LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 26, 2013
New Ruling on Credit Card Regulations Could Mean Big Changes at the Cash Register in Canada
A ruling expected this week on a complaint against Visa and MasterCard could significantly change how consumers use credit cards in Canada. Striking down the rules could allow merchants to either reject certain cards that offer incentive points, or charge consumers more for using them. Story by Terry Pedwell for the Canadian Press.
Visa and MasterCard Seek Ban on Credit Card Signatures in Australia
In a bid to reduce millions of dollars of credit card fraud, Visa and MasterCard want 90 per cent of in-store credit card sales verified by a personal identification number by June 30, 2014. The ease of forging a signature and the sales staff failing to double-check signatures are cited as reasons for high fraud rates. The move will affect consumers who prefer the traditional signature method. Story by Lucy Battersby for WAtoday.com.
Targeted Firm Files Suit as CFPB Wraps Up Probe
Morgan Drexen Inc., a company that provides back-office support to debt relief lawyers, has filed suit against the CFPB in federal court. The lawsuit states that the CFPB has been scrutinizing Morgan Drexen’s business and its relationships with law firms that help consumers settle their debts. The lawsuit alleges that the CFPB not only lacks the authority to oversee law firms but also its very existence is unconstitutional because it lacks checks and balances such as funding from Congress. Story by Alan Zibel for the Wall Street Journal.
MaskMe Hides Your Phone, Credit Cards Online Behind Working Replacements
A new service called MaskMe lets you create new logins, credit cards and phone numbers that act as proxies for your own information. If they get compromised, you simply erase them. You just remember a single master passphrase and it does the rest. Email will be forwarded to your real address, and if you start getting spammed or suffer a security breach, a click means that email address no longer exists. Story by Devin Coldewey for NBC News.
The CFPB’s Accomplishments in its First Two Years
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is celebrating its two-year anniversary with much calmer waters ahead. The CFPB has been the center of political firestorms ever since it was originally formed. Republicans first opposed Elizabeth Warren as the head of the agency. Then, they demanded changes such as subjecting the agency to congressional budget appropriations as well as wanting the Bureau to be run by a five-person commission rather than one director. But last week, Richard Cordray was finally approved as the CFPB’s first director and the agency would seem to be primed to make additional headway in the coming year. In its brief existence, the CFPB has a number of achievements to celebrate. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
European Union Advocates Limiting Fees on Debit and Credit Card Transactions
European Union officials on Wednesday proposed ways of lowering the fees that consumers do not see, but ultimately pay, for using credit card services like Visa and MasterCard. The measures are aimed at so-called interchange fees, the behind-the-scenes fees incurred whenever consumers tap in their PIN codes or sign a credit card receipt. The rules would also limit the surcharges imposed by some merchants on card payments for purchases, in particular airline tickets. Story By James Kanter for The New York Times.
Visa Profits Beat Estimates as Card Spending Increases
World-wide spending on Visa credit and debit cards climbed in the third quarter. In the United States, debit card purchases advanced 12 percent to $300 billion, and credit card spending increased 10 percent to $270 billion. Story by Dakin Campbell for Bloomberg Businessweek.
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 14.32 percent, slightly below the 14.34 percent average from last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.32 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.35 percent.