LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Visa Jumps on Debit Spending by Credit-Averse Millennials
You can thank the millennials. Spending on Visa debit cards—the favored plastic of the younger set—continues to grow at a faster clip than on credit. Spending on the firm’s debit cards jumped 16.3 percent in this year’s first three months, helping the firm raise its financial outlook for 2018. Credit card spending rose 13.7 percent. Younger consumers prefer to pay with debit cards or cash after cultivating an aversion to credit while coming of age during the financial crisis. They also don’t typically qualify for top credit cards until becoming older. Visa, the world’s largest payment network, generates more-lucrative fees from credit card use yet has a larger debit business than rival Mastercard. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Digit’s First Move Beyond Saving Money is a Feature to Pay Down Credit Card Debt
Digit, the developer of a wildly popular automatic savings mobile app, is moving beyond its core business with a new feature enabling users to pay down credit card debt from their Digit account. The new feature works by enabling users to create a “credit card debt” goal in their Digit settings and activate the Digit Pay service. Digit automatically will begin to save money from a linked checking account—and use those funds to pay off credit cards. Credit card payments can even be prioritized through Digit’s boost feature. Story by Jonathan Shieber for Tech Crunch

Card Market Continues Expanding, but Subprime Segment Lags
Strong holiday spending drove big fourth-quarter increases in credit card purchases by super-prime and prime borrowers, according to the latest edition of the American Bankers Association’s Credit Card Market Monitor released today. Monthly purchase volumes bounced up 5.1 percent for super-prime accounts in the fourth quarter and 3.9 percent for prime accounts – but they fell 3 percent for subprime borrowers. A lag in new subprime accounts brought the total number of new accounts down by 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter, although new accounts were up 2.7 percent compared to the end of 2016. The total of all open accounts was 4.1 percent above the end of 2016. Story in ABA Banking Journal

American Express Is Ready to Charge Into China
American Express AXP is closer to becoming the first U.S. card network to offer services in China. The People’s Bank of China has accepted the New York-based credit card company’s application to clear and settle bank card transactions in China. The card company formed a joint venture with Chinese mobile payments company Lianlian in order to file the application, the report said. In 2012, American Express announced it will license its “Serve” commerce technology to Lianlian, and make an equity investment in an overseas subsidiary of the Chinese company. Story by Lingling Wei and Chao Deng for The Wall Street Journal

More Than Half Of Cards Issued Globally Were EMV-Enabled
Data from EMVCo shows that 54.6 percent of all cards issued globally by the end of 2017 were EMV-enabled. In addition, the number of EMV payment cards in circulation around the world increased by 1 billion over the previous 12 months – to a total of 7.1 billion. EMVCo is collectively owned by American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa. The data also showed that 63.7 percent of all card-present transactions made around the world between January and December 2017 used EMV chip technology. That is an increase from 52.4 percent in 2016. The EMV chip card adoption rate is highest in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean (85.7 percent), followed closely by Europe Zone 1 (84.4 percent). The United States is second to last place at 58.5 percent. Story in PYMNTS

The Prepaid Trends Convenience Stores Need to Know
Gift cards were as popular as ever in 2017, and that will continue in 2018. They still offer the convenience and versatility consumers have come to count on, but the biggest and most exciting way gift cards have evolved recently has been in the types of gift cards stores can offer. It isn’t just restaurants and department stores. Now, consumers can find gift cards for new, popular services like ride-sharing apps and streaming entertainment channels. These new categories have added even more assortment to what convenience stores can offer, and consumers have taken notice. They are quickly becoming some of the most popular cards available, and stores would be wise to keep them in stock. It isn’t enough just to have the right prepaid products in stock. Convenience stores need to present them in a way that makes them easy for consumers to find. Story by Jerry Cutler for Convenience Store News

Citigroup, Bank of America Criticized by Senator on Firearms Ban
A key Republican lawmaker called out Citigroup and Bank of America for their decision to restrict business with the firearms industry. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, whose committee writes banking laws and oversees Wall Street’s regulators, wrote to the chief executive officers of both banks last week. He criticized the firms for using their size and reach to influence social policy and demanded to know how they collect information about consumers who buy guns. Story by Elizabeth Dexheimer for Bloomberg

Credit Karma Expands its Identity Theft Monitoring Tool to Include Dark Web Data
After introducing a free identity monitoring tool for its users late last year, Credit Karma is widening the scope of its fraud-fighting scans to include data from the dark web. Credit Karma’s existing ID-monitoring tool searches 4.5 billion public breaches for a user’s personal data, but the improved service will scour additional breaches culled from the dark web. Added up, the tool will now search through 13 billion data breaches. By checking its own database of 80 million Credit Karma users against the information in both pools of data, the company can give users a heads up when their info is compromised. Story by Taylor Hatmaker for Tech Crunch

83% Of Enterprises Are Complacent About Mobile Security
A recent study found that the accelerating pace of cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile adoption is outpacing enterprises’ ability to scale security management, leaving companies vulnerable. When there’s a trade-off between the expediency needed to accomplish business performance goals and security, the business goals win the majority of the time. 32% of enterprises are sacrificing security for expediency and business performance, leaving many areas of their core infrastructure unsecured. Enterprises who made this trade-off of expediency over security were 2.4x as likely to suffer data loss or downtime. Story by Louis Columbus for Forbes

Barclays and Paypal Announce Tie-Up as Banks Mull Big Tech Threat
British bank Barclays and digital payments firm PayPal have announced a partnership that will see them explore ways to combine their services for customers. The pair aim to allow Barclays customers in the United States and Britain to use their PayPal accounts on the bank’s online and mobile phone-based platforms while Barclays products will be used in PayPal accounts. The move comes amid mounting concerns from bank industry executives that big technology companies such as Amazon and Apple in the U.S. or China’s Alibaba could come to dominate the $1.8 trillion global payments industry. Story by Lawrence White for Reuters

Digital-Only Banking Customers are the Least Satisfied. Here’s Why
Banking executives talk a lot about optionality these days. They say they want to make sure they are providing lots of ways for their customers to bank. That includes things like opening new branches, like Chase and Bank of America are doing, or adding the ability to message with the bank via Apple’s iMessage like Wells Fargo and Discover are doing. This is part of a bigger push to be more customer-centric. Banks have historically not done a very good job of this, but they are trying to improve as customers’ expectations rise. The challenge for banks is to make it feel consistent. Having multiple channels is only part of the battle; making sure they work together is the other part. Story by Robert Barba for Bankrate



The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 27, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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