LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Would You Bank with Amazon or Google? More Than Half of Us Say ‘Yes’
Would Americans consider putting their money in an Amazon Bank or Google Financial Services? A surprising number of us would. Nearly 60 percent of American banking customers would consider moving their money to accounts offered by familiar companies, such as online retailers, search engines, or big-box stores, even though they have no experience with financial services. The study found that if their deposits had the same guarantees as traditional banks, Americans who would consider a non-traditional banking company as possible financial partners cited Amazon, Google and Walmart, among others. Story by Harlan Lebo for USC News

Majority of Millennials Are in Debt, Hitting Pause on Major Life Events
Approximately three out of every four millennials in the U.S. have some form of debt, and they’re putting off major milestones because they can’t pay up. A quarter of millennials—those 18 to 34 years old—are over $30,000 in debt, including 11 percent who are over $100,000 in debt. Only 22 percent of millennials are debt free. As a result, saving has taken a backseat, which has affected the pace at which millennials live their lives and left most unprepared for a financial emergency. Credit cards, meanwhile, are playing an even bigger role than student loans. Credit card debt is the most prevalent type among the group, while just two in 10 millennials say they have a mortgage or home loan. Story by Andrew Arenge, Stephanie Perry and Ashley Tallevi for NBC News

2.1 Billion Consumers Worldwide Set to Use a Mobile Wallet in 2019
A new Juniper Research study has found that nearly 2.1 billion consumers worldwide will use a mobile wallet to make a payment or send money in 2019, up by nearly 30 percent on the 1.6 billion recorded at the end of 2017. PayPal, which has begun offering contactless payments in store in the U.S., had the greatest opportunities to develop a converged wallet on a worldwide basis, closely followed by China’s Alipay. The report also argued that while QR code-based in-store payments had seen astonishing levels of adoption in China, successful use cases in Europe and North America were likely to be limited to ‘closed-loop’ wallets such as those deployed by Starbucks and WalMart. Story in Mobile Payments Today

Secret Service Warns of Chip Card Scheme
The U.S. Secret Service is warning financial institutions about a new scam involving the temporary theft of chip-based debit cards issued to large corporations. In this scheme, the fraudsters intercept new debit cards in the mail and replace the chips on the cards with chips from old cards. When the unsuspecting business receives and activates the modified card, thieves can start draining funds from the account. Story by Brian Krebs for Krebs on Security

Apple Prompts iPhone Users to Enroll in Apple Pay
Apple is aggressively prompting iPhone users to enroll in Apple Pay by putting a seemingly permanent red-circle badge on the settings icon. Users that opt out of enrolling in the mobile wallet upon setting up their iPhones will see the red circle appear, indicating that their setup is incomplete until they enroll. And some users will even sporadically receive a reminder notification that will only go away once they enroll in Apple Pay. Apple is likely trying to expand Apple Pay’s reach. Adoption is struggling in the US in particular. Story by Rachel Green for Business Insider

Saks, Lord & Taylor Breach: Data Stolen on 5 Million Cards
Hackers stole information for more than 5 million credit and debit cards used at Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th and Lord & Taylor stores. Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns the retail chains, confirmed the breach Sunday, and said it has “identified the issue, and has taken steps to contain it.” The company added that the cards were used for in-store purchases, and there is “no indication” online purchases were affected. Hudson’s Bay said it’s cooperating with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation. Story by Jackie Wattles for CNN

Credit Card Companies Eliminating Signature Requirements
It’s the end of an era that few people seemed to notice. This month, all major credit card companies will stop requiring a signature for purchases made with a card that uses a security chip. The change has gradually been phased in since the chip system was introduced in the U.S. about two years ago. Industry experts consider chip cards more secure than cards using magnetic strips. The technology makes them much more difficult to counterfeit. Use of chip cards has significantly reduced fraud. Story by David Lee Miller for Fox News

Drivers Can Sign Up for an Uber Debit Card for Gas Discounts
Uber drivers and deliverers may want in on a debit card that Uber has designed with drivers in mind. The new Uber Visa Debit Card from GoBank is geared toward drivers and offers cash back rewards for gas fill-ups and car maintenance as well as other expenses associated with ride-hailing apps. The card offers 3 percent cash back at Exxon and Mobil gas stations, and 1.5 percent at other gas stations. Discounts at Jiffy Lube and Advance Auto Parts also make sense for a driver putting a lot of wear and tear on their vehicle. Other perks include cash back for Walmart purchases and at Sprint for monthly phone and data bills. Story by Sasha Lekach for Mashable

How Co-Branded Credit Cards Evolved From The Early 1900s Department Store
In the early 1900s, department stores came up with a novel idea to help their customers pay for their purchases: Customers could use metal plates—that looked like dog tags or tokens—at retailers such as Gimbels that tracked their spending. The idea was that department stores could offer a cashless payment option to their customers, since not everyone wanted to carry cash. It wasn’t a completely new idea, however. General stores had been tracking customer information in a general ledger for years. Then, in the 1920s, gas stations such as Texaco took the idea and created a payment system closer to modern-day credit cards by offering customers pieces of paper that were the size of playing cards, setting a standard size for cards. Later on that century, instead of issuing their own credit cards, retailers began to work with banks. In the 1980’s for example, American Airlines and Citi paired up for an AAdvantage credit card. It was a strategy that helped companies reward loyal customers and kept them coming back. Story in PYMNTS

Barclays Introduces Travel Rewards Card with 25,000 Bonus Miles Every Year
Barclays is launching a new travel rewards card that has something rather unique in the credit card industry: an opportunity for bonus rewards every year. Qualified applicants can earn 25,000 loyalty points every year after spending at least $25,000 on their Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard. A recent study revealed travel cards now offer an average introductory bonus of 40,556 points, but that is only available for the first year. After year one, cardholders must decide if the annual fee and other costs associated with the card are worth the rewards they can earn. The Barclays Arrival card comes with a $150 annual fee, but it offers a number of additional incentives. Barclays’ yearly bonus offer may be an effort to combat credit card churning. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com

Massachusetts Can Sue Equifax Over Data Breach
Massachusetts can move forward with a lawsuit accusing credit reporting firm Equifax of failing to safeguard its databases or provide prompt notice of a breach that exposed the personal data of 147 million people, a state court judge has ruled. Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Salinger in Boston denied a motion by Equifax to dismiss a lawsuit Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed after the breach was disclosed in September. The lawsuit alleged that Equifax knew or should have known by March 2017 that a serious security vulnerability existed in computer code that the company used in its systems but failed to patch or upgrade its software to eliminate it. As a result, hackers were able to access its databases and steal personal information, the lawsuit alleged. Story by Nate Raymond for Reuters



The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 6, 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