LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 10, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 10, 2020

January 10, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

U.S. Gas Stations Rush to Adopt Chip Cards After Failed Bid to Delay Deadline
Gas stations around the U.S. are rushing to upgrade fuel pumps to accept credit and debit cards with chips after Visa and Mastercard rejected a request to delay a looming deadline to complete the work. Beginning in October, station operators that haven’t modernized their pumps will face liability for any card fraud that happens at their businesses. Most retailers began to upgrade payment systems in 2015, the first of a series of deadlines set by Visa and Mastercard as the U.S. worked to catch up with nations in Europe and Asia that had long adopted the more-secure chip cards. For fuel retailers, the deadline was ultimately pushed back five years as the industry faced costs of more than $3.9 billion to do the work. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Consumers Waste Up to $3 Billion in Unspent Gift Cards a Year
A prepaid gift card may be a popular holiday present, with more than half of U.S. consumers purchasing one this season, but that doesn’t mean they’re used wisely: About $3 billion in cards will go unredeemed this year alone. As much as 3% of gift card dollars are never redeemed, according to an estimate from the Mercator Advisory Group. In 2019, consumers spent about $98.6 loading up gift cards, which means almost $3 billion was left on the table. Story by Megan Cerullo for CBS News

The Insanely Popular Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Just Got More Expensive
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is pushing the envelope on what credit card customers can get from, and are willing to pay for, a super-premium rewards credit card, with an annual fee hike and a couple of trendy new perks. Starting on January 12, new cardholders will pay an annual fee of $550, an increase of $100. Sapphire Reserve cardholders will get free membership in food delivery platform DoorDash’s subscription “DashPass: service, which offers free delivery for orders over $12 and normally costs $9.99 a month. The second new perk is a one-year enrollment in Lyft’s new Lyft Pink program, an ordinarily $19.99 monthly membership that offers 15% off car rides, up to three waived cancellations a month if you rebook within 15 minutes, priority airport pickups and three free bike and scooter rides a month of 30 minutes or less. Story by Martha C. White for Money

US Consumers Took It Easy on Their Credit Cards in November
U.S. consumers slowed their borrowing in November, mainly by piling up less credit card debt. The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that consumer credit rose by a seasonally adjusted $12.5 billion in November, down from a gain of $19 billion in October. The sharp slowdown reflected a $2.5 billion decline in borrowing in the category that covers credit cards that followed a strong gain of $7.9 billion in October. November’s was the weakest showing since credit card debt fell by $2.8 billion in March. Story by Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press

DoorDash Extends Reach with Credit Card Integration
Financial services provider Chase is partnering with DoorDash to offer complimentary subscriptions to the DoorDash DashPass subscription service for Chase Sapphire, Freedom, and Slate cardholders. Starting Jan. 7, eligible cardholders can activate DashPass, which offers unlimited $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more from DoorDash’s selection of participating restaurants nationwide. To activate the complimentary DashPass membership offer, cardholders will need to add an eligible Chase credit card as the default payment in the DoorDash app. Story by Dan Berthiaume for Chain Store Age

Mastercard Develops Mobile AR App to Explain Rewards & Benefits to Cardholders
It’s a good sign for any emerging technology when one of the leaders of an industry adopts it. So when Mastercard, a brand so recognizable that it dropped its name from its logo at CES last year, decides to develop a mobile augmented reality app, the moment is a milestone for the AR industry. The company announced that it will launch a new AR app that will enable cardholders to explore rewards, benefits, and services available through virtual portals. The app will launch in the second quarter of 2020 for iPhones, with additional devices and regions coming on-board later this year. In addition, Mastercard will offer the experience as a white-label app for its issuing partners. Story by Tommy Palladino for Next Reality

Fintechs Get More Aggressive and Creative Around Debit Card Rewards Programs
For many fintechs, debit cards act as their monetization engine. As users spend, they pocket part of the interchange fee. To encourage users to swipe more, we’re seeing a resurgence of rewards programs around debit card usage, something that waned after the financial crisis of 2008 and new regulation that capped fees for debit cards. Fintechs and challenger banks are leading new rewards programs in the debit card space. Over the last year, we’re seeing big names offer cash back on certain purchases and sometimes cash back across the board. There’s more competition in the space. There’s also a growing demand among customers, especially younger ones, to use debit cards rather than credit cards. They want rewards but they want to get them in with debit. Story by Michael Deleon for Tear Sheet

Mastercard Releases Music Single as Part of Sonic Branding Initiative
Mastercard unveiled its first-ever branded music single, a collaboration with Swedish artist Nadine Randle. The release of the song, entitled “Merry Go Round,” ties in with Mastercard’s recently-announced “sonic brand,” a six-note jingle that plays when users make a transaction with one of the company’s cards. The song “authentically integrates the company’s brand values and sonic identity.” Story by Chris Eggertsen for Billboard

Sprint, Wirecard Announce IoT Collaboration Focused on Retail Payments
In an effort to allow businesses to offer a variety of payment options in the enterprise space, Sprint Corp. is integrating Germany-based Wirecard AG’s unified commerce payments technology into the Sprint Curiosity Internet of Things platform. The companies will initially focus on the retail segment, offering a payments platform that can operate across various platforms and across borders. Story in Mobile Payments Today

Payments Innovations Making Your Purchases More Secure in 2020 and Beyond
Credit card issuers and merchants are not only searching for the fastest and most convenient solutions for customers, but also those that will make us feel more secure in making a purchase in-store or clicking to buy online. Here are some ways today’s payments technologies will continue to evolve in 2020, and how you can do your part to keep your personal data secure. Story by Kendall Little for Bankrate

Las Vegas Data Breach Announced Amid Warnings Of Iranian Cyber Threat
A data breach in Las Vegas comes amid tensions with Iran and a warning from homeland security of quote “potentially disruptive and destructive” Iranian cyber operations. The city of Las Vegas experienced a cyber compromise at 4:30 a.m. PST Tuesday. A major cybersecurity attack could harm banks, the economy, and threaten how our society functions as a whole. Story in Information Security Buzz

What to Expect from Cryptocurrency Legislation in 2020
One of the most heated debates in the cryptocurrency space is the future of regulation and whether financial regulatory bodies should oversee the trading of crypto coins. Just last month, a group of United States congressmen put forward a new cryptocurrency bill labeled the ‘Cryptocurrency Act 2020’. The goal of the new legislation is to provide additional clarification on digital asset regulations. The bill has some wide-ranging regulations that, if voted into law, could reshape the crypto landscape moving forward, at least in the United States, that is. Story by Pedro Febrero for Yahoo Finance


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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