LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 5, 2013

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 5, 2013

April 5, 2013         Written By Lynn Oldshue

18 States Considering Ban on Credit Card Surcharges
Eighteen states are now considering legislation that would bar retailers from imposing surcharges when consumers use their credit cards. Ten states have already imposed bans on credit card surcharges, which limited the potential impact of the new rules. Few, if any, merchants have yet to add surcharges to card transactions because most fear that doing so would spark a customer backlash, sending business to their competitors.  Still, merchants fiercely oppose the bills because, if passed, their options for recovering income lost to interchange would be limited.Story by Kevin Wack for the American Banker.

Lowest Credit Card Delinquency Rate in 18 years
Credit card delinquencies have reached an 18-year low, signaling that more cardholders are paying their bills on time. The number of accounts that were 30 days or more overdue dropped to 2.47% in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the American Bankers Association. The delinquency rate for credit card accounts peaked at 5.01% in 2009, but the rate has dropped rather steadily since then. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

MasterCard Pins ATM Fraud on Owners
Thousands of ATM owners could be liable for millions in fraud losses if they miss an April 19 deadline this month to upgrade their machines to authenticate debit-card transactions using computer chips rather than magnetic stripes. The deadline applies only to MasterCard-branded debit cards that are issued by overseas banks and used at U.S. ATMs. No upgrade means the owners will be financially responsible for fraudulent transactions linked to those cards and one sizable fraud could wipe out the annual profits for a machine. Story by Robin Sidel for The Wall Street Journal.

Forget Credit Cards; PayTango Lets You Pay by Fingerprint
Using your fingerprints to make a payment is a simple, and terrifying, idea. Take your fingerprints, upload them to a database somewhere, then have that information connected to whatever mode of payment you so desire. As is often the case with cool new start-ups revolving around unusual ideas, the people responsible are not seasoned veterans of the field, but are instead four students from Carnegie Mellon University. Story by Cassandra Khaw for Tech Hive.

Healthcare Credit Cards Wane with More Insured Patients
The era of healthcare-related credit cards has dropped after the Great Recession. One of the reasons is greater access to insurance starting next year. Chase, Capital One and Humana all have discontinued their credit programs for healthcare. However, industry observers say more patients put off healthcare procedures during the peak of the recession, and the implementation of much of the Affordable Care Act next year will likely curb demand even more. Story by Ron Shinkman for Fierce Health Finance.

Banks Made $32 Billion in Overdraft Fees Last Year
Bank customers may complain about hefty overdraft fees, but they’re using the service more and paying the price. A new report from Moebs Services, a respected economic research firm, shows overdraft revenue at banks, credit unions and thrift institutions totaled $32 billion last year. That’s an increase of $400 million or 1.3 percent from 2011. The Moebs study found that about a quarter of the people with a consumer checking account–that’s 38 million people–frequently overdraft. The median overdraft is about $40. Story by Herb Weisbaum for NBC News.

New Malware Steals Credit Card Data from Point-of-Sale Systems
Computer security firm McAfee says it has discovered a new type of malware, called vSkimmer,  that aims to steal credit card data from computer systems used in retail stores. Once installed on a checkout computer, it collects data entered into the system. The malware then sends the personal information to a central command server where it can be used by hackers. The security firm says today’s security threats are “more sophisticated and targeted than ever,” growing at an unprecedented rate. Story by Roy Williams for LowCards.com.

Bank of America Tops Financial Complaint List
Bank of America accounted for the largest share of consumer complaints lodged with the CFPB over the past 16 months, highlighting the challenges the nation’s second-largest bank faces as it tries to simplify its sprawling operations. 55% of the more than 90,000 complaints filed with the agency relate to mortgages, showing banks still have problems face in response to a surge in foreclosures. Credit cards ranked as the second-biggest source of complaints, accounting for almost 22% of the total. Story by Alan Zibel and Andrew Ackerman for the Wall Street Journal.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.29 percent, identical to last week’s average. Six months ago, the average was 14.32 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.33 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 5, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue