LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 26, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 26, 2019

April 26, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Credit Card Issuers Boost Spending on Social Media Ads
Credit card pitches are moving from the mailbox to the social-media feed. Several big card issuers recently increased spending on Facebook ads in an effort to attract new borrowers. Capital One and American Express spent an estimated $18.6 million and $13.5 million, respectively, on Facebook ads meant to sign up new consumer credit card holders in 2018, according to Mintel Comperemedia’s analysis of data from digital marketing intelligence firm Pathmatics, up from $2.8 million and $4 million in 2017. Direct mail, phone calls and in-branch pitches, which accounted for an estimated 57% of credit card sign-ups in 2016, fell to 48% in 2018, according to Mercator Advisory Group Inc. Banks mailed 3.7 billion credit card solicitations in 2018, down from 4.5 billion in 2016, according to Mintel. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal

55% of US Mobile Users Can’t Live Without Cash
More than half (55%) of U.S. mobile users said they hate the idea of life without cash, signifying a major hurdle for banks, payments processors and tech companies that urge consumers to adopt digital wallets, according to a survey by Origin. About three-fourths (76%) of mobile users carry cash, and 45% said there’s no reason to use mobile payments. Younger consumers are leading the way with the adoption of mobile payments, the study found. Twenty-two percent of survey respondents under 40 said they use mobile payments daily, while 45% of people over 40 said they’ve never used mobile payments. Story by Robert Williams for Mobile Marketer

Kohl’s to Accept Amazon Returns at All Stores Beginning in July
Kohl’s department stores, which have had an agreement with online retail juggernaut Amazon since 2017, announced it will accept Amazon-purchased returns at all stores nationwide starting in July. Kohl’s is seeking to enhance its appeal to customers as traditional retailers struggle to compete with online retailers and shoppers seek more personalized and direct-to-their-door experiences. In some ways, the announcement is a if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them approach. The free returns service is expected to offer convenience to Amazon shoppers who already can order items online and have them arrive in a day or two, while at the same time, giving them a reason to come in the store. Story by Frank Witsil for USA Today

Amazon Now Delivers Packages Inside Your Garage
Online shoppers who trust their delivery people more than lurking porch pirates may be pleased to learn Amazon has started delivering packages inside customer garages. The service is available today in 50 cities across the U.S.-but only for the e-tail giant’s Prime members with an Amazon Key, a lock and camera system operated remotely, which works in conjunction with a myQ-connected garage door opener. In addition to receiving an alert when a package is being delivered, as well as when a garage door opens and closes, customers can set up a camera to watch the process remotely on their phone. And although the service might seem a little too intimate for some, it might be slightly less unsettling than Amazon Key’s current service that allows deliveries inside people’s unattended homes and trunks of their cars. Story by Laura Stampler for Fortune

Surprising Stats about Consumers and Mobile Banking
Use of mobile banking is somewhat low at about 3 in 10. That said, satisfaction among those who do use mobile banking is quite high, however. Inertia and security concerns prevent consumers from using mobile banking. Consumers report being able to use their mobile app motivates them to do as much banking activity as possible by mobile phone. Mobile app users report that they feel more loyal to their bank as a result of using the app. Story in Payments Journal

Venmo’s Latest Profit Pursuit? Old-School Credit Cards
Venmo’s latest gambit to profit off its massive but still-not-lucrative user base involves a decidedly old-school idea: credit cards. Executives at the digital payments company have been meeting with banks since late last year to discuss issuing a Venmo-branded credit card, people familiar with the matter said. The company, owned by PayPal, is close to selecting Synchrony Financial as its credit-card issuer and is hoping to announce the card this year. Venmo, which offers a mobile money-transfer app, is the latest technology company to explore entering the credit-card business as a way to boost revenue and consumer engagement. Story by Peter Rudegeair and AnnaMaria Andriotis for MarketWatch

Atlanta Hawks Fall Prey to Magecart Credit Card Skimming Group
The Atlanta Hawks basketball team is recovering after hackers planted credit card skimming code on its ecommerce site. Researchers at Sanguine Security found the exploit on the NBA basketball team’s ecommerce site. Anyone ordering merchandise on or after 20 April 2019 had their name, address, and credit card details stolen by the malicious code, which logs victims’ keystrokes at the point of entry. The researchers believe that the hackers may have gained access via a third-party component running on the Hawks ecommerce site, which uses the Adobe-owned Magento Commerce Cloud e-commerce system. Story by Danny Bradbury for Naked Security

Bitcoin Accounts for 95% of Cryptocurrency Crime
Despite the proliferation of more than 2000 cryptocurrencies, including harder-to-track privacy coins, the overwhelming majority of criminals still prefer Bitcoin for illicit activity. Bitcoin, which is currently trading at just under $5,500, accounts for 95% of the cryptocurrency cases law enforcement investigates, according to Jonathan Levin, co-founder and COO of Chainalysis. The same reasons that have made Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, the top digital coin on the market have also made it criminals’ cryptocurrency of choice: It’s the most valuable and also has the highest transaction volume of any of its peers, making it easier to trade and spend. Story by Jen Wieczner for Fortune

Bank of America Is All In With Fintech As Mobile Banking Customers Increase
In the past couple of years, Bank of America has been spending billions of dollars to grow its digital business. The efforts appear to be paying off. When the bank reported first-quarter earnings earlier this week it said it ended the three month period with 27.1 million mobile banking customers that use the app regularly. That’s up 9% on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, Zelle, the peer-to-peer payment service had 5.4 million users at the end of the quarter while its take on the voice-activated digital assistant–Erica–now has 6.3 million users.  As it stands, 77% of its deposit transactions are completed through digital methods. Story by Donna Fuscaldo for Forbes

J.C. Penney Pulls the Plug on Contactless Payments
J.C. Penney is suspending all contactless payment options. According to a 2017 Visa EMV News report, every U.S. merchant that accepts contactless payments needs to support EMV contactless chip functionality as of April 13, 2019. A J.C. Penney spokesperson confirmed that the retailer has suspended contactless payments to comply with the mandate “until a later date.” Story by Tatiana Walk-Morris for Retail Dive

Chase Offers Digital Gift Card Transfers to Checking Customers
Chase checking account holders can now send digital gift cards for more than 60 top retailers through the Chase.com website or Chase Mobile app. The service allows users to send electronic gift payments of between $5 and $100 for free, using only the recipient’s email address. Chase said retailers and restaurants including Starbucks, The Home Depot, Panera and AMC Theaters are participating. Story in Retail Customer Experience


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf
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