LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 29, 2016
Rogue App Stores Threaten Mobile Banking Security
So-called rogue app stores, once a fringe element, are becoming a serious concern for banks, as subtly altered versions of popular apps are appearing more often on smartphones. These rogue apps, which are often available for free, in some cases steal mobile banking passwords or redirect text messages containing passcodes. Several factors are driving the trend: Consumers are drawn to the rogue app stores by the lure of free programs. Companies unwittingly encourage the use of nonapproved app stores by directing their employees to download enterprise apps from alternative sources. Google and Apple are supporting the use of alternative stores. Meanwhile, rogue app stores are stealing the digital certificates of approved app stores to fool mobile devices into thinking they’re legit. Story by Penny Crosman for American Banker.
Chase ATMs to Give Cash via Smartphones
The machines are definitely getting smarter. JPMorgan Chase said it is upgrading its entire fleet of ATMs this year to include several new perks–including the option to withdraw money using a smartphone. The first phase of the rollout will let customers withdraw cash from a Chase ATM using a one-time pin number that will be sent to their smartphones. In the second phase, customers will be able to withdraw cash simply by tapping their phones to the ATM, using the same technology that enables Apple Pay and other payment apps. Story by Kaja Whitehouse for USA Today.
This Survey Says Credit Card Debt Lowers Your Sex Appeal
Half of Americans say it’s a turnoff. All this time you thought your romantic appeal was due to your clothes, your looks, or your charming personality. Turns out, all you had to do was cut up your credit card. Almost half of Americans, or 49%, find credit-card debt a turnoff in a potential partner, according to a new survey by personal-finance site NerdWallet. Women, in particular, are wary of someone buried in bills, with 51% (compared with 46% for men) saying, “Sorry, not interested.” Story by Reuters.
Brazil Credit Card APR Climbs to 431.4 Percent
The average annual percentage rate on Brazilian credit cards climbed to 431.4 percent in December, its highest level since that statistic began to be published in March 2011, the Central Bank said in a statement Wednesday. The average credit card APR rose by 16.1 percentage points in December compared with November and by 99.8 percentage points relative to the same month of 2014, when the average APR stood at 331.6 percent, the monetary authority said. The average annual interest rate on personal loans in Brazil fell 2.8 percentage points in December to 117.6 percent. Story by Fox News Latino.
Investor Wants Prepaid Debit Firm Green Dot to Dump its CEO
A San Francisco hedge fund wants prepaid debit card firm Green Dot Corp. to boot founder Steve Streit from the corner office, saying the longtime chief executive has mismanaged the company, resulting in big losses over the years. Harvest Capital on Monday sent a letter to Green Dot’s board of directors, saying the Pasadena company needs to bring in a more experienced CEO to replace Streit and make other changes to reverse a long slide in the company’s share price. Story by James Rufus Koren for the Los Angeles Times.
Wendy’s Probes Reports of Credit Card Breach
Wendy’s, the nationwide chain of fast-food restaurants, says it is investigating claims of a possible credit card breach at some locations. The acknowledgment comes in response to questions about banking industry sources who discovered a pattern of fraud on cards that were all recently used at various Wendy’s locations. A spokesperson said the company began receiving reports earlier this month from its payment industry contacts about a potential breach and that Wendy’s has hired a security firm to investigate the claims. Story by Brian Krebs for Krebs on Security.
High-Tech Homeless Man In Detroit Accepts Credit Card Donations On A Cell Phone
Volunteers in Detroit and across the nation spent the night counting the homeless, and one of those men who lives in the cold is dealing with it in a, shall we say, unusual way. He calls himself “Honest Abe” and he panhandles not just for pocket change, but also for the donor’s credit and debit cards. He accepts cards with a reader attached to his cell phone. “I take VISA, MasterCard, American Express,” Abe told Campbell. “I’m the only homeless guy in America who can take a credit card. It’s all done safely and securely through square.com.” Square readers attach to credit cards and basically turn a smartphone into a card reader. They cost about $10 and square providers charge vendors a fee per transaction. Story by CBS Detroit.
MasterCard to Test Installment Payment Program in Europe
In an effort to help customers control their budgets and manage their finances, MasterCard is launching a new installment payment program in several European countries later this year. Large purchases, such as TVs, car repairs, and medical bills, can be split up into installment payments instead of monthly lump sums, so consumers have an easier way to pay for significant transactions on their credit cards. This is just a pilot program, so it may work its way to the United States if there is enough success in Europe. Amazon has already launched a similar service in the UK for items over £400 ($565). Amazon essentially opens a loan for the value of the product, with monthly payments spanning over 2-4 years. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com.
Credit Card Security Has No Silver Bullet
The fight to curb credit card cybercrime might seem a bit like trying to force the air out of a sealed balloon: Squeeze it in one place, and it simply bulges out in another. That is the image suggested by multiple predictions that, as the shift to EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) technology makes in-person, point-of-sale (POS) transactions more secure, criminals are shifting the bulk of their attacks to online, or card-not-present (CNP) transactions. The spike in CNP fraud is not being caused by EMV but is simply because CNP transactions are growing so fast. Story by Taylor Armerding for CSO.
Data Breach at the University of Virginia Exposes 1,400 Personnel Records
Late last week, the University of Virginia notified its employees that their personally identifiable information (PII) had been accessed by an unauthorized third party. The breach occurred due to a phishing scam where cyber criminals sent emails asking recipients to click a link and enter their UVA usernames and passwords. Once inside the system, the perpetrators were able to access the 2013 and 2014 W-2s of approximately 1,400 (of the University’s 20,000) employees. In addition to W-2s, the direct deposit banking information of 40 employees was accessed. According to the UVA announcement, the hackers first accessed the system in November 2014, and the last suspected intrusion took place in February 2015. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.
Shoppers are Adopting Digital Wallets at a Rapid Pace
Mobile wallet adoption has been slow to catch on, but if developers educate consumers on user experiences, these platforms may hit their stride in 2016, according to a new report from Citi Retail Services. As more and more players come to the mobile wallet scene it is becoming more of a mainstream concept for consumers, with a 20 percent increase in usage since 2014. However, 44 percent are unaware of the digital wallet services, which means that developers need to promote these platforms and provide a comprehensive guide on how to use it. Story by Brielle Jaekel for Luxury Daily.
LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.88 percent, a slight decrease from last week’s average of 14.89%. Six months ago, the average was 14.68 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.41 percent.