject to the same types of regulation? As more retailers and traditional banks continue to roll out support for mobile wallet services, concern about whether they should be regulated is growing, particularly internationally. Story by Max Lewontin for The Christian Science Monitor.

Debit Cards Lag Credit Cards in EMV Migration, Putting Banks at Risk
Three times as many credit cards will be chip-enabled by the end of the year as debit cards, making the slower banks bigger targets for cybercriminals. An estimated 25 percent of debit cards are expected to be ready–compared to about 75 percent of credit cards. The reason is that the U.S. debit card system works differently than anywhere else in the world, and it took longer than expected to come up with specifications. Story by Maria Korolov for CSO Online.

Samsung Pay a Hit in South Korea in Run-Up to U.S. Launch
Samsung said Thursday that its mobile payment platform reached $30 million in transaction volume a month after it was launched in South Korea. The news comes as Samsung Pay is scheduled to launch in the U.S. Monday to compete with the likes of Apple Pay and Google’s Wallet and Android Pay. The payment technology is being touted as the next big development in retailing as Americans gradually abandon cash and credit cards to make payments with their mobile devices. Story by David Pierson for The Los Angeles Times.

Another Airline Gets a New Credit Card Deal
In recent years, credit card companies have realized that in the perennial competition to acquire and retain customers, they need desirable rewards partners. While many card issuers have their own rewards points or cash-back programs, many consumers want to earn currency from a particular brand. Airlines are usually near the top of the list in terms of desirability. They serve huge numbers of customers. Moreover, airline tickets are expensive enough that plenty of people want to earn points for free flights. Airlines have used their resulting leverage to get significantly better deals upon renewing their co-branded credit card agreements in the past couple of years. United Continental is just the latest to take advantage of this auspicious situation. United Continental announced that it has extended its co-branded credit card agreement with Visa and JPMorgan Chase to issue a variety of United MileagePlus rewards cards. Story by Adam Levine-Weinberg for The Motley Fool.

MasterCard Launches Aid Network
Humanitarian organizations are increasingly asked to provide aid in a climate of political and economic unrest. To address this challenge, MasterCard today launched the MasterCard Aid Network, an end-to-end, non-financial service designed to streamline aid distribution even in the absence of telecommunications infrastructure. Now, impacted populations can secure basic needs swiftly with the simple dip of a card. Story in Finextra.

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 14.55 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.59 percent. 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 September 25, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.