LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 31, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Google and Mastercard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales
For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for.  Google and Mastercard brokered a business partnership during about four years of negotiations. The alliance gave Google an unprecedented asset for measuring retail spending, part of the search giant’s strategy to fortify its primary business against onslaughts from Amazon and others. But the deal, which has not been previously reported, could raise broader privacy concerns about how much consumer data technology companies like Google quietly absorb. Story by Mark Bergen and Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Consumers Crave More Mobile Banking Features Despite Security Concerns
Consumers aren’t always logical in their banking habits. They’re scared to death about data security and privacy, but that doesn’t stop them from using online or mobile banking tools heavily. Despite years of bad press about cyberattacks and data breaches, consumer enthusiasm for digital banking solutions has not dampened. Indeed, they want to do more things digitally related to their financial lives. In its annual survey on consumer payments, Fiserv found that consumer use of online bill pay grew steadily year over year, with 59% of consumers saying they use it today. They have also expanded their use of newer services, including digital wallets, person-to-person payments, and mobile bill pay. And the increases weren’t just slight, they were significant. Story by Bill Streeter for The Financial Brand

Warren Buffett’s Firm to Invest in Digital Payments in India
Warren Buffett’s firm, Berkshire Hathaway, will invest somewhere between $285.4 million to $356.7 million in One97 Communications, the parent company of Indian digital payments provider, Paytm. This will be Berkshire Hathaway’s first direct investment in India, and it marks an uncharacteristic shift into the technology sector. Paytm was founded in 2010 as a way to provide financial services to India’s underserved populations. While traditional banks only reach 10-20% of India’s population, Paytm has the ability to reach users online and offline. Users can operate their bank account entirely from their phones, and can visit a network of local retailers to make payments and deposit funds. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com

Here’s What Happens When You Miss Your Credit Card Payments
Credit card delinquencies are on the rise. Despite a strong economy and low unemployment, Americans are falling behind in paying off their credit card debt. The delinquency rate on all U.S. credit card loans is 2.47 percent, up from 2.42 percent at the beginning of 2017 and 2.12 percent in the second quarter of 2015, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. That means more than $23 billion in credit card debt is currently delinquent–30 or more days overdue. 33 percent of Americans surveyed said they miss payments because they don’t have the money. But 35 percent said they just forgot. Story by Herb Weisbaum for NBC News

Airlines Cash In on Loyalty Credit Cards
Airlines are inundating customers with credit card offers, hoping to widen a lucrative and steady revenue stream as they rely more on income beyond fares. Every major U.S. carrier earned more from credit card and loyalty programs in the second quarter than during the year-earlier period. Banks buy miles from airlines and award them to people who sign up for new cards and cardholders who make purchases on everyday items. The more cardholders spend, the more miles they rack up-and the more cash the issuing banks pay the airlines. Cards not tied to a particular airline work in a similar way, but the banks pay airlines when holders convert points to miles. Loyalty programs are among the top lucrative revenue sources airlines are tapping beyond ticket sales. Revenue from nonfare, ancillary sources such as bag fees and loyalty programs accounted for 11% of global airline revenue last year, up from 5% in 2010. Story by Andrew Tangel and Alison Sider for The Wall Street Journal

Mobile Wallets Perpetually Struggle for Relevance in the U.S.
Everything’s in place for mobile payments to supplant plastic cards in the U.S., except for a compelling reason for the transition. Even after years and billions of dollars in development and marketing from some of the largest U.S. corporate brands in banking, technology and the mobile industry, most U.S. consumers still don’t find anything wrong with using plastic cards, and a scant few use mobile wallets to make payments. Story by David Huen for Payments Source

T-Mobile Discloses Data Breach of Consumer Information
T-Mobile revealed it shut down a data breach potentially exposing consumer information such as email addresses and phone numbers. The wireless carrier announced their cybersecurity team had discovered and shut down an unauthorized source’s access to information on Aug. 20. T-Mobile said no financial data or social security numbers were involved, but personal information such as account numbers, email addresses, billing addresses and phone numbers may have been exposed. Story by Brett Molina for USA Today

Where Are Data Breach Laws The Strongest In America?
For many internet users, security is a top priority. And yet, data breaches still happen. Digital safeguards and common sense internet usage can only protect us so much. In the event of data breaches, most states require “immediate notification without unreasonable delay,” but “unreasonable delay” looks different for every state. Because each state is responsible for setting its own data breach notification laws, there is very little nationwide legislation for data breach notification systems. Notifications of these attacks can be delayed to avoid interference with the investigation or the restoration of the affected system. How victims of data breaches must be notified also varies by state. Story by Irfan Ahmad for Digital Information World

Are You Always Racking Up Credit Card Debt? Your Parents May Be to Blame
How do your parents feel about debt? The answer may have a lot to do with your own feelings about your current financial situation. Parents pass on their anxiety levels around debt to their children, according to a new study. Some 56% of those surveyed said they feel uncomfortable with debt and 62% said their parents feel uncomfortable with debt. The researchers concluded that children closely follow their parents’ leads when it comes to their feelings about debt. However, they noted that the younger generation feels more comfortable with debt than their parents, “showing that attitude toward debt is changing across generations.” Story by Maria LaMagna for MarketWatch

Credit Card Default Rates are Actually Lower Than in 2017
While consumer debt is increasing, consumers appear to be managing it pretty well. The latest data compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian show the composite consumer default rate in the first half of the year was largely unchanged from a year ago. The composite measures defaults on credit cards, mortgages and car payments. Consumers did a better job of paying their credit card bills but fell behind slightly on car payments. Mortgage defaults were unchanged from the first half of 2017. Story by Mark Huffman for Consumer Affairs

Square Secures Patent For Crypto Payment System
Square has received approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a patent concerning a new payments system that would permit merchants to accept any currency, including digital ones. The patent spells out a system in within which cryptocurrency payments would be processed at the same speed as traditional transactions like credit card payments. This would purportedly be done through a private blockchain that records transactions in real time. Square is well known for helping millions of merchants accept card payments via mobile or countertop readers, but they have also been able to cash in on crypto-enthusiasts. Story by Kevin O’Brien for Bitcoinist

U.K. Consumers Are Swapping Credit Cards for Less Savings
British people may be using more of their savings to support purchases instead of their credit cards. Unsecured personal credit, which includes items like personal loans and credit cards, increased by 817 million pounds ($1 billion) in July, half the pace of the previous month. Meanwhile, the annual gain in personal deposits slipped to 1.2 percent in July, the lowest level since records began in Oct. 2007. The trend indicates a preference to use savings rather than credit to cover living costs. Britons are starting to spend more than they earn after the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union sank the value of the pound, which has made the increased cost of everyday items like groceries and fuel take up a larger chunk of U.K. salaries. Story by Josh Robinson for Bloomberg

The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 31, 2018. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.


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
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