LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 13, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Americans’ Credit Card Debt Poised to Reach 10-Year High
Americans are projected to fall seriously behind on their credit card bills at the highest rate in a decade as banks push a record number of people to get plastic. The share of credit card borrowers who are at least 90 days past due on their accounts will probably tick up to 2.01% next year, the highest level since 2010, according to a forecast by TransUnion. Still, the credit-rating company said the increase isn’t a cause for concern, noting that bad card debt still remains much lower than the level seen during the last recession. “This is well-managed delinquency,” Matt Komos, TransUnion’s vice president of research and consulting, said in an interview. “It’s still healthy. This uptick is not concerning with the amount that credit has been expanding.” Story by Jennifer Surane and Shahien Nasiripour for Bloomberg

53% Of Americans Have Been Turned Down For Loans, Credit Cards Over Poor Credit
A staggering 53% of Americans have been denied approval for a new credit card, loan, or even a new car because of poor credit, according to a new survey. The survey dove into the causes of this economic issue, and pinpointed two main reasons. The first was ignorance. The survey reveals that 23% of millennials don’t know their credit score at all. The same could be said for 54% of generation Zers, 18% of generation Xers, and 20% of baby boomers. Another common detriment to personal credit scores was credit card usage. The survey shows 38% of Americans carry three or more credit cards, while 13% of baby boomers have six or more. Story by Ben Renner for StudyFinds

Retailers Don’t Like Paying the Fees for Your Apple Card
This holiday season will be the first for the Apple Card, the higest-profile new credit card in years. And every time a customer waves an iPhone at the register to use the new card, a retailer may feel an extra pinch on its profits. That’s because the card, marketed by Apple and backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is designated “elite,” which allows it to levy significantly higher interchange fees on each swipe or tap. Elite cards impose higher transaction fees to support generous reward programs for their customers. Card networks tell merchants the higher costs are justified because premium cardholders also have more buying power-so they’ll spend more. According to payment processor Auric, since January 2018 the average purchase made with premium-branded Visa cards was $50 higher than those made with regular Visa credit cards. But the cards have long irked retailers. They have no choice but to pay the higher fees for elite plastic if they want to accept any of a network’s credit cards. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Mastercard Pilots Digital ID Verification Program In Australia
Mastercard is launching a new digital resource that has the potential to instantly authenticate someone’s identity in a secure manner. The pilot will roll out in Australia with Australia Post and Deakin University. Mastercard said everyday digital transactions and interactions have triggered the need for a new model for identity verification and privacy. The pilot program will assess an innovative approach to identity verification that makes it unnecessary for people to have numerous documents. The process removes the necessity of having a centralized identity database. Story in PYMNTS

Bank of America Will Pay People $15 to Use Its App
Bank of America has close to 40 million customers who bank digitally. Around 30 million of which use the bank’s app and 10 million use its virtual assistant, Erica, a cornerstone of the bank’s digital strategy. But that’s not enough for America’s second-largest bank by total assets—and perhaps most digitally advanced—bank. Starting in the second week of December, the bank will deposit $15 into the accounts of customers if they try mobile check deposit, transfer money to someone via the Zelle app, and use mobile bill pay by Jan. 17. Story by Ethan Wolff-Mann for Yahoo Finance

Consumers Embrace Mobile Banking, But Still Value Branches
An increasing number of consumers are using mobile banking, yet the vast majority still consider branch locations an important part of their banking experience, according to an Adobe study. The study shows that 89% of consumers use their bank’s web/mobile options, with 67% using online options to check their account balances, and 52% going online to conduct the majority of their banking. Despite that high percentage of online banking customers, 75% of consumers surveyed still believe physical bank branches matter and 70% of consumers have still visited a branch location in the past month. Story in Retail Customer Experience

These are the Worst Hacks, Cyberattacks, and Data Breaches of 2019
The blight of cyberattacks, criminal hacking groups, and data breaches is not going away anytime soon. For the past few years, there has been a constant stream of data breaches that have hit the headlines, ranging from the theft of medical information, account credentials, corporate emails, and internal sensitive enterprise data. Here are the most interesting and largest data breaches, hacks, and cyberattacks that have taken place over 2019. Story by Charlie Osborne for ZD Net

Bank of America is Becoming the Amazon of Retail Banking
Erica, Bank of America’s AI assistant, may not be a household name like Alexa or Siri. But in just 18 months, the text and voice-based virtual assistant has amassed more than 10 million users and completed 100 million client requests, cementing itself as the core of the bank’s digital strategy for 2020 and beyond. Bank of America has been at the forefront in digital banking innovation for a number of years now, having invested early and heavily in digital and mobile products. Perhaps the biggest innovation thus far: pioneering mobile checking deposit in 2012, enabling millions of customers to never have to wait in line for a teller on their lunch break. Bank of America is now putting its virtual assistant at the center of its services strategy, and it’s catching on fast. Story by Ethan Wolff-Mann for Yahoo Finance

Managing Donations During Natural Disasters With Prepaid Cards
From the devastating fires in California, to humanitarian crises around the globe, many aid organizations are collecting donations and jumping in to help. A relatively new and turnkey way relief and government organizations are distributing aid is through prepaid cards. Prepaid field cards allow people the flexibility to get exactly what they individually need. In a time when they have lost control of so much, the cards empower people, allowing them to address their specific needs, rather than just having the option of whatever hard goods people donated. It also streamlines the process for aid organization issuing it. Prepaid cards give aid organizations multiple levels of payment control, allowing the organization to manage inventory, funding levels, allocations and activations. Story by Jonathon Hamburg for Payments Journal

Your Guide to Citi’s 48-Month Rule
Citi has an impressive lineup of rewards credit cards with generous welcome bonuses. Whether you’re looking to stock up on transferable Citi ThankYou points or AAdvantage miles, Citi has multiple cards to choose from. The downer? Citi has also begun restricting the welcome bonuses on some of these credit cards. In some cases, if you’ve had a Citi card in the last 48 months, you will not be eligible for another welcome bonus on a similar card. Story by Ariana Arghandewal for NerdWallet

Cryptocurrency Is Most Useful for Breaking Laws and Social Constructs
Decentralized systems forsake scale, speed, and cost in favor of one key feature: censorship resistance. Cryptocurrency solves problems faced by the censored who, by definition, are not the mainstream. In particular, cryptocurrency enables individuals and organizations to make censored transactions. Procuring drugs on the internet. That’s an example of a censored transaction. Buying US dollars in Argentina is another example. Paying a sex worker. Sending money to a friend in Iran. Making an online purchase as an unbanked individual. Selling cannabis as a dispensary. Getting money out of Venezuela. Supporting dissidents in Hong Kong. The primary utility of cryptocurrency lies in engaging in financial activity that is otherwise suppressed or prohibited. This is the stated intent of cryptocurrency. Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, described cryptocurrency as a tool of freedom. Story by Jill Carlson for CoinDesk

Robinhood Launches Its Cash Management Service, a Year After Botched Launch
Robinhood Markets Inc. has finally launched its take on a bank account, albeit a very different version of the service it once hoped to offer. On Wednesday, the online brokerage firm rolled out Cash Management to a subset of users. The product will sweep the money customers don’t currently have in stocks into a separate account with 1.8% interest. The introduction comes after a debacle for the company last year, when Robinhood, known for popularizing free stock trading, announced a product called Checking & Savings that drew swift backlash. The startup has spent much of the past 12 months retooling how it would offer cash management services and making sure that this time, it wouldn’t raise any red flags with industry watchdogs or regulators. Story by Julie Verhage for Bloomberg

bill-hardekopf

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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