LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–February 8, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Should Amazon Consider Issuing its Own Cryptocurrency?
Customers of e-commerce giant Amazon have expressed the desire to be able to buy cryptocurrency from the company, a new report by Investing.com says. The report contained the results of a survey that asked customers what kinds of new offerings they would like to see from the company. 13% of respondents said that they would be interested in purchasing crypto from Amazon, around the same amount interested in Amazon-branded health-care coverage (15%), public transportation (13%), and medical marijuana (13.5%). Story by Rachel McIntosh for Finance Magnates

Good News for Debit Card Holders: Now It’s Easier to Rent a Car
Rental car companies tend to view debit card customers as riskier than those who pay with credit cards: They take the lack of a credit card as a warning sign of bad credit. So rental car companies force debit card holders to jump through hoops. They may have to put down extra deposits, prove their travel plans by presenting a return plane ticket, undergo a credit check and demonstrate a credit score of at least 660, provide additional forms of identification and more. Many car rental agencies also set a higher minimum rental age if you rent with a debit card. This is a significant barrier to car rental for a significant fraction of the population. Depending on which survey you read, something like 25 or 30 percent of American adults don’t have a credit card. It will come as good news to them that Dollar and Thrifty, both units of the Hertz Corporation, now accept debit cards on nearly equal footing with credit cards, effective today. Story by Josh Barro for Intellegencer

U.S. Consumer Credit Tops $4 Trillion for the First Time in December
For the first time ever, consumer credit has risen above $4 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. Revolving credit, like credit cards, rose 2% in December, after increasing by 5.6% in November and 11.7% in October. Nonrevolving credit, typically auto and student loans, rose 6% in December. For the year, credit card debt was up at a 2.75% pace while nonrevolving credit was up at a 5.5% pace. The data does not include mortgage loans. With low unemployment and steady income growth, consumers have been tapping into credit lines, economists said. The Fed reported earlier this week that banks are starting to tighten standards on credit cards. Story by Greg Robb for MarketWatch

Over 25% of Shoppers Pay for Purchases via Smartphone
Smartphones are continually changing the way people shop. According to the Remote Payments Study from PYMNTS, mobile shopping is changing the way people discover new products to buy. Only 32.2% of respondents found their most recent purchases in a store, compared to 47.6% who made the discovery online. Consumers may be eliminating that discovery process altogether though. Nearly 42% of survey participants said they know what they want to purchase before they browse for new products. Over one-quarter (25.7%) of shoppers said they normally use a mobile device to pay for their purchases, whether in-store or online. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com

Wells Fargo Nationwide Outage Affecting Debit Cards, Online Banking
Many Wells Fargo customers are unable to use their debit cards or log onto the website or mobile app Thursday because of a power shutdown at one of their facilities triggered by smoke. The bank said on Twitter at about 1 p.m. that during routine maintenance, smoke was detected, and systems shut down. The bank did not say what the facility was or when systems will be up and running. This is the second time in a week Wells Fargo has experienced technical issues. Last Friday, a typical pay day, the company’s online banking and mobile app wasn’t working. Story by WECT

Amex, Bill.com Launch Vendor Pay
American Express and Bill.com have announced a partnership to introduce an accounts payable solution to joint customers. The companies revealed the rollout of American Express Vendor Pay by Bill.com. The solution allows Bill.com users to pay suppliers via American Express Business or Corporate Card using virtual card technology, negating the need for companies to open a new card account. Joint customers will also have the option to pay using Bill.com’s ACH and check payment functionality. Bill.com provides firms with a unified interface through which they can manage and obtain real-time status updates on invoice payments. Story in PYMNTS

Mobile Shoppers Make More Purchases Through App As Compared To Website
With the evolution of smartphone technology, more and more companies are becoming aware of the fact that they need to have a mobile app for their businesses to see new heights. While the percentage of mobile users have surpassed the percentage of desktop users way back, app usage has also seemed to overshadow the website usage lately. Research shows that users spend 90 percent of their time on mobile apps and only 10 percent in browsing the rest of the internet. But why do people prefer mobile apps more than websites? The consumer prefers mobile apps over websites due to seamless user experience, speed, various features, and special deals and offers. Story by Eric Jones for Mobile App Daily

Nearly Half of People Would End a Relationship over Irresponsible Spending
Personal finance site WalletHub conducted a survey of couples and their Valentine’s Day spending and came up with this shocker: nearly half—46%—said they would break off the relationship if their significant other spent irresponsibly. Since married couples are responsible for one another’s debts, financial compatibility has become more important in relationships. Story by Mark Huffman for Consumer Affairs

This New Credit Card Helps Build a Credit Score for People Who Don’t Have One
For Petal founder Jason Gross, launching the company last fall was all about extending credit to people who have previously been locked out of the system. For immigrants, lack of credit history in the U.S. makes it difficult to access a good line of credit. Low-income people, especially those that are unbanked, often struggle to get approved, even for a low-limit credit card. A study from the U.S. Federal Reserve found that only 42% of people earning less than $25,000 per year have a credit card. To enable people to receive a line of credit without a traditional credit history, Petal analyzes a combination of factors: regular payments like rent, checking account cash flow, or history with prepaid debit cards or secure credit cards. Story by Eillee Anziotti for Fast Company

Mobile Banking App Steps into a No-Fee Mobile Bank Account for Teens
As fintech apps like Venmo have all but banished hard cash to the same  “farm” that physical contracts and pay stubs disappeared to, the days of asking your parents for a crisp 20 are all but over for today’s teens. A new fee-free mobile banking startup called Step has an answer for the 75 million kids under 21 in the US who still use cash to buy fresh cans of pop at the Soda Shack. This market isn’t the “unbanked.” Instead, it’s the “pre-banked. Story by Wes Schlagenhauf for The Hustle

Mastercard Names Vocalink’s Stoddart as President of New Payment Platforms
Mastercard named Vocalink CEO Paul Stoddart as its president of new payment platforms, starting March 1. Stoddart has been CEO after Mastercard acquired the firm in 2017. Stoddart, in his new role, will oversee Mastercard’s development and integration of real-time payment capabilities, beyond traditional card payments These include Vocalink, the Homesend cross-border payments joint venture and Mastercard Send. Story in Mobile Payments Today


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
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : Earn cash back twice. 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee; Cash Back match at the end of your first year; Social Security Alerts
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee, Bonus Offer, Cash Back