LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 27, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 27, 2018

December 27, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Mastercard Says U.S. Retail Holiday Spending Increased 5.1%, Online Holiday Spending Grew 19.1%
According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which provides insights into overall retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash and check, holiday sales increased 5.1 percent to more than $850 billion this year, the strongest growth in the last six years. Online shopping also saw large gains of 19.1 percent compared to 2017. The Mastercard SpendingPulse report details holiday shopping from November 1 through December 24. Key findings of the report indicate that despite weather challenges, this was a winning holiday season for retail overall; however, the story was different category by category. Story in Street Insider

How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings
The New York Times reviewed hundreds of documents including police reports,bank records and investigator notes from a decade of mass shootings. Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching. Story by Andrew Ross Sorkin for The New York Times

Shoppers Pair In-Store Spirit with Mobile Purchases
As the holiday shopping season wraps up, customers admit they’re using their phones to help them shop but still enjoy the experience of shopping in store. More than one in six holiday shoppers said they will use their mobile phone to buy gifts this season, a number that more than doubles among Millennial shoppers, according to this year’s “Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey” from The NPD Group. However, half of consumers say that simply going out shopping during the holidays puts them in the holiday spirit. This holiday season, retailers are doing more to combine the convenience of online shopping with the feeling of in-store shopping. Story in Convenience Store Decisions

15% of Americans Send Money Abroad Using Cryptocurrency
A new study conducted by blockchain startup Clovr found that 15.8 percent of the participants who sent money abroad did so using cryptocurrency. This placed cryptocurrency as the fourth most used medium of cross-border remittances among the participants while conventional means like online service payments, money transfer services and traditional bank wire transfers remained the more popular means at 50 percent, 50.9 percent and 25.7 percent respectively. The study showed that cryptocurrency had overtaken older forms of remittances like mail wire transfer and mail cash transfer. According to Clovr, cryptocurrencies could overtake all other forms of transfer means due to its advantage of speed and very low fees. Story by Solomon Sunny for Smartereum

Bank of America Files Yet Another Blockchain-Related Patent
Bank of America, the second largest bank in the United States by assets, has applied for a blockchain-related patent associated with the development of new cash handling devices. The latest patent, entitled “Banking systems controlled by data bearing records,” is the latest in a string of over 50 blockchain-related patents that the bank has filed up until now. The latest B of A patent describes a “new cash handling device,” which is similar to an automated teller machine (ATM), that will use the blockchain technology to accelerate transaction speed, facilitate other types of transactions such as gift registry transactions, among many others. The filing also describes a blockchain solution to track transactions, which allows the ATM machine to handle a larger amount of volume while reducing its physical cash transportation needs. Story by Aziz Abdel-Qader for Finance Magnates

70% of Shoppers Abandon Mobile Transactions When the Process is too Difficult
An Elavon study of 1,000 adults in Ireland on their mobile shopping experience identified that 70% of shoppers will abandon online transactions when the process is too difficult. Similarly, nearly two-thirds surveyed reported that a poor experience would impact their decision to shop with the brand in the future. The major sources of frustration range from being forced to repeat information (57%) to obligatory sign-up processes (42%) and limited payment options (40%). Story in Irish Tech News

What Motivates Millennials’ Payments
While many factors have contributed to this attitudinal shift away from preferring credit cards at the point of sale, there are two notable ones. The first factor is the explosion of student loans, which are severely burdening America’s youngest adults and their parents. The second factor is the unintentional blowback of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, which restricted access to credit cards and permanently changed the business model for banks issuing credit cards, leading them to prefer older, more affluent consumers with established credit. Story by Michael Moeser for Payments Source

Stopping the Data Breach Epidemic
Another day, another data breach. It’s easy for consumers to feel battered by what feels like an endless string of cyberattacks in which hackers steal very personal data. In 2018 alone, data breaches at Facebook, Google, and Marriott affected hundreds of millions of consumer accounts, and in recent years data from hundreds of millions more were exposed to criminals in incidents involving the credit reporting company Equifax, retailers Target and Home Depot, and other large corporations. It’s inevitable that some consumer data will be stolen through cyberattacks or exposed through errors that accidentally leave information unsecured. But, security and privacy experts say, private companies can do much more to safeguard sensitive information. Story by Allen St. John for Consumer Reports

Mobile Transactions Rise For Brands Promoting Apps
Mobile transactions accounted for 40% in North America and 52% in Asia-Pacific of all transactions globally. In the United States, the share of sales via smartphone rose 14% during the third quarter in 2018 compared with the year-ago quarter. In other parts of the world, the spike was more dramatic. The Criteo data, gathered during the third quarter of 2018, analyzes browsing and purchasing data from more than 5,000 retailers in about 80 countries. It examines the rise of mobile, mobile transactions, active promotion of shopping apps and omnichannel retailers. Findings from the Q3 Global Commerce Review suggest that mobile transactions continue to grow, especially when retailers promote their apps. Story by Laurie Sullivan for Digital News Daily

It’s a Trap! How Gift Cards Can Bust Your Budget
Sending a digital gift card takes just moments, and most people genuinely enjoy receiving them. Gift cards, for these reasons, are great options for both the lazy and the thoughtful shopper. In 2018, consumers will buy 6.3 digital gift cards, on average — up from 6.1 in 2017, according to FirstData’s annual Prepaid Consumer Insights Study. Physical card purchases have climbed even higher — going from 6.5 last year to eight in 2018. Gift card scan lead to behavior that’s good for the companies selling them and far less great for consumers. Sometimes, giving someone a gift card can encourage them to make poor spending habits, or cause them to spend money they needed to save. Story by Daniel B. Kline by The Motley Fool

A Little Too Merry with Holiday Credit Card Spending? Adopt a Debt-Payoff Strategy
You probably didn’t have a budget, but even if you did, you ignored it, because the holidays inspire generosity. But in a few weeks, after the decorations have been taken down and packed away, you’ll get your credit card bills. You’ll open the statements and want to faint. The truth is there in print. You took on more debt than you planned. Now what? Americans pay dearly for their love of credit. Consumers were on track to pay banks more than $100 billion in credit card interest and fees in 2018, according to MagnifyMoney, which analyzed FDIC data earlier this year. Here’s how to handle your debt after the holidays. Story by Michelle Singletary for The Washington Post

The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 27, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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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