LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 4, 2015

September 5, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
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Credit Card Fraudsters Pump Gas Stations for Profit
As motorists head out on the last big driving weekend of the summer, the credit card industry and gas-station owners are deploying everything from sophisticated software to heavy-duty padlocks to combat an epidemic of fuel-related theft and fraud. The crackdown is gaining additional momentum because many gas stations will be among the last merchants to install equipment accepting a new generation of fraud-resistant cards. While many big merchants will have equipment in place by Oct. 1 to accept the new chip-based cards, tougher guidelines set by Visa and MasterCard don’t apply to gas stations until 2017. Story by Robin Sidel for The Wall Street Journal.

No Credit Card at Checkout? Online Shopping Just Got Even Easier
As it currently stands, online checkouts are far from seamless. I learned to dread the process from an early age. My mother, near the end of any and every online purchase, would inevitably yell, “Can somebody please bring me my wallet?!” But according to Wired, a Swedish checkout service that officially debuted in the U.S. on Tuesday is in the market to fix that. The service is named Klarna, and the way it works is this: when it comes time for checkout, you type in your email address, shipping address, and sometimes your phone number. The service then quickly decides-based on whatever data about you it can gather-whether it will extend you credit. Assuming you are worthy, your purchase is complete. No credit card necessary . yet. Customers have 14 days to pay up. After that, a warning is issued. Eventually, anyone who doesn’t make good on a bill will see late payment fees and possibly have to deal with a debt collection agency. Story in Fortune.

Affinity Credit Card Companies Need To Expand Customer Base
Roughly 43% of U.S. adult consumers own at least one co-branded or affinity credit card. By year-end 2014, co-branded credit cards generated 31% of general purpose credit card purchase volume, or $809 billion out of $2.63 trillion, among Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express branded credit and charge cards. There are several trends that will shape the market for co-branded and affinity cards, including new and growing co-branded entrants. Citi is rejuvenated, Capital One and TD Bank are relatively new to the market, Wells Fargo has finally stepped in, and Alliance Data and Synchrony are shifting their emphasis to co-brand. Behind the scenes, the Visa, MasterCard and American Express networks are also jockeying for position. Another trend is rewards that tie back to the partner in a unique way. Story by Tanya Gazdik Irwin for MediaPost.

Subprime Borrowers Should Apply for That Credit Card Now
If you’re a subprime borrower–meaning you’re a higher credit risk to credit card companies, mortgage lenders and other creditors, and that you have a credit score below 601–now is the time to apply for that new piece of plastic. Why? Because credit card companies are more lenient these days about approving card applications from consumers with weaker credit. That’s the opinion from TransUnion, the credit reporting giant based in Chicago. TransUnion reports that credit card approvals “have increased to subprime borrowers” in the second quarter of 2015. What’s more, even with new approvals to consumers with lower credit scores, credit card delinquency rates “remain low,” at 1.19% for the quarter. Story by Brian O’ Connell for The Street.

Credit Card Delinquencies Remain Low Despite More Subprime Lending
Even though subprime consumers are once again being courted and approved by credit card issuers, credit card delinquency rates have remained steady for the past year. These are the findings of the latest TransUnion Industry Insights Report. Despite the new lending opportunities for subprime consumers, the amount of money they are allowed access continues to decline. The average new account line is now $923, the lowest it has been since 2012. The subprime group made up 18% of all new account originations, up from 14.7% a year ago. Overall, new accounts increased 11.2% to 13.1 million. The average credit line per borrower dropped slightly to $5,199 in the second quarter of 2015, down from $5,234 the same time last year. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

MCX Mobile Payments Rolling Out to Walmart and Other Locations in Ohio
Mobile payments have been making their way to a bunch of retailers around the world, but some of the biggest companies in the US have yet to adopt mobile payments. Three years ago a group of retailers in the US working under the Merchant Customer Exchange umbrella decided to enter the mobile payments market. That Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) partnership includes Walmart, Target, and Darden Restaurants. Three years after vowing to enter the mobile payments market, companies in the partnership are finally set to start rolling out the tech needed to enable mobile payments. The first locations to get the mobile payment upgrade will be several retailers and restaurants in the Columbus, Ohio area. Story by Shane McGlaun for SlashGear.

Mobile Payments will be Mainstream Soon, Says 1 in 3 UK Consumers
Though mobile payments have been slow to take off, they are rapidly becoming more popular and now a new study based on a survey from Lloyds Bank has shown that many consumers feel that they will be regularly using this tech within five years from now. One in four participants in the U.K. study felt that between mobile payments and contactless cards, they would no longer need to carry cash. Moreover, recent statistics from Barclaycard have revealed that contactless spending in the United Kingdom is three times greater than it had been a year ago. In the Lloyds survey, conducted by Ipsos Mori, with the participation of more than 2,000 people, 43 percent of consumers agreed that technology is the way that payments are going in the future. Story in Mobile Commerce Press.

eBay Sellers Can No Longer Process Payments Through PayPal Rivals
PayPal and eBay may have split ways, but that doesn’t mean they will no longer be affiliated with one another. As part of their breakoff agreement, eBay promised to process at least 80% of its payments through PayPal. Now, the online auction house is ending its contracts with ProPay and Skrill in order to keep up its end of the deal. eBay told its community that it is parting ways due to the low usage and high maintenance from offering ProPay nor Skrill. Story by Natalie Rutledge for LowCards.com.

5 Things to Know About the EMV Deadline
By the end of 2015, losses due to credit card fraud in the U.S. are expected to exceed $10 billion. This makes the transition from mag-stripe to EMV chip-and-PIN cards even more important as the industry moves toward the first major deadline in the EMV shift process. With the EMV conversion deadline fast approaching, here are five significant points for businesses and financial institutions to keep in mind. Story by Roy Urrico for the Credit Union Times.

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 14.60 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.45 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.49 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 5, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.