LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Visa Introduces Biometric Credit Card
Visa announced plans to launch a credit card that would allow shoppers to authenticate payments with their fingerprint instead of using a signature or PIN. To use fingerprint authentication, shoppers will swipe, insert or tap their cards to make payments. Then, they will place their finger on the sensor, and the print will be compared to their previously enrolled fingerprint. Since fingerprints are unique, the company says it will be harder for unauthorized users to steal someone’s card and use it. Additionally, Visa says the cards will work at current payment terminals, so no new hardware is required. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com

Capital One Blocks Cryptocurrency Purchases With Its Card
In a first, Capital One has blocked holders of credit cards from its bank from using them for cryptocurrency purchases. The company said it made the move due to “limited mainstream acceptance (of cryptocurrencies) and the elevated risks of fraud, loss, and volatility inherent in the cryptocurrency market.” While most banks have held off from offering cryptocurrency-related services to customers, they have not blocked transactions involving them. Capital One joins TD Bank, which is reported to have told customers that “it doesn’t deal in that kind of business.” PNC Bank has also blocked transactions involving cryptocurrencies. Story by Rakesh Sharma for Investopedia

U.S. Credit Card Issuers Are Phasing Out Signature Requirements This Year
Last Friday, Visa joined American Express, Discover, and Mastercard in announcing it will phase out signature requirements for most credit card transactions. The change would apply to so-called “chip cards” with embedded EMV authentication technology. Visa’s phase-out should begin in April. Older credit cards without the chips, or transactions at terminals without chip readers, will still require signatures. Most other countries that use EMV technology have already abandoned signatures, replacing them with PIN numbers – so get ready to have something else to memorize. Story by David Z. Morris for Fortune

Using Bitcoin as Money Just Got a Lot Harder In Europe
Several of the most popular Bitcoin debit cards-basically prepaid cards, topped up with cryptocurrency-stopped working in Europe after Visa Europe terminated services for WaveCrest, a prepaid card issuer. Prepaid cards are an important way for people to use Bitcoin to pay for things, even if the retailer doesn’t accept cryptocurrency. Customers deposit their Bitcoin into an account with the Bitcoin debit card company, and the company converts it into fiat money-payments with these cards are processed by established players like Mastercard and Visa. After Visa Europe’s decision regarding WaveCrest on Friday, Bitcoin debit card companies Bitwala, BitPay, Cryptopay, and others announced on Twitter that cards in Europe would stop working effective immediately, and customer funds will be returned. Story by Jordan Pearson for Motherboard

CFPB Says It Will Reconsider Its Rule on Payday Lending
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken the first step to killing or revising the payday lending rule it finalized only a few months ago. The watchdog agency said in a statement Tuesday that it intends to “reconsider” a regulation, issued in October, that would have required payday lenders to vet whether borrower can pay back their loans. It also would have restricted some loan practices. If the rule is thrown out or rewritten, it would mark a major shift for an agency that had zealously pursued new limits on banks and creditors before Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director, became the CFPB’s acting director. Story by Julia Horowitz for CNN Money

Mastercard Puts Altruistic Spin on ‘Priceless’ Campaign
Twenty years after starting its Priceless campaign, Mastercard is switching it up and asking consumers to take action. On Thursday morning, the Purchase, New York-based company is debuting its “Start Something Priceless” campaign that pushes people around the globe to do something to improve the world, either on their own, or through a Mastercard donation program. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will kick off the new effort with a tweet and mention on her show on Thursday. Mastercard intends to premier a music video, in which a group of artists sing about the biases they’ve overcome, on Monday ahead of a week-long effort preceding the Grammy Awards on Jan. 28. Story by Adrianne Pasquarelli for Ad Age

Mulvaney Requests No Funding for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Every quarter, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally requests its operating funds from the Federal Reserve. Last quarter, former director Richard Cordray asked for $217.1 million. Cordray, an appointee of President Barack Obama, needed just $86.6 million the quarter before that. And yesterday, President Donald Trump’s acting CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, sent his first request to the Fed. He requested zero. Mulvaney wrote that the bureau already has $177 million in the bank, enough to cover the $145 million the bureau has budgeted for its second quarter. Cordray had maintained a “reserve fund” in case of overruns or emergencies, but Mulvaney said he didn’t see any reason for it, since the Fed has always given the bureau the money it needs. Mulvaney noted that instead of advancing the funds to the bureau, the Fed could return them to the Treasury and reduce the deficit. Story by Michael Grunwald for Politico

Facebook Diversifies Board with American Express CEO
Kenneth Chenault, who plans to retire from American Express this year, will become Facebook’s first black board member. The appointment comes at a time when Silicon Valley is taking serious flak for its lack of diversity. In tech, the representation of black and Hispanics in particular is low- usually well under 10 percent each. Facebook’s most recent diversity report from August 2017 disclosed that the company’s workforce is 3 percent black, up one percentage point from the previous year. What’s more, representation tends to decrease higher up the corporate ladder. Chenault has been the chairman and CEO of American Express since 2001 and will join the board in February. Story by Erin Carson for CNet

Jason’s Deli Warns of Data Breach
Jason’s Deli warned customers Thursday that data from as many as 2 million payment cards may have been compromised in a point-of-sale system breach that began on June 8 and may have continued through much of December. Jason’s Deli, owned by Beaumont, Texas-based Deli Management Inc., said payment card processors found card data linked to about 164 of its 264 locations for sale on the dark web and alerted the company on Dec. 22. The affected locations are in 15 states, according to a breach alert posted on the chain’s website. Story by Ron Ruggless for Nation’s Restaurant News

American Won’t Let You Pay with Cash at Miami’s Airport Anymore
If you’re traveling on American Airlines from Miami International Airport, leave the cash at home. The leading airline is moving to a cashless model at MIA, meaning that any transactions for additional fees, such as checked bags or overweight bags, will have to be made with credit or debit cards. The change is effective on Thursday. The airline already has transitioned to cashless airport environments in more than 50 locations, said American Airlines spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello, including in New York’s John K. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Story by Chabeli Herrera for the Miami Herald

5 Ways U.S. Immigrants Can Get Approved for a Credit Card
Can a non-U.S. citizen get a credit card? Thankfully, the answer is yes. It might take some extra homework and research, but it can be done. Use these five strategies to get a credit card: Find a co-signer. Become an authorized user. Get a secured credit card. Look at credit card companies designed for immigrants. Ask the credit card issuer will accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Story by Kat Tretina for Student Loan Hero



The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 19, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue