LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 14, 2015
Samsung Enters Mobile Payment Wars With Samsung Pay
Samsung is taking on Apple and Google with its own mobile payment system. At a press event in New York Thursday, the company announced Samsung Pay, a new contactless payment system that lets people buy products in physical stores with their phones. While Apple’s Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay rely on Near Field Communication sensors to interact with point-of-sale systems at retailers, which are not yet widely distributed, Samsung is using a technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission that will allow Samsung Pay phones to communicate with the typical magnetic strip reader found in credit card terminals around the country (Samsung Pay also supports NFC). Like other mobile payment systems, customers use their fingerprint to confirm a purchase after they’ve placed their phone near a point-of-sale system at the register. Story by Victor Luckerson for Time.
New Device Authenticates Mobile Payment Using Your Heartbeat
Wearable biometrics provider Nymi has teamed up with TD Bank and MasterCard to create the world’s first wearable mobile payment solution. Backed by biometric technology, this wearable uses a person’s heartbeat to verify identity and authorize contactless credit card payments. The wearable band contains an NFC (near field communications) chip that communicates with any contactless terminal. The band then reads the person’s heartbeat to verify that person’s identity. Every person has a specific heartbeat, much like a fingerprint. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
Capital One Nears Deal to Acquire GE Health Finance Unit
Credit card lender Capital One is in exclusive talks to acquire General Electric’s U.S. healthcare finance unit, in a deal likely to top $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The potential deal could bulk up Capital One’s existing healthcare lending operations and bring GE one step closer to achieving its target of shedding about $200 billion worth of finance assets to focus on industrial manufacturing. Story by Mike Stone and Greg Roumeliotis for Reuters.
Wells Fargo Is Mining Video Game Secrets to Make a Better App
Wells Fargo, lagging behind its rivals in mobile-banking prowess, is turning to an unlikely source for advice: the video-game industry. The lender bought a small stake in Context360, a startup that makes behavior-predicting technology used by game-makers to retain mobile players. For Wells Fargo, similar technology could help it pitch car loans on Saturday mornings when customers visit dealerships, for example, or block a suspicious credit card transaction. Wells Fargo’s investment shows how banks are joining with technology firms to figure out how to better prevent fraud and attract customers who are eschewing branches in favor of online and mobile applications. Story by Dakin Campbell for Bloomberg.
Researchers Find Security Flaws in Developing-World Money Apps
Mobile-money services are growing at a rapid clip in the developing world, but new research suggests many of the apps that give the poor access to banking services have woeful security protections, leaving users exposed to fraud and theft. Computer scientists at the University of Florida studied seven mobile-money apps from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, and found what they considered major security flaws in six. Story by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries for The Wall Street Journal.
Rite Aid Reverses Course, Will Accept Apple Pay
After shunning Apple Pay last fall, drugstore chain Rite Aid is reversing course. The company announced Tuesday it will start accepting Apple’s mobile payments technology at all of Rite Aid’s nearly 4,600 stores in the U.S starting Saturday, August 15. Rite Aid said it will also accept Google’s mobile payments technology, Android Pay. Last October, Rite Aid reportedly disabled Apple Pay in favor of accepting a rival mobile payments system that was being developed by a group of merchants, also known as the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). MCX’s Apple Pay rival, called CurrentC, is set to launch in the third quarter of 2015. The thought process behind CurrentC is to allow retailers to have access to valuable customer data from transactions. Rite Aid isn’t the first MCX merchant to embrace Apple Pay. Best Buy also started accepting the payments technology earlier this year. Story by Leena Rao for Fortune.
American Airlines, Sabre Said to Be Hit in China-Tied Hacks
A group of China-linked hackers that has mowed through the databanks of major American health insurers and stolen personnel records of U.S. military and intelligence agencies has struck at the heart of the nation’s air-travel system, say people familiar with investigations of the attacks. Sabre Corp., which processes reservations for hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotels, confirmed that its systems were breached recently, while American Airlines Group Inc., the world’s biggest carrier, said it is investigating whether hackers had entered its computers. Story by Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley for Bloomberg.
Apple Joins NFC Forum In Bid To Push Mobile Payments
Apple has reportedly become part of the Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum, the main association that handles wireless technology. Apple has decided to sponsor the non-profit organization and have Aon Mujtaba, the company’s director for wireless system engineering, join the NFC Board of Directors. With the decision to join NFC, the company is part of a board including tech giants like Google, Nokia, MasterCard, Visa, Qualcomm, Sony, among others. With this, Apple’s investment towards securing a wireless form of payment for future products will be strengthened drastically, while also helping the company enter the rising trend of wireless transactions. Story by Martin Blanc for Bidness Etc.
Man Who Used Pro Golfer’s Stolen Credit Cards Sentenced to Prison
The man who used Australian professional golfer Robert Allenby’s credit cards was sentenced Wednesday. Owen Harbison will have to serve five years in prison. In February, he was caught on surveillance video going on a shopping spree with the stolen cards. He pleaded guilty to identity theft
and attempted theft in June. Allenby was in Hawaii for the Sony Open. Story on KHON 2.
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 14.68 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.40 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.46 percent.