LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–February 21, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–February 21, 2020

February 21, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Mastercard Is Pioneering New Payment Technology That Identifies Commuters By The Way They Walk
Commuters may soon be able to ditch their bus pass and access public transport with technology identifying them by the way they walk. Mastercard is working with transport firms to develop a new system that would authenticate passengers by their gait. The payment provider said everyone has a unique walk, and it is investigating innovative behavioral biometrics such as gait, face, heartbeat and veins for cutting edge payment systems of the future. Story by Rupert Steiner for MarketWatch

Harriet Tubman Visa Debit Card Draws Backlash
A OneUnited Bank limited edition Visa debit card depicting Harriet Tubman has come under fire online from critics who say the design is in poor taste. The image in question depicts the revered abolitionist with a serious stare while wearing a red-and-white head wrap. At the center of the controversy are Tubman’s arms, which are crossed over her chest with her hands balled into fists. The gesture, to some, resembled the popular salute from Marvel’s “Black Panther.” OneUnited, which calls itself the nation’s largest black-owned bank, was quickly accused of using the historical figure to pander to African-American customers, during Black History Month. Story by Gerren Keith Gaynor for Fox News

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Half Of U.S. Adults Have Unused Gift Cards Or Store Credits
According to a new survey from Bankrate, 50% of U.S. adults currently have unused gift cards or store credits. This equates to an average of $167 per person in unredeemed funds.One in four adults have let a gift card expire in the past, and 22% have lost a gift card. Over half (57%) of respondents said they have held onto a card for over a year. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com

Tech Startup Chime Gives Users Paychecks Early. It Wants Their Savings Too
In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are making big bets that the future of banking is digital, doesn’t have fees, offers a relatively high savings rate—and might not technically be a bank at all. Chime is part of a fast-growing class of well-funded financial technology startups offering debit cards, checking accounts and other financial services. Today, Chime has 8 million accounts, the company said, about half of which use the company for direct deposits. In 2018, the company had only about 1 million people signed up. Chime announced a new 1.6% interest rate on savings accounts, which compares with most large bank’s rates of well under 1%. Chime had not previously offered interest on savings products, and will partner with existing licensed banks to offer FDIC coverage. Story by Julie Verhage for Bloomberg News

Capital One To Open Its First Airport Lounge Next Year
Soon American Express won’t be the only card issuer operating airport lounges. Capital One is poised to open its first-ever foray into the airport lounge arena at Washington’s Dulles Airport in 2021. While official details are light, it’s been reported by the Washington Business Journal that the lounge will measure 9,100 square feet and will be located just after security. It’s reportedly going to be operated by TAV America Operations Services Inc., the same group that operates the Turkish Airlines lounge at Dulles. Rumored amenities include dining, premium alcoholic beverages, a gym, work areas, showers and spa services. Families will be thrilled to hear that a kids’ room may be in the works, too. Story by Nick Ellis for The Points Guy

Coinbase Becomes First ‘Pure’ Crypto Firm Approved As Visa Principal Member
Coinbase, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, has been made a Visa principal member. The firm said the news marks it as the “first pure-play crypto company” to be approved by the credit card giant. Coinbase has been working with Visa since 2019 when it launched its Coinbase Card in the UK. The debit card allows users to spend cryptocurrency as cash anywhere Visa is accepted. The card has since been made available in 29 markets with 10 cryptocurrencies supported. Principal members of Visa are financial institutions authorized to issue some types of payment cards. In theory, Coinbase could issue cards to other crypto companies, though it’s not clear if it plans to use that power immediately. Story by Daniel Palmer for Coindesk

Biometrics Invade Banking And Retail
Banks have been quietly rolling out biometrics to identify customers—verifying them by their fingerprint, voice or eye scan—and retailers like Amazon are getting into the game. These companies are amassing giant databases of our most personal information—including our gait, how we hold our cellphones, our typing patterns—that raise knotty questions about data security and privacy. Amazon wants consumers to be able to pay for items in physical stores by waving their palm in front of a payment terminal. Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo have introduced various biometric ID options, including voice, fingerprint, eye or facial recognition. Mastercard and Visa are rolling out payment cards with embedded fingerprint ID. BMO and Mastercard pioneered “selfie pay,” which lets customers authenticate themselves for online shopping. Story by Jennifer A. Kingson for Axios

Can The Coronavirus Spread Through Cash Exchanges Or Live On Credit Cards?
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid surfaces and objects that other people have touched, which is a common way for bacteria to travel. Numerous studies have shown that ATMs, credit cards and those payment tablets popping up in restaurants are rife with all sorts of illness-causing germs. Plus, despite the rise of digital wallets, millions of Americans still use old-fashioned paper money every day. Which raises the question: Can coronavirus live on the cash in your pocket or on the plastic in your purse? Story by Dalvin Brown for USA Today

CenturyLink Field Goes Cashless, Will Accept Only Debit, Credit And Prepaid Cards
Seattle’s CenturyLink Field has transitioned to cashless operations for sales transactions at the stadium, the CenturyLink Field Event Center and WAMU Theater. All concessions, retail and on-site parking will now only accept credit, debit and prepaid cards. The decision to go cashless stems from the success that other stadiums and event centers have seen with a cashless model, stadium officials said. The move is expected to speed up lines during events. For visitors who don’t have debit or credit cards or prefer to use cash, 10 cash-to-card kiosks will be located throughout the stadium and event center. These self-service kiosks are free to use and can convert as little as $1 cash onto a prepaid card, which can be used anywhere inside or outside the stadium, including everywhere major cards are accepted. Story on Q13 Fox TV

Mastercard Introduces European Cybersecurity Center
Mastercard is developing a cutting-edge European cybersecurity center for public and private stakeholders to work on advancing regional fortitude. The European Cyber Resilience Centre is a contemporary security unit based at Mastercard’s European headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium. It is intended to support affiliation between public, private and regulatory sectors to support enterprise resilience. The facility, which will serve as a single cybersecurity hub for the region, is the first such center for Mastercard outside of North America. It spotlights Mastercard’s efforts to address cyber threats faced by European financial institutions and FinTechs. Story in PYMNTS

Level Launches A Mobile Banking App Offering 1% Cash Back On Debit Purchases, 2.10% APY
A number of startups are taking on big banks with new apps that offer modern, mobile banking experiences, innovative features and reduced or even zero fees. Entering this now-crowded market is Level, a challenger bank and banking app with advantages like 1% cash back on debit card purchases, 2.1% APY on deposits, early access to paychecks and no fees. The banking service is the latest from the same team behind the “debit-style” credit card called Zero, aimed at millennials who want the benefits of credit without the potential for overspending. Story by Sarah Perez for Tech Crunch

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 21, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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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.