LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 21, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 21, 2019

June 21, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

The U.S. Loses Over $1.5 Trillion in a Decade of Data Breaches
A decade’s collection of data breaches shows a bleak picture with billions of records exposed in this type of incidents and financial damages of more than $1.6 trillion. Data collected from public sources reveal that since 2008 there were close to 9,700 breach events in the U.S., involving more than 10.7 billion records, with an average cost calculated in 2018 at $148 per record. Story by Ionut Ilascu for Bleeping Computer

Mobile Payments Up But Pace of Growth Slows
Payments made through mobile apps like Apple Pay are rising, but at a slower rate than in past years, according to a report by the Electronic Transactions Association. U.S. consumers spent $64 billion through mobile wallet apps or dedicated apps from a retailer last year, up from $45 billion in 2017, the ETA said. The 42 percent rate of growth in 2018 was down from 51 percent in 2017. The pace is expected to slow to 37 percent in 2019, resulting in $88 billion in consumer spending by such means. Story by Caitlin Reilly for Roll Call

Mobile Transactions in Gambling are Up by a Staggering 95%
Mobile gambling hits a record peak of popularity. The latest research shows mobile gambling transactions grew 95% in 2018. What’s more, they have been growing at that pace from 2012. In 2012, mobile gambling transactions amounted to 6% of total money being transferred. In 2018, that number was up to 70%. Story by Dave Nash for The Sports Daily

More Retailers Than Ever Are Accepting American Express
American Express is in the midst of a five year long campaign to increase acceptance at merchants around the world and the results are quite impressive. It makes perfect sense that Amex would want you to be able to use your card at more stores, but Amex believes that it’s customers are actually more valuable for merchants as well. According to a Nilson report, Amex customers spend an average of $14,000 a year on their cards, 3.1x more than non-Amex customers. Similarly, the average transaction size of an Amex customer is 1.8x larger than a non-card member’s. So why is it that fewer merchants accept Amex cards? Historically, the reason has been because Amex charged higher interchange fees or “swipe fees” than Visa and Mastercard did. Story by The Points Guy for Forbes

Mastercard Will Allow Transgender Customers to Use Their Preferred Names on Debit and Credit Cards
Mastercard has adopted a new policy aimed at reducing a major source of stress for transgender and non-binary consumers. The company is introducing the “True Name” card, which will allow card holders to choose for their preferred name to appear on their credit and debit cards even if it does not match their legal name. The company is in the process of developing “a sensitive and private process free of personal questions” in coordination with issuers to allow consumers to choose what name they want to appear on the card, the company said. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

Southwest Launched a Card for Small Business Owners with the Airline’s Highest Offer Ever
Southwest and Chase are introducing a new premium credit card for small businesses: the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card. The card has the highest-ever points sign-up bonus on a Southwest card: 80,000 Rapid Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. While only “small businesses” can apply for the card, businesses are defined broadly, and include freelancers, sole proprietors, side gigs, and even people who resell items on eBay. Story by David Slotnick for Business Insider

Amazon Offers Gen Z-Friendly Online College Store
Amazon’s new Off-to-College store includes features such as influencer-curated style guides and textbook rentals. Available on desktop and the Amazon app, Amazon Off-to-College is a dedicated section of the site with a wide range of student-oriented products. The store will have deals every day, with same-day pickup available at secure locations on or near many campuses. Off to College will also enable students to purchase and rent textbooks on Amazon and save up to 85%, with the option to extend the rental period or purchase the book. Students who have textbooks they no longer need can sell them back for Amazon.com gift card value via Amazon’s trade-in program. In addition to textbooks, students can trade in other eligible items for Amazon.com gift card value, including video games, Kindle devices, books, and more. Story by Dan Berthiaume for Chain Store Age

Millions of Venmo Transactions Scraped in Warning Over Privacy Settings
A computer science student has scraped seven million Venmo transactions to prove that users’ public activity can still be easily obtained, a year after a privacy researcher downloaded hundreds of millions of Venmo transactions in a similar feat. Dan Salmon said he scraped the transactions during a cumulative six months to raise awareness and warn users to set their Venmo payments to private. Story by Zack Whittaker for Tech Crunch

How to Protect Your Digital Life from Hackers and Criminals When You Travel This Summer
Here’s something to consider as we enter the summer vacation season: We’re more vulnerable to digital security intrusions when we travel. We get distracted when we’re away from home and that break from our daily routine makes it easy to opt for convenience over security. More than half of those responding worry that their sensitive digital information will get stolen when they travel. More than 70% connect to public Wi-Fi, charge a device on a public USB station or enable auto-connect on their wireless devices. These are all considered high-risk behaviors. And a lot of people bring their business laptops, loaded with sensitive corporate information, with them when they go on vacation. Story by Herb Weisbaum for NBC News

Discover Eliminates Bank Fees Which Can Cost Consumers Almost $100 a Year
Discover, which in addition to its credit cards, runs an online bank, announced Monday it will no longer charge any fees for its roughly 1 million banking customers. Discover says it will no longer charge fees for insufficient funds, excessive withdrawals, falling below minimum balances and stop-payment requests on any of its checking, savings, money market and CD accounts. Story by Megan Leonhardt for CNBC

The Competitive Advantage Of Commercial Card Acceptance
Commercial cards account for only a portion of corporates’ overall spend, as checks stick around and ACH gains ground. However, their market share is on the rise as card issuers develop more robust rewards programs, and the ability to integrate card spend into back-office spend management and analytics platforms. Yet, the issue of vendor card acceptance remains the often-cited hurdle hampering the commercial card from gaining deeper traction. Interchange fees, of course, are a top pain point for B2B suppliers, but not the only one: Vendors, especially smaller suppliers, can struggle to invest in the back-office restructuring required to accept cards from their corporate customers. Story in PYMNTS


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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