LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 20, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Struggling with Credit Card Debt? Wealthy Americans and Gen Xers Are, Too
A six-figure net worth may come with some strings attached. About 46% of U.S. adults with a net worth of at least $100,000 are more likely to have credit card debt, compared with 40% of those who have a negative net worth, according to a new Bankrate survey. Surprisingly, 57% of those with a net worth between $100,000 and $199,999 are the most likely to carry credit card debt versus 42% of all Americans. Three culprits are to blame, experts say, ranging from lifestyle creep, which refers to a rise in spending as wages increase, better access to credit and lack of liquidity. Story by Jessica Menton for USA Today

Here’s Which Generation Is Maxing Out Their Credit Cards the Most
Maxing out your credit cards is an overwhelmingly bad idea. Granted, many consumers who go that route do so unintentionally, but research from The Ascent reveals that one generation is more guilty of falling victim to that trap than others. If you’re thinking millennials, think again. While it’s true that 50.3% of younger Americans have, indeed, maxed out their credit limits, the dubious distinction of maxing out the most goes to none other than Gen Xers, with 58.8% hitting their credit limits at one point or another. By contrast, only 39.3% of baby boomers have maxed out their credit cards–an uncomfortably high percentage nonetheless, but notably lower than the numbers associated with boomers’ younger counterparts. Story in The Motley Fool

Fake Star Wars Streaming Sites Steal Credit Cards From Fans
Attackers are actively exploiting the hype around the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker movie as a bait designed to lure potential victims on fake streaming sites and steal their credit card data. Given that the movie will be released in theaters on December 20, phishers have the perfect decoy to attract fans who would want to get an early look at the new Star Wars movie. Kaspersky researchers found over 30 fraudulent websites and social media profiles disguised as official movie accounts (the actual number of these sites may be much higher) that supposedly distribute free copies of the latest film in the franchise. Story by Sergiu Gatlan for Bleeping Computer

PayPal Sues U.S. Regulator Over Prepaid-Card Rule
PayPal sued a federal banking regulator Wednesday, alleging that its new rule has hampered the company’s ability to offer credit products and has created confusion among users of its popular digital-payment services PayPal and Venmo. The lawsuit challenges the regulation on prepaid accounts rolled out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in April. While the rule’s primary aim is to improve consumer protection for prepaid payment cards, it also extends to “digital wallets,” any financial products capable of holding cash balances directly on cards or electronic devices. As a result, the rule brought under its coverage digital-payment tools such as PayPal, Venmo, Google Pay, and Square Cash, despite the industry’s claim that digital wallets are fundamentally different from prepaid cards. Story by Yuka Hayashi for The Wall Street Journal

Visa Warns of POS Malware Incidents at Gas Pumps Across North America
Visa says North American merchants who operate gas stations and gas pumps are facing a rash of attacks from cybercrime groups wanting to deploy point-of-sale malware on their networks. The payments processor said cybercrime groups carried out attacks with the main purpose of gaining access to fuel dispenser merchants’ networks, where they installed POS malware. POS malware works by continuously scraping a computer’s RAM for what looks like unencrypted payment card data, which it collects, and then uploads to a remote server. Story by Catalin Cimpanu for ZD Net

American Express Cuts Travel Accident, Other Card Benefits
American Express has cut travel accident insurance and a handful of other benefits from many of its credit cards. Cardholders who have these perks, which also include roadside assistance, return protection and extended warranty coverage, can use them through Dec. 31. Here’s more about the changes on the horizon. Story by Ben Luthi for US News

PayPal Completes GoPay Acquisition, Allowing the Payments Platform to Enter China
PayPal announced it has completed its acquisition of a 70% equity stake in GoPay, making PayPal the first foreign payment platform to provide online payment services in China. The transaction was approved by the People’s Bank of China on September 30 and has now closed. Deal terms have not been disclosed. GoPay has licenses for both online and mobile transactions, and mainly provides payment products for industries including e-commerce, cross-border commerce, tourism and others. Similar to PayPal, GoPay allows merchants to accept payments on their websites when customers are shopping online. Story by Sarah Perez for Tech Crunch

The Case For Contactless: Why Americans Will Tap-To-Pay In 2020
The first attempt at broad-scale issuance of contactless cards in the US was fought and lost more than a decade ago. Limited merchant acceptance, high issuance costs and tepid consumer adoption were all strong indictors that the initial US foray for tap-to-pay was simply too early. Today, these inhibitors have diminished, and unlike last time, a real market opportunity for contactless cards has become apparent. Story by Jordan McKee for Forbes

Earn an Easy $10 Credit with Your Contactless Citi Card
Contactless cards went through a major growth period in 2019. Most recently, Citi joined the trend of offering contactless, following the lead of Chase, Capital One and American Express. And now, Citi is capitalizing on the feature and rewarding cardholders for using it. Citi sent credit card holders a round of emails, offering a $10 back as a statement credit when you make three contactless purchases at participating U.S. Panera Bread, Target, and CVS Pharmacy locations. The qualifying contactless purchases must total at least $10 each and be made by Jan. 31, 2020. Story by Benji Stawski for The Points Guy

AI Is Biased. Here’s How Scientists Are Trying to Fix It
Computers have learned to see the world more clearly in recent years, thanks to some impressive leaps in artificial intelligence. But you might be surprised-and upset-to know what these AI algorithms really think of you. As a recent experiment demonstrated, the best AI vision system might see a picture of your face and spit out a racial slur, a gender stereotype, or a term that impugns your good character. Now the scientists who helped teach machines to see have removed some of the human prejudice lurking in the data they used during the lessons. The changes can help AI to see things more fairly, they say. Story by Will Knight for Wired

Green Dot Stock Is Sinking After a Shake-Up. It’s a Sign of Venmo and Square’s Dominance.
Green Dot’s founder and CEO, Steve Streit, along with its CFO, announced late Wednesday that they will step down. Green Dot’s core business of prepaid debit cards has been under significant pressure from services such as PayPal’s Venmo and Square’s Cash app. While many people think of those services as aimed at millennials, each has a core user base of unbanked and underbanked consumers-exactly the target customer of Green Dot’s prepaid cards. Not only do Venmo and Cash offer cards linked to users’ app account, they provide the ability to transfer money to other users and bank accounts, and receive payments and cash checks. Green Dot offers these features, too. Story by Ben Walsh for Barron’s

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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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