LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 7, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 7, 2019

June 7, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

How Mastercard is Trying to Put Cash Out of Business
Mastercard wants the world to stop paying with paper money, but that doesn’t necessarily mean paying with a plastic credit card. For example, Mastercard has implemented QR codes in emerging markets such as India, so that all merchants need in order to accept payment is a mobile device or QR code reader. Mastercard partnered with a non-profit, Grameen America, which provides small loans to low-income female entrepreneurs who wouldn’t otherwise qualify as borrowers. Often, the women-who run small mom-and-pop shops or stands-lacked bank accounts and could only accept the loans in cash. Mastercard worked with Citi and Apple to provide the women with bank accounts, as well as equipment to conduct payment transactions digitally instead of in cash. Story by Jen Wieczner for Fortune

Bank of America to Reissue 4 Million Cards in Rapid Contactless Push
While major card issuers such as Chase and Wells Fargo roll out NFC-enabled credit and debit cards incrementally, Bank of America is taking a much more aggressive approach. In New York, Boston and San Francisco, Bank of America will force a mass NFC upgrade by mailing new contactless credit and debit cards to all of its consumer card holders in those regions. The surgical contactless strike will cover about 4 million Visa cards, a sharp contrast to the industry standard of replacing cards only as they expire. Story by Kate Fitzgerald for Payments Source

Students Report Higher Credit Card Debt and Usage as They Progress through College
According to a new study, students have an increasing amount of credit card debt and usage as they progress through college: 34% of students have a credit card in their first year of college, but that jumps to 65% by their senior year. Moreover, 82% of graduate students have at least one credit card. More students actively use credit cards today. Only 28% of respondents said they actively used their credit cards in 2012, compared to 46% in 2019. Students are also more likely to have more than one credit card: 25% had multiple cards in 2012, while 45% do now. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com

JPMorgan Chase Seeks to Prohibit Card Customers From Suing
JPMorgan Chase is trying to require its credit card customers to go into private arbitration to settle disputes, even if they involve an older account, by reintroducing provisions it dropped a decade ago. The change, which affects about 47 million accounts, including those for Chase’s popular Sapphire cards, reflects a broader effort by Wall Street firms to prevent customers and employees from engaging in class-action lawsuits that can result in large settlements and bad publicity. Unlike court cases, arbitration cases do not leave a trail of public documents and they cannot be brought by groups of aggrieved customers. Story by Emily Flitter for The New York Times

AmEx Announced New Benefits for its Popular Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card is getting a few improvements. The card, which already earned 4x points at US restaurants and US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year at supermarkets – 1x after that), will now earn 4x points at restaurants worldwide, making it a more valuable card for frequent travelers. The card offers up to $10 in credit each month for a handful of restaurants; Now, these credits can also be used at wholesale website Boxed.com. AmEx is also bringing back the popular Rose Gold edition of the card for a limited time, but only when you apply through a personal referral link. Story by David Slotnick for Business Insider

JPMorgan Scraps a New App Service for Young People
JPMorgan Chase is killing an experiment to attract younger customers to a new digital-banking app a year after making it available nationwide. The nation’s largest bank began informing clients Thursday that it is shutting down Finn, the no-fee banking brand designed to meet the financial needs of younger consumers, and transferring their funds to new Chase checking and savings accounts. Story by David Benoit and Peter Rudegeair for The Wall Street Journal

No Branch, No Problem. Citigroup Bets Big on Digital Banking.
In the lean years following the financial crisis, Citigroup made an unintentional bet on the future of banking. It’s starting to pay off. While Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were gobbling up cheap deposits at their thousands of branches around the U.S., Citigroup was shrinking its footprint, focusing on a handful of big cities to right itself after its near-collapse. Now the bank’s executives are convinced that many U.S. consumers are finally ready to leave the branch behind and fully embrace digital banking. Citigroup added roughly $1 billion in digital deposits in the first quarter, more than all of last year. About two-thirds of that total came from new customers, and a little more than half don’t live near any of the bank’s roughly 700 branches. Story by Telis Demos for The Wall Street Journal

Facebook Plans Outside Foundation to Govern Cryptocurrency
Facebook plans to cede control of its forthcoming cryptocurrency to outside backers, a move meant to encourage trust in the digital payment system and reassure financial regulators. In recent months, the social network has courted dozens of financial institutions and other tech companies to join an independent foundation that will contribute capital and help govern the digital currency, according to people briefed on the plan. The digital token, which Facebook is expected to unveil later this month, is designed to function as a borderless currency without transaction fees and will be aggressively marketed in developing nations where government-backed currencies are more volatile, the people said. Story by Alex Heath and Jon Victor for The Information

Better Protections for Prepaid Debit Cards
Thanks to federal rules that recently went into effect, users of prepaid debit cards enjoy protections closer to those of debit cards tied to checking accounts. The rules also apply to payroll and government-benefits cards, such as the ones used to pay Social Security benefits, as well as digital wallets and peer-to-peer payment apps that can store funds, such as Venmo and PayPal. (Gift cards aren’t included under the new rules.) Register your prepaid card with the issuer to ensure you get all the new protections. Story by Lisa Gerstner for Kiplinger

Quest Diagnostics Says 11.9 Million Patients Affected by Data Breach
Medical testing giant Quest Diagnostics has confirmed a third-party billing company has been hit by a data breach affecting 11.9 million patients. The laboratory testing company revealed the data breach in a filing on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The breach was a result of malicious activity on the payment pages of the American Medical Collection Agency, a third-party collections vendor for Quest. The “unauthorized user” siphoned off credit card numbers, medical information and personal data from the site. Laboratory test results were not among in the stolen data. Story by Zack Whittaker for Tech Crunch

Should I Use a Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Card Debt?
How you use a personal loan is limited only by your imagination, but one of the smartest ways to use them is to pay off credit card debt for good. Rolling your credit card debt into a low-interest personal loan can reduce your monthly payments, help you pay off your debt faster, and save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest along the way. Story by Jordan Wathen for Yahoo Finance

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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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