LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 27, 2014
More Secure Credit Cards with Chips Coming to the U.S.
By the end of 2015, 70 percent of U.S. credit cards and 41 percent of U.S. debit cards will have security chips–called EMV for Europay, MasterCard, Visa–according to the Aité Group. Even now most American card issuers aren’t going with chip and PIN, preferring chip and signature. The American card issuers have mostly gone for chip and signature which is less expensive and less complicated to issuers than chip and PIN, where the PIN has to be mailed separately and lost PIN card replacement becomes more complicated. Story by Tom Groenfeldt for Forbes.
Held Captive by Flawed Credit Reports
When companies are found to have violated the law and harmed consumers, they typically pay a penalty to regulators and agree to reform their practices. Whether or not they actually follow through on those vows, however, is another matter entirely. The consumer credit reporting industry is a case in point. These companies collect and distribute information about consumers’ credit history to lenders, employers and others with an interest in these matters. The reports can make or break a consumer’s mortgage application, car lease or, in the case of military personnel, a security clearance. But inaccuracies often show up in consumers’ credit reports, and these errors have real consequences, like increasing borrowing costs or barring people from financing a home or renting an apartment. And once an error is found, getting it fixed can take months of exasperating work. Story by Gretchen Morgenson for the New York Times.
PF Chang’s Brings Back Credit Cards Imprints After Breach
In lieu of a recent data breach, PF Chang’s is resurrecting its old credit card imprinters to collect card payments from its customers. Chances are you haven’t seen one of these mechanical imprinters in years, if at all. Even though this may seem like an easy way to lose even more data, PF Chang’s website indicates the restaurant is storing and destroying slips through processes approved by the debit and credit card companies. The rules for this vary by location, but most of them include burning or shredding the documents after use. Until that time, the manual imprint must be stored in a secure safe for protection. Story by Justin Hefner for LowCards.com.
UK Worst in Europe for Card Fraud
Over a quarter of Brits have experienced card fraud in the past five years, making the UK the worst offender in Europe, while the US sits fourth globally with over 40% of consumers affected, according to a study by payments firm ACI Worldwide. It found that a quarter of respondents globally had been a victim of fraud on their credit, debit or prepaid cards over the past five years, with a little over 10% having been hit multiple times. Story in Info Security.
Why Debit Cards Look Stronger Than Ever
Last year’s Target payment card breach, which went public in the heart of the busy holiday shopping season, had the potential to derail the popularity of bank debit cards. But damage to the debit card brand wasn’t even close to being a serious threat. So says the Debit Issuer Study, which reports more robust use of debit cards, although card providers aren’t just tightening card security measures, but sweetening the pot with ample rewards programs. Story by Brian O’Connell for The Street.
Popular Buys Citi’s Retail, Credit Card Business in Spain
Spain’s Banco Popular has agreed to buy Citi’s retail banking and credit card business in Spain, a sign that foreign banks are retreating from the country’s financial services market in the wake of the financial crisis. Popular, Spain’s fifth biggest bank by market value, said on Monday it would take on about 950 employees and 45 branches from Citi as part of the deal, as well as 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) worth of deposits and 1.1 million credit cards. Spain has become increasingly tough for foreign banks as a prolonged economic slump and a property crash sparked a wave of mergers among local banks. Story by Sarah White for Reuters.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Closing Credit Cards
Once consumers build up their credit health and add better cards to their inventory, they’re often tempted to cancel their oldest cards, thinking they’re not needed. And in most cases, those “starter” cards probably aren’t needed. However, closing your credit cards, whether old or new, could affect your credit score, so this decision shouldn’t be made lightly. If you’re considering closing any of your cards, here are a few tips to keep in mind. Story by Jenna Lee for U.S. News.
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 14.52 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.46 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.32 percent.