LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 9, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 9, 2019

August 9, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Chase Bank Wipes Out All Outstanding Credit Card Debt Owed by Canadian Users
A U.S. bank says it is letting some Canadian consumers off the hook for credit card debt as it exits the market. Chase Bank says it is forgiving all outstanding debt owed by users of its two Canadian credit cards. As part of its exit from the Canadian credit card market, Chase folded all Amazon and Marriott Visa accounts last year and recently opted to cut its loan losses completely. Chase decided to quit the Canadian credit card market in March 2018 after 13 years north of the border. Story in BNN Bloomberg

Mastercard Announces its Largest Acquisition Yet in Further Attempt to Move Beyond Cards
Mastercard announced the biggest acquisition in its history on Tuesday, as the card network continues its efforts to move beyond plastic. The company plans to acquire the account-to-account business of Danish payment-technology company Nets for about $3.19 billion. Mastercard will be gaining infrastructure, bill-payment technology, and open-banking capabilities through the acquisition. Though Mastercard is known for processing debit- and credit-card transactions, the company sees a big opportunity in other payment flows. In particular, Mastercard has increasingly been trying to capture payment volume that occurs between bank accounts, as business-to-business payments and other transaction types have historically avoided the card rails. Story by Emily Bary for MarketWatch

Visa to Test Advanced AI to Prevent Fraud
Visa is rolling out a platform to help its engineers quickly test advanced artificial-intelligence algorithms aimed at detecting and preventing credit card fraud. The platform, built in house and slated to be launched later this year, is an example of the broader financial-services industry trend of using AI to detect patterns in transactions that could signal criminal behavior. The platform is cloud-based, meaning that Visa’s researchers and engineers can access it online from anywhere. The banking industry is expected to be the second biggest spender on AI systems this year, behind retail. Story by Sara Castellanos for The Wall Street Journal

Mastercard Looking to Develop Cryptocurrency and Crypto Wallet
Mastercard is aiming to build a cryptocurrency development team, according to the company’s active job listings. The jobs include vice president of project management for blockchain/crypto, as well as a director of project management for cryptocurrency and wallets. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com

Visa’s Future Growth Lies In Non-Card-Based Transactions, And It Looks Bright
Visa delivered another quarter of strong growth, as we now come to expect from the company. Visa’s core credit and debit card business remains strong, but looking ahead many of Visa’s non-card-based solutions are prepared to grow at an even faster rate and provide additional revenue streams for the company. Visa’s ability to find new payment avenues is one of its greatest strengths as a company and will help support long term growth. Story in Seeking Alpha

I Worked at Capital One. Hacks Like This Are Most Dangerous for Low-Income People
The Capital One breach announced recently compromised the data of 100 million Americans, which is nearly 40 percent of all U.S. adults. After the Equifax, Target, Home Depot, and Marriott hacks, it can be easy to shrug off the news of another leak, but one group of consumers is at particular risk in the Capital One breach: 80,000 Americans who applied for secured credit cards with the company. For secured card applicants, who tend to be low-income, bank account information was compromised as well. The fact that bank account credentials were compromised raises the stakes for those consumers: even compared to credit card fraud, resolving checking account fraud is no walk in the park, and the costs here will be borne by people who can’t afford to take a hit. Story by Elena Botella for Talk Poverty

How 5G Will Revolutionize Retail Mobile Payments
Retail has increasingly become a mobile function to meet the needs of a constantly on-the-go consumer base, especially with the rise in popularity of mobile e-wallets. The introduction of 5G will only enhance innovations in retail technology and, in turn, benefit the consumer. While still in its infancy, there’s an expected global 5G rollout coming soon. That will lead to a more interconnected global economy of merchants and consumers. Faster internet speeds and a decrease in latencies will lead to even faster, more seamless payments made via a mobile device. Story by Steve Villegas for My Total Retail

Mobile Payments May Be Key To Better App Experience
Businesses are increasingly discovering that their mobile app is one of the best things that ever happened to their business. Providing an excellent source of analytics fodder for big data analysis, as well as a way to step up business in general through increased convenience, apps can be a great way to connect with customers. Yet many retailers may be failing to provide one critical core point of the app market: a proper mobile payments system to use within. Around 78% of consumers have five or fewer apps from merchants on their mobile devices. That might sound odd, but in a field where there around five million merchant apps available, that’s one serious gap. It’s a gap that’s closing, though, and has been ever since Starbucks-pretty much the poster child for mobile payments at the retail level-built its own all-in-one app. That’s providing a blueprint for other retailers, one that seems to be catching on if a bit slowly. Story by Steven Anderson for Payment Week

Russians Pull Out Credit Cards, and Consumer Debt Spirals
The growth in credit card lending has alarmed some economic policy officials, who note that a growing number of Russians are using a quick swipe of plastic or relying on payday lenders to cope with hard times brought on by Western sanctions and slumping prices for oil, one of the country’s major export commodities. The spending has lifted the economy but with ballooning consumer debt that could help start a recession. Since the onset of Russia’s military interventions in Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions, total outstanding personal debt among Russians has roughly doubled, according to the country’s central bank. Outstanding average debt per person has reached about $3,300. Story by Andrew E. Kramer for The New York Times

The Apple Card Launches to Select Users Today-Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Apple announced on Tuesday that the Apple Card will be released to a random selection of people who opted into the “notify me” list that opened earlier this year. These participants will be the first consumers to preview the much anticipated credit card that is backed by Goldman Sachs and part of Mastercard’s global payment network. While Apple isn’t revealing the credit score consumers need to qualify for the card, it was created with the iPhone user in mind. The tech company is using this introductory period as a test run to fine-tune the product. Story by Alexandria White for CNBC

The 5/24 Rule: How Opening And Closing Credit Cards Can Backfire
Starting in 2015, some individuals with excellent credit scores began reporting they’d gotten a rude surprise. They’d been rejected for Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards because they had opened too many new accounts in the last 24 months. The Internet went wild. After comparing notes, those involved in the online discussion concluded that users who had opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months were being rejected. By 2016, applicants were reporting the so-called “5/24” rule had been expanded to cover many of Chase’s co-branded cards. We must point out that since Chase has not published an official “5/24” policy. But whatever Chase’ exact policy is, the point is clear: if you open and close too many accounts in your pursuit of sign-up bonuses, Chase (and possibly other card issuers, too) may not want to do business with you, even if your credit score remains stellar. Story by Alexandra Talty for Forbes

LowCards.com simplifies the confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that helps consumers easily compare credit cards in a variety of categories such as lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance transfers and lowest introductory rates. It also gives an unbiased ranking and review for each card. Created by Hampton & Associates, the company has been analyzing the credit card industry and supplying objective websites on various consumer expenses for 19 years. For more information, contact Bill Hardekopf at 1-205-985-9725 or billh@LowCards.com. Follow our tweets: @lowcards


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.
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