LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 11, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Credit Card Surcharges OK’ed In New York
New York has banned the ban. In the wake of court filings this week that effectively ended a challenge to surcharges on credit card transactions in New York, merchants in the Empire State can indeed embrace those fees, contingent upon stating those costs to consumers up front. Now, merchants must disclose those surcharges as part of “total” prices in dollars and cents. The requests from those parties to dismiss the case came after an appellate court in the state ruled that merchants have the right to levy the charges, and the tally of states with such bans in place has now dropped to six. Story in PYMNTS

45% of Online Shoppers Complete Purchases Via Mobile
More than 45% of consumers who shop online complete their purchases via mobile smartphone, compared to just under 34% who use computers, thereby showing how big a role mobile devices have come to play in shopping and payments, according to PYMNTS.com’s new Remote Payments study. Also, 63.8% of consumers who paid for purchases remotely with their mobile devices discovered the products while browsing online. Additionally, 12.5% of surveyed consumers who paid for their latest purchase in a brick-and-mortar store discovered those products while browsing online with their mobile phones. Approximately 22% admitted to using mobile devices to pay for their latest purchases, and 25% said they usually used their mobile devices to pay. Story by Dan O’Shea for Retail Dive

Visa, SiriusXM Unveil Plans for In-Vehicle Payments Platform
Visa has announced a deal with SiriusXM to allow vehicle-based mobile payments using a connected e-wallet from SiriusXM. The service would be available in future SiriusXM-enabled vehicles manufactured by car companies that opt to participate in the program. The companies said the connected payment service will allow drivers to pay for everything from coffee to highway and bridge tolls, as well as to locate and pay for parking. The service will use biometric authentication of Visa account holders through voice and touchscreen commands in order to avoid distractions that could endanger drivers or others. Story in Mobile Payments Today

Square Adds Mobile Pay as Part of Move Upmarket
Square got its start by enabling small businesses to accept credit cards in their stores, but the payment processor is now expanding its presence in e-commerce and mobile transactions. The company announced Wednesday that it had created a software development kit, or SDK, that will allow businesses to take in-app payments using Square’s technology. The move is part of Square’s efforts to become a player in omnichannel commerce, a hot trend among retailers and payments companies. Financial technology firms see growing value in providing all-in-one solutions to businesses, so that users can stick with the same provider for in-store payments as for online and mobile payments. Story by Emily Bary for MarketWatch

Top 10 Most Embarrassing Data Breaches
Data is one of today’s most important commodities. It was not many years ago when the question as to how to protect personal data was met by shredding any documents that contained important information. With today’s interconnectivity, many companies, sometimes without our knowledge, are storing important personal data. One affordable solution to this is the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). For a small fee, this software allows surfing with privacy and anonymity. VPNs help protect your devices, but what about the companies that collect and store your information? It would surely be very embarrassing if they were not able to hold your information securely. Well, here is a list of the top 10 most embarrassing data breaches. Story by Jack Foster for Innovation & Tech Today

Mastercard Ditches Letters for its New Logo in Iconic Brand Move
No more words. That’s the strategy credit card company Mastercard is taking with its logo. In a move to make the Mastercard trademarked red and yellow circles even more iconic, the symbol will be used without the word “Mastercard” inserted or accompanying it. Wordless versions of the Mastercard symbol will now be used on credit cards, at retail and in other sponsorship uses. Story by Mike Snider for USA Today

Shoppers Added Average of $1,200 in Credit Card Debt Over Holidays
Shoppers who used credit to fund their holidays piled on an average $1,230 in debt over the last couple months. That’s nearly $200 more than the $1,054 in 2017 and $1,003 in 2016, according to a study from Magnify Money. More than 62 percent of those surveyed said they feel stressed about the debt they are now trying to pay back. About 64 percent of the borrowers said they didn’t originally plan to use credit to pay for gifts and other holiday essentials. Story by Holly Shively for My Daily Dayton News

Resy and Capital One Want to Create a Newer, Better Restaurant Week
Two words that will make informed diners and chefs across America roll their collective eyes: Restaurant Week. In response, Resy, the restaurant reservation company, has joined with Capital One to create Off Menu Week. For the Off Menu program, about a dozen restaurants in six major food cities nationwide will offer customers the chance for unconventional, behind-the-scenes experiences. An elegant seafood restaurant might let diners see experiments with sushi; a Michelin-starred place could offer the chance to order the staff meal. While Restaurant Week is price-focused, Resy’s pilot program highlights access. Story by Kate Krader for Bloomberg

Citi’s New Credit Card Lets You Round Up Points on Small Purchases
Citi is rolling out a new credit card that will round up the number of rewards points that consumers earn in an effort to get them to use their credit cards for smaller, routine purchases. The Citi Rewards+ credit card will launch on Jan. 10 and has no annual fee. The card has an introductory annual percentage rate of 0% for the first 12 months after opening the account on purchases and for balance transfers after the date of the first transfer. The main draw of the card is that the rewards points earned will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points, so buying a $1 purchase will earn 10 rewards points rather than just one. Additionally, Citi is offering 10% back in points for the first 100,000 points that Rewards+ card holders redeem each year. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

Reserve Bank of India Tells Banks to Dump Magstripe Credit, Debit Cards for EMV
The Reserve Bank of India has asked all the banks operating in India to dump the old magnetic stripe cards as they are easy to duplicate and can be used in bank frauds. Instead the banks have been asked to use cards with a security chip inside them. EMV cards are more secure and encrypted than the magstripe cards.The RBI has mandated the use of EMV chip cards from January 1, 2019. However, only the ATMs or point of sale machines will be affected by this move. You can still perform functionalities like paying bills, funds transfer and more using online banking or through the official app of your bank. Story in India Today

New Debit Card Allows Consumers to Spend Cryptocurrency
Despite significant losses over the last 12 months, cryptocurrencies remain popular with some consumers. But how do you spend them? It just got a little easier. Ternio, a technology firm specializing in blockchain, has introduced BlockCard, a debit card that enables the account holder to spend their cryptocurrency as though it were dollars. The company says it can be used online or at point-of-sale locations in brick and mortar retail locations, as long as the business accepts credit cards. To start, the BlockCard will allow you to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar Lumens, and Ternio. Consumers who own any of those currencies may deposit them to their BlockCard account. The company says it plans to add additional currencies later in the year. Story by Mark Huffman for Consumer Affairs


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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