LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 28, 2015
Banks Offering Mobile Banking But Consumers Slow to Adapt
Financial institutions are offering mobile banking faster than consumers are adapting to it, according to a recently published survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Banks and credit unions are using this as a tool to attract and retain customers, even though it appears that customers are not taking advantage of the opportunities. Four out of five banks and credit unions said less than 20% of their users had adopted mobile banking for their accounts. Only 4% of financial institutions reported that more than half of their account holders actively used their mobile banking platforms. More than three out of four banks surveyed said they had mobile banking options for their customers. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
Samsung Pay Beta Launched On All US Carriers Except Verizon
Samsung is set to officially launch its new mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, next month, but the company has announced that users can register for a beta of the system starting today. The beta is open for users of the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ or Note 5, and is available for all major carriers in the U.S. except Verizon. So, if you’re on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or even U.S. Cellular, you can now register for the Samsung Pay beta. Story by Christian de Looper for Tech Times.
Coin Adds NFC Capabilities to its New All-in-One Card
On Wednesday, Coin announced version 2.0 of its all-in-one credit card will begin shipping. Coin 2.0 is a free upgrade for current Coin users, with all pending orders also set to receive the new hardware. The all-in-one card syncs to your smartphone and can store your credit and debit cards. When it comes time to pay, you press a button on the card to cycle through your various cards and the card’s magnetic stripe on the card is reprogrammed with your payment information. The revamped card incorporates NFC contactless payments and an improved magnetic stripe in a slightly thinner housing. Other new features include the ability to give your cards nicknames and improved display. Story by Jason Cipriani for Fortune.
PayAnywhere to Launch Apple Pay-Compatible Card Reader at Apple Stores
A company called PayAnywhere is preparing to launch a self-named card reader that could help bring Apple Pay support to small businesses, which have so far mostly foregone the technology. The reader plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone or iPad, and supports not just Apple Pay but other unspecified wireless payment systems. It can also process credit cards whether they use a magnetic stripe or EMV chip technology. PayAnywhere is charging 2.69 percent per transaction, but with no other recurring fees. A vendor’s first $5,000 in transactions will come at no cost whatsoever, albeit with a six-month time limit. The reader itself will cost $40 and be available exclusively from Apple’s online and retail stores come September. Story by Roger Fingas for Apple Insider.
Fidelity Said to Weigh Dropping AmEx, BofA as Card Partners
Fidelity Investments is considering dropping American Express and Bank of America to find new partners and better terms for one of the top-rated cash-back credit cards in the U.S., according to people with knowledge of the matter. Visa and MasterCard are in talks with Fidelity, vying to replace AmEx on a card that’s been amassing customers for more than six years, according to the people who asked not to be identified because negotiations are private. AmEx is parting with Costco and JetBlue, and losing the Fidelity deal would affect a key area of growth: facilitating transactions in which another bank is the lender. Bank of America, which fills that role, also could be supplanted by another issuer, the people said. The discussions are fluid and may still fall apart, leaving Fidelity’s current partners in place, the people said. Story by Elizabeth Dexheimer for Bloomberg.
Web.com Hacked, Credit Card Information of 93,000 Customers Compromised
Web.com reported a breach in one of its computer systems that may have compromised the credit card information of approximately 93,000 customers, according to a filing the company has made to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The breach happened Aug.13. The company discovered the unauthorized activity as part of its ongoing security monitoring and shut down the access. The scheduled monitoring found the breach the day it happened. Story by Bill Bortzfield and Drew Dixon for Jacksonville.com.
Ashley Madison: Full Credit Card Data Not Stolen in Breach
The owner of Ashley Madison, a dating website targeting married people, says full credit card numbers were not stored or stolen during a breach reported in July. In a brief statement posted Wednesday, Avid Life Media says no full credit card numbers from current or past members of the cheaters site was taken during a data breach. Story by Brett Molina for USA Today.
Merchants Still Not Saving after Durbin Amendment
Nearly four years after the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act went into effect, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has released a study assessing the impact the changes have had on merchants. Though the amendment was designed to save merchants money on debit card fees, less than 10% of participants reported a decrease in expenses on debit card transactions. According to the study, 67% of merchants did not see a change in their debit card fees after the new regulation. In fact, one in four merchants said they saw an increase in their fees. The regulation was not just designed to help merchants. It was also meant to save consumers money because, theoretically, merchants would not have to charge as much to cover the interchange or swipe fees. Nevertheless, 23% of merchants reported price increases after the amendment, and 75% reported no price changes at all. Only 2% said they had offered price cuts since that time. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
MasterCard and Barclaycard Report Massive Contactless Payments Growth in UK
Britain is rapidly becoming a nation of contactless payment aficionados, according to figures released today by two of the UK biggest payment providers. MasterCard has revealed that the amount of spending by British consumers on its contactless cards has increased more than five-fold in the last 12 months to show a 560 percent year-on-year growth. Elsewhere, Barclaycard has said that contactless spending amongst its users has more than trebled to increase 150 percent by value and 134 percent by volume year-on-year. And both companies say they are only expecting this figure to keep growing as the amount consumers can spend on their contactless cards rises to £30 on September 1. Story by Michael Moore in Tech Week Europe.
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 14.60 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.65 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.45 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.49 percent.