LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 1, 2017

December 1, 2017, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Record Online Cyber Monday Sales Cap Retail’s Strong Holiday Weekend
Record online shopping on Cyber Monday, especially on smartphones, capped a strong Thanksgiving weekend of holiday retail sales nationwide, data released Tuesday showed. Lured by retailers’ steep price cuts on everything from televisions to toys, about 174 million Americans shopped in physical stores and online from Thursday through Monday, topping earlier forecasts by 6%, the National Retail Federation said. Shoppers spent an average of $335.47 over the five-day period that began Thanksgiving Day, and the biggest spenders were “older millennials” in the 25-34 age group, the NRF said based on a survey it conducted with Prosper Insights & Analytics. Story by James F. Peltz for the Los Angeles Times

Facebook Drops Fee on Donations, Will Match $50M/year, Adds Mentor Feature
At its second Facebook Social Good Forum conference in New York City, the social network just unveiled a slew of new philanthropy-minded features and initiatives. Facebook is eliminating its 5% fee on donations so 100% of money sent through its Donate buttons go to the desired non-profit. Previously it took 5% to pay for credit card processing and verifying the 750,000 charities on its platform, but will now nobly eat that cost. However, personal fundraisers can still incur fees from 6.9% to 8.8%. It’s setting up a $50 million per year Facebook Donations Fund to match giving on its app to causes like natural disaster relief. Facebook is expanding charitable giving tools to 13 countries in Europe plus Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It’s launching a Fundraiser API to sync Facebook fundraisers to offsite campaigns, starting with Susan G. Komen, JDRF, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Movember, with plans to connect to 500 non-profits by end of Spring 2018. Story by Josh Constine for Tech Crunch

Black Friday: Mobile Payments Sputter at the Physical POS
Erratic support from U.S. retailers for in-store, proximity-based mobile payments likely contributed to low use among consumers as the holiday shopping season sprang to life on Black Friday. Cayan, a Boston-based payment technology company, revealed this past week that smartphone payment apps accounted for just 1 percent of its retail partners’ 1 million-plus in-store payment transactions on Black Friday. While that figure is up from 0.6 percent last year, Cayan believes more in-store, proximity-based mobile payments should be happening with its merchants and elsewhere. Story by Will Hernandez for Mobile Payments Today

Japan Tourism Trade Turning More to Credit Cards
Local restaurants, souvenir shops and even some temples and shrines are hoping to cater to foreign guests with an international custom yet to be adopted in Japan: letting customers pay their bills with credit cards instead of cash. As the country braces for a further tourism boom in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, major credit card companies are providing local businesses with portable devices so foreign customers can pay at the table — a practice customary in their home countries. Domestic tourist spots have been reluctant to accept credit cards until now because customers usually only pay a small amount on entrance fees or souvenirs, making it not worth the investment. Story in Japan Today

A Third Of Americans Would Rather Skip The Holidays
It isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for everyone, apparently. Thirty-three percent of Americans say they wish they could skip the holiday season rather than spend money on gifts, according to a recent survey. Much of this holiday stress is debt related: Forty-six percent of respondents are in credit card debt, and 52% who buy holiday gifts either won’t make a budget this year or will have trouble sticking to the one they have. Story by Kate Ashford for Forbes

Kyle Larson, Credit One Bank Expand Sponsorship for 2018
Kyle Larson wasted no time making NASCAR’s Champion’s Week in Las Vegas a cause to celebrate Tuesday afternoon with his Chip Ganassi Racing team formally introducing Credit One Bank as a primary sponsor for the No. 42 Chevrolet in 2018. The bank, which is also the Official Credit Card of NASCAR, will be the team’s largest sponsor and most prevalent logo on the car for multiple races. Exact details of the agreement weren’t disclosed. It will begin its multi-year association with the 2018 Daytona 500. Story by Holly Cain for NASCAR.com

Bitcoin Loses Over a Fifth of its Value in Less than 24 Hours
Bitcoin slid to as low as $9,000 in volatile trade on Thursday, having lost more than a fifth of its value since hitting an all-time high of $11,395 on Wednesday. The rise in the value of bitcoin has been fueled by signs that the digital currency is slowly gaining traction in the mainstream investment world, as well as by increasing awareness. In the past week, Google searches for “bitcoin” exceeded searches for “Trump” for the first time, data from Google showed, even though U.S. President Donald Trump has been prominently in the news this week. Several large market exchanges including Nasdaq, CBOE Holdings and CME Group — the world’s largest derivatives exchange — have said they are planning to provide futures contracts based on bitcoin. Story by Abhinav Ramnarayan for Reuters

Five Ways You Won’t Save Money by Opening a New Credit Card at the Store
Walk into any store during the holidays and the odds are good that you’ll be pitched with a credit card offer. Need an extra 15% or 20% off on the spot? Open a credit card. But not so fast. A simple move to save money right now could cost you a lot of cash in the long run, if you don’t watch out for the hidden costs of those popular credit cards being offered at stores at the mall. Two key features of store credit cards resonate with shoppers: Consumers can get an extra credit line to spend more money on gifts. And there’s that added savings on top of already discounted prices. So what could rip into your wallet here? Story by Susan Tompor for the Detroit Free Press

Securing Mobile Transactions and Payments in the Age of Connected Devices
When it comes to mobile transactions and payments, consumer expectations are evolving. When a consumer purchases an item or service, he or she naturally expects to receive that service. Furthermore, the consumer’s personal information should be used solely for the purpose of completing that transaction, not to solicit future business. Most importantly, the consumer demands robust security around the transaction to protect his or her personal information from fraudsters who may be looking to fund a vacation of their own with stolen credit card data. These expectations have remained largely unchanged over the past several decades. What has changed, however, is the way vendors, retailers, financial institutions and other service providers process mobile transactions and payments. Story by Domenico Raguseo for Security Intelligence



The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 1, 2017. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue