LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 7, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Microsoft and Mastercard Partner to Build a Universally-Recognized Digital Identity
Mastercard has partnered with Microsoft to help people better manage and use their digital identity. Current identity management systems are complex in proving user identity and managing their data. Following this, Mastercard and Microsoft are provided a way for people to instantly verify their digital identity with whomever they want, whenever they want using a universally-recognized, single digital identity system.  However, a universal identification like this may raise security, and privacy concerns, not to mention the data can be used for surveillance.  Public opinion on this system has also been largely negative. Story by Sugandha Lahoti for Packt

T-Mobile May Usher in Wave of Wireless Carriers Looking to Disrupt Banking
The reentry of T-Mobile into the mobile banking business marks what analysts say is a renewed push by U.S. wireless carriers to exploit an opportunity to disrupt traditional banking models that have been trending around the globe. The service will offer customers access to checking accounts that pay upwards of 4 percent interest with no fees that are traditionally associated with incumbent banks, including monthly service fees, overdraft fees or penalties for failure to maintain a minimum balance. The service will also provide consumers fee-free ATM withdrawals if they use Allpoint ATMs, a firm that has about 55,000 machines located around the world. Story by David Jones for Mobile Payments Today

Why Aren’t Chip Credit Cards Stopping “Card Present” Fraud in the US?
Gemini Advisory found that 45.8 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen from a physical point-of-sale (POS) terminal in a brick-and-mortar store, while the other 25 percent were stolen from online breaches. EMV can’t protect against online fraud, so that 25 percent doesn’t say anything about chip-based card security. Ninety percent of those cards were EMV-enabled cards. That doesn’t mean that the chip security isn’t working. “These results directly reflect the lack of US merchant compliance with the EMV implementation,” Gemini writes. While nearly everyone in the US has had their old magnetic stripe cards replaced with new cards that have a chip, it’s not uncommon to try to pay for something at a brick-and-mortar store with a chip card, only to be asked to swipe the magnetic stripe on the back. That puts a customer at risk of having their card information stolen, no matter whether they have a chip or not. Story by Megan Geuss for Ars Technica

For Walmart and Target, the Fed Holds the Keys to Faster Payments
Walmart and Target want the Federal Reserve to help them get paid in real time. The retail giants are among the companies urging the Fed to develop a service to settle interbank transfers in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Such a service could ultimately eliminate the lag between when consumers use debit cards to pay for items and stores receive the funds. Action by the Fed could enable merchants and others to develop faster payment services that allow consumers to pay for items from their checking account without using existing debit-card rails. Potential options include payment services integrated into mobile wallets and merchant smartphone apps with in-store rewards that incentivize shoppers to use them. This could become a problem for Visa and Mastercard, which could lose transaction volume if such alternative payment methods take off, and card-issuing banks, which reap fees from retailers when shoppers use debit cards to pay for purchases. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal

Visa, Mastercard Offer to Cap Tourist Card Fees to End EU Probe
Visa and Mastercard have offered to cap the fees charged on card payments made by tourists in the European Union to stave off fines and end an EU  antitrust investigation. The European Commission, which has waged a decades-long crackdown on payment and credit card fees, says so-called interchange fees in which the merchant’s bank pays a charge to the cardholder’s bank, result in higher prices for consumers. This is because the fees, which are a lucrative source of revenue for banks, are ultimately borne by the merchant. Visa and Mastercard have proposed a 0.2 percent fee on non-EU debit card payments carried out in shops and a 0.3 percent fee on
credit card payments. Story by Foo Yun Chee for Reuters

Visa Inks Partnerships With More Football Associations
Visa, the Official Payment Services Partner of FIFA, announced Wednesday partnerships with the Union of European Football Associations’ Women’s Football Competitions and the Confederation of African Football Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Visa said it will implement its payment technology at the tournament venues and provide exclusive experiences for cardholders. What’s more, Visa said it will play a role in further elevating women’s football and the regional tournaments. Story in PYMNTS

Wells Fargo Reform Plans Fail to Satisfy Fed After Scandals
The Federal Reserve has rejected Wells Fargo & Co’s plans to prevent further consumer abuses and told the scandal-plagued lender it needs stronger checks on management, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions. The concerns raised by the Fed, which have not been previously reported, are likely to increase the time it takes the central bank to lift an asset cap it imposed on Wells Fargo in February following a string of sales practices scandals. The bank must draw up a robust plan to improve its governance and risk management controls before the Fed will lift the cap and in February Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan said the bank was “on the fast track” to meeting those conditions. Story by Patrick Rucker for Reuters

With a Strong Mobile Lift, Virtual Cards Are Close to Dominating B2B Card Payments
In a vast and rapidly growing commercial card market, virtual cards are grabbing dollar-volume share and are poised to dominate business-to-business card payments, according to research from Accenture Payments. Corporate cards, purchasing cards, and virtual cards will account for $523 billion in U.S. commercial card volume, up 10% from 2017, according to the research. Of the 2018 total, virtual cards, which are non-plastic accounts typically tied to accounts-receivable systems and represented by a digital token, will total $169 billion in spend, up fully 24% from last year. Indeed, virtual cards are by far the fastest-growing of the three commercial card categories studied by Accenture, with a compound annual growth rate of 21% over the five years from 2017 to 2022. Story by John Stewart for Digital Transactions

China and Norway Love Mobile Wallets. The U.S.? Not So Much
Perhaps unsurprisingly, China leads the pack, with 47% of people there using a mobile wallet. But in second place, rather surprisingly, is Norway, a country with only 5.2 million people-but a full 42% of them use a mobile wallet. In a distant third place are the Brits, with 24% mobile wallet penetration. And as for Americans, well, we are in seventh place, with just 17% of us using mobile wallets. As for the most popular mobile wallets, WeChat Pay is No. 1 with 600 million users. That’s followed by Alipay with 400 million users. Next up is PayPal with 210 million users. In fourth place is Apple Pay with 87 million users. And rounding out the top five is Samsung Pay with 34 million users. Story by Michael Grothaus for Fast Company

Critics Say Cashless Retailers Penalize the Poor
Many businesses are going cashless—accepting only credit, debit and mobile forms of payment—to cut costs associated with cash management and to speed transactions. This shift in payments suits the one in four Americans who say they don’t carry paper money, but it excludes the unbanked—would-be customers without checking or savings accounts. So lawmakers, arguing that cash boycotts are discriminatory, are working to make sure greenbacks remain a viable payment method. Story by Megan Cerullo for CBS News

Earn Extra Chase Rewards With Apple Pay, Google Pay
For a limited time, eligible Chase cardholders have even more reasons to reach for their mobile wallets. Through Dec. 31, you can earn an additional point or percentage back if you make purchases with these eligible cards using Apple Pay or Google Pay: Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, and Amazon Rewards Visa Signature. The extra point or percentage is on top of what you’d already earn by using those cards. Story by Sara Rathner for NerdWallet

5 Times It Makes Sense to Use a Prepaid Credit Card
Prepaid credit cards often fall forgotten behind debit cards and credit cards. A lot of this probably has to do with the fees associated with them. You get charged for loading and reloading a prepaid card as well as withdrawing money through an ATM. Some even charge monthly service fees. On top of that, prepaid cards don’t fall under the same regulations as debit and credit cards. Despite these drawbacks, there are a number of circumstances in which using a prepaid credit card makes a lot of sense. Story in Fox Business



The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 7, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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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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