LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 20, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 20, 2018

July 20, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

5 Tips If You’re Packing a Credit Card for College
Back in 2009, college students seemed to have a love affair going on with their credit cards. About 84 percent of college undergraduates had at least one credit card. Seniors were graduating with an average credit card debt of more than $4,100 in 2009, up from about $2,900 in 2004. By 2016, only 56 percent of college students were carrying credit cards. Lately, college students are seeing offers pop up in the mail from cards, like Discover it Student Cash Back, or credit card offerings from their own banks or credit unions. Credit is out there, possibly with a parent as a cosigner. Here are five tips when shopping for a credit card to take to college. Story by Susan Tompor for The Detroit Free Press

Why Bank of America Branches are Disappearing
The future of banking is here — and it’s mobile. Bank of America announced that deposits made on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are outpacing those made at branches for the first time. Customers logged into Bank of America’s mobile app 1.4 billion times last quarter. Bank of America’s vast network of branches fell to 4,411 at the end of June, compared with 4,542 a year ago. The company has 1,720 fewer branches than it did in June 2008. That’s a 28% drop. At the same time, Bank of America’s active mobile banking users jumped by 11% to 25.3 million over the past year. It’s not just Millennials turning to their smartphones for banking. Story by Matt Egan for CNN

How Much Does a Data Breach Cost?
According to the latest Cost of a Data Breach study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, in the US, the average incident could cost a company upwards of $7.9 million. The 13th annual report found that the global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4 percent over the previous year to $3.86 million, and the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information also increased by 4.8 percent year over year to $148 per record. A big question a year from now will be how the implementation of GDPR and its strict penalties related to data-breach disclosure will affect these numbers, not only in EU countries but around the world. Story by Rob Marvin for PC Magazine

The Darlings of Prepaid: Why Gift Cards are as Relevant Now as Ever
If you’re at all acquainted with the prepaid industry, you’re familiar with the fact that consumers love gift cards. But what you may not know is that rather than remaining static gifting tools, gift card uses, applications, and capabilities have been quietly expanding through the years. Gift cards are no longer just present options that line end caps; they’re becoming increasingly versatile forms of branded currency that are changing the way Americans make purchases for others and themselves, reward employees, create experiences and more. Story by Marina Hodges for Payments Journal

CFPB Wants to Help Launch New Fintech Products
Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, spent the past eight months rolling back policies implemented by his Democratic predecessor. Now he wants to add his own mark by giving the agency a fresh mission promoting innovation in consumer finance. Mr. Mulvaney on Wednesday said the bureau has launched a “regulatory sandbox” to help fintech firms develop new products and services. Heading the team is Paul Watkins, formerly a lawyer in the Arizona attorney general’s office, where he was in charge of the office’s FinTech initiatives. Story by Yuka Hayashi for The Wall Street Journal

Interest on Credit Card Debt Tops $100 Billion
Household income is improving and jobs are plentiful. Yet, consumers continue to struggle to manage their credit-card debt. Consumers racked up $104 billion in interest payments on their credit card debt for the year that ended March 31, according to a new report. That’s up 10 percent from the prior year and 35 percent in five years. Even worse is that situation isn’t likely to get better. Total credit card debt is running about $1 trillion and continues to steadily climb. Story by Mark Williams for The Columbus Dispatch

Mastercard Has a New Patent That Could Allow Bitcoin Transactions on Credit Cards
Consumers might one day be able to charge their purchases on their credit cards using bitcoin as a currency. On Tuesday, Mastercard won a patent to protect a method that would manage “fractional reserves of blockchain currency.” At present, Mastercard holders can only pay for things using currency that the government has declared as legal tender. Mastercard said that there has been “increased usage” in blockchain currencies by consumers who “value anonymity and security.” But there are disadvantages to using digital currency, the document noted, and there’s a need to improve the storage and processing capability of such transactions. Story by Kellie Ell for CNBC

Chase and Southwest Have a New Travel Credit Card, But is it a Good Deal?
Frequent flyers on Southwest now have a new option when paying for their flights. Chase and Southwest Airlines on Thursday announced a new credit card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card. This comes in addition to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card. The new Priority card has an introductory offer of 65,000 points, compared to the 40,000 the other Chase Southwest cards offer. But it also has a higher annual fee: $149, compared to $69 for the Plus card and $99 for the Premier card. Chase and Southwest will face competition from many other travel cards on the market, which increasingly have no annual fee. Story by Maria LaMagna for MarketWatch

Walmart Weighs a Bid From Capital One for Credit Cards
Walmart is considering moving its branded credit card business to Capital One from Synchrony Financial as it seeks to expand its mobile payments offering. The world’s largest retailer has narrowed the competition for its credit card partnership to bids from the two lenders. The negotiations are still ongoing, but the retailer is seeking a partner that can support its aspirations for Walmart Pay. Co-brand and private label credit cards are a lucrative business for banks and retailers seeking to monetize a cardholder’s loyalty to a certain brand or store. The Walmart card is the largest program in the U.S. up for renegotiation between this year and next year. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

How Apple Plans to Win the Mobile Payment War
There’s a reason everyone seems to be getting into mobile payments. Thanks to increasing smartphone usage and a push for faster, simpler, more secure financial transactions, mobile payments could become a $3.4 trillion industry by 2022. In the U.S. last year, eMarketer estimated it to be a $49 billion market already. As consumers abandon cash, checks, and even credit cards, everyone is jumping into mobile payments, but perhaps none with the zeal of Apple. First introduced in October 2014, Apple Pay has become one of the leading digital payment services for U.S. consumers, but it doesn’t yet dominate the global market. Chinese competitors WeChat Pay and Alipay have a combined 1 billion users, followed by PayPal with 210 million users and Apple with 87 million, as of August 2017. Apple is aggressively working to close that gap using a number of different tactics, and it’s working-kind of. Story by Christina Bonnington for Slate

The Card Rewards Strategies Issuers Can Use to Win Top-of-Wallet Status While Maximizing Returns
US consumers are hungry for credit card rewards. Seventy-five percent now have a rewards program attached to their most preferred card, up from 58% two years ago. And with consumer debt practically hitting pre-recession levels, it doesn’t look like anyone’s planning to slow their spending. Credit card issuers can’t become complacent, however. In fact, now is the time for them to be rethinking their rewards programs; The rush to satisfy consumer card appetite and capture an engaged customer base has saturated the market with lucrative signup bonuses and rewards – and now banks are hurting for returns. But backpedaling on rewards to make up this deficit is not an option. Story by Shelagh Dolan for Business Insider


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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