LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 25, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 25, 2018

June 24, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Why a DNA Data Breach is Much Worse Than a Credit Card Leak
DNA testing service MyHeritage revealed that hackers had breached 92 million of its accounts. So why would hackers want DNA information specifically? And what are the implications of a big DNA breach? One simple reason is that hackers might want to sell DNA data back for ransom. Hackers could threaten to revoke access or post the sensitive information online if not given money; one Indiana hospital paid $55,000 to hackers for this very reason. But there are reasons genetic data specifically could be lucrative. This data could be sold on the down-low or monetized to insurance companies. You can imagine the consequences: One day, I might apply for a long-term loan and get rejected because deep in the corporate system, there is data that I am very likely to get Alzheimer’s and die before I would repay the loan. Story by Angela Chen for The Verge

Credit and Debit Cards May Be Adding a New Element: Fingerprints
Everyone knows the future of payments is digital. Trouble is, Americans just don’t want to give up plastic. Tech companies, banks and fintech startups have all tried to wean consumers off physical cards. Attempts have included digital wallets and various apps. So far, though, these efforts seem to be solutions in search of a problem, as people still find plastic cards incredibly easy to use. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal

How Mobile is Shaking Up Prepaid
Mobile and digital technology are expanding use cases for reloadable prepaid cards beyond their heritage as a tool primarily for the unbanked consumers. Furthermore, mobile commerce is driving broader acceptance of digital versions of both prepaid and retail gift cards. Fintechs increasingly use prepaid cards to access card network rails for new payment products ranging from corporate disbursements to gig-worker payments, and the customizable nature of prepaid cards holds significant promise for connected commerce within the Internet of Things. What follows is a look at the key trends driving further changes in prepaid and gift cards. Story by Kate Fitzgerald for Payments Source

Canada Take Aim at Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies, Prepaid Cards
The federal government is proposing measures that take aim at shadowy payments made by terrorists and money launderers using virtual currencies and prepaid credit cards. The planned regulations would help close loopholes in Canada’s anti-money laundering regime and address shortcomings pointed out by an international watchdog. Virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, are increasingly being used to commit fraud and cybercrime and to buy illicit goods and services in the darker corners of the internet, notes a federal summary accompanying the proposed changes. Story by Jim Bronskill for the Canadian Press

Mobile Payments Use in the U.S. Lags
Mobile wallet use in the U.S. lags other countries, particularly Asia where the government’s demonetization policies have helped spur its use. Forrester Research had predicted in 2015 that mobile wallets would become a marketing platform in their own right by 2020, expecting growing adoption. Yet, this prediction is not materializing, other than a few examples such as Alibaba and WeChat in Asia. The U.S. counterparts such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay or Google Wallet are not yet offering any platform rich enough to engage customers.  In fact, we see Apple Pay actually losing customers. U.S. consumers want better shopping experiences that blend the mobile experience to get what they want faster and easier, but it is less often done through these universal mobile wallets and more often driven from merchant based applications that often incorporate loyalty and rewards, which to date still remain nascent in universal mobile wallets. Story by Karen Augustine for Payments Journal

PayPal Co-Founders Back New Credit Card for Startups
Losing gobs of money on a quest for hyper-growth and world domination might get you funding from venture capitalists, but it won’t get you a credit card from a bank. Now, one startup wants to change that, and it’s convinced Silicon Valley heavyweights Peter Thiel and Max Levchin to invest in its idea. Rather than focus on credit history, Brex Inc. looks at funding raised in order to issue cards to companies and employees to cover startup expenses. On Tuesday, Brex launched a credit card targeted specifically at venture-backed companies. Story by Julie Verhage for Bloomberg

The Secret to Lower Credit Card Rates and Fees
As balances and rates rise, one method has proved extremely effective in getting cut some slack. If you ask your credit card issuer to drop an annual fee, waive late charges or reduce your interest rate, your credit card company is highly likely to say yes, according to a recent survey. 85% who asked received a higher credit limit; 84% had a late-payment fee waived; 70% got their annual fee dropped or reduced; and 56% received a lower interest rate. Story by Jessica Dickler and Sharon Epperson for CNBC

Why Mastercard is Ripping a Page from Bitcoin’s Book
Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, has captured the interest of everyone from Facebook to Microsoft. One of the biggest investors in the technology has been Mastercard, holding nearly thirty blockchain patents to its name. What does a company like Mastercard want to do with all that blockchain tech?  It wants to make the future of money look a bit more like Bitcoin. According to the ATM Industry Association, two billion in losses from credit card “skimming” occur each year around the world. Using a skimming device at places like gas stations and ATMs, thieves can easily steal credit card information from those who previously used it. While chip cards have done a lot to solve that problem, companies like Mastercard always need to stay one step ahead of hackers. Story by Luke Larsen for Digital Trends

Retailers Must Upgrade Online Credit Card Processing Security by June 30
By June 30, 2018, retailers accepting online credit card transactions must cease using encryption protocols known as SSL or TLS 1.0. Retailers must transition to TLS 1.1 or higher or else lose the ability to accept credit card payments. The reason for the change is the PCI DSS-version 3.1, which was issued in April of 2015, required the upgrade by June 30, 2018. Encryption protocol TLS 1.0 dates back to 1999, and was vulnerable to a variety of cyberattacks. Story by Susan Ross for Data Protection Report

In the UK, People are Giving Up on Cash
For the first time, electronic debit card payments outnumbered those with physical money last year, according UK Finance. The trade association credits the rising popularity of contactless payments, as well as smartphones and online shopping, as reasons for the shift. Consumers in the UK made 13.2 billion payments via debit card in 2017, compared with 13.1 billion using cash. Contactless payments surged, jumping 97%, to account for 5.6 billion transactions, according to the report. The supermarket was the most popular place for people to tap their contactless cards, accounting for 38% of all such payments. Story by John Detrixhe for Quartz


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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