LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 8, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 8, 2018

June 8, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Citi Flirts With Reviving Debit Card Rewards at New Online Bank
Debit card rewards programs, which had all but disappeared at the biggest U.S. banks, might be making a comeback. Citigroup is considering the idea, as well as other types of rewards for checking and savings accounts, to entice customers to sign up for its fledgling online bank, which it began to roll out nationwide earlier this year. Instead of offering higher rates to attract deposits, Citigroup will work with retailers it already partners with-such as American Airlines-to tailor rewards to existing credit card customers, encouraging them to open new accounts. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

65% of Fraud Transactions Happen on Mobile
Fraudsters are ditching their desktops to do their dirty work, according to new research by security solutions company RSA. The company, which is a subsidiary of Dell, found that between January and March 31, 2018, 65% of fraudulent transactions took place using a mobile browser or mobile app. In the first quarter of 2015, that number was just 39%. Phishing accounted for 48% of all cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2018, RSA reported. Financial Trojan horse malware accounted for one out of every four fraud attacks during that time. Story by Tina Orem for Credit Union Times

Half of Americans are Confused about Credit Card Rewards
A new survey found that roughly half of everyone using credit cards with rewards is more than a little murky on the fine print. The survey reported that 54 percent of people find their frequent flier programs confusing, while 47 percent say “ditto” about their hotel loyalty programs. And 45 percent admit that they’re basically in the dark about it all. It’s ironic that so many people are confused about their rewards because most, 67 percent, say that the rewards are the reason they got the card in the first place. Story by Adam Craig for CU Insight

How Your Store Card Is Competing To Be Your Everyday Card
In the world of plastic, store-branded credit cards have historically played a supporting role to other, more versatile cards: Typically, store cards could be used at only one merchant. But today, such cards are often widely accepted, richly rewarding and auditioning for a lead role in your wallet. Consider the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. Over 70% of sales made on the card occurred outside of Costco warehouses. The popular card, launched in 2016, is “open loop” – that is, you can use it wherever credit cards are accepted – and offers bonus categories for not just Costco, but also travel, restaurant and gas purchases. Other merchant cards, including those from Amazon, Starbucks, PayPal, Uber and Ikea, are also encouraging consumers to use them for purchases beyond their brand. Story by Claire Tsosie for Forbes

Massive Network Crash Temporarily Renders Visa Cards Useless in UK and Europe
Despite the prevalence of credit cards and payment services like Venmo and Apple Pay, when things go wrong, cash is still king. And on Friday, Europe and the UK got a really good reminder of that after a network crash prevented millions of Visa credit and debit card holders from making any transactions. Then things got even worse when some MasterCard and American Express cards started getting declined after transactions were rerouted through Visa’s IT network. All told, this issue has created a pretty big headache for a lot of Europeans who found that when trying to buy tickets for a train or bus ride home after work, the cards in the wallets had suddenly reverted to being useless pieces of plastic. Story by Sam Rutherford for Gizmodo

Wells Fargo is Selling All its Branches in Three Midwestern States
Wells Fargo is retreating from the Midwest. The bank, scrambling to cut costs and dealing with a wave of scandals, announced plans Tuesday to sell all of its branches in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Wells Fargo, the second-largest bank in the country, will no longer have a retail presence in those states. Flagstar Bancorp (FBC), a savings and loan, is buying the branches – 52 in all, including four of Wells Fargo’s locations in Wisconsin. All told, about $2.3 billion in deposits will leave Wells Fargo. The company said that all 490 employees will get offers to work at Flagstar. Story by Matt Egan for CNN

Ticketfly Data Breach Exposes 26 Million Customers’ Information
Popular ticketing website, Ticketfly, shut down its site last Thursday following a “cyber incident.” The data breach, which exposed names, addresses, emails, and  phone numbers may have affected more than 26 million customers, according to reports. The hacker responsible for the attack has leaked the personal information of Ticketfly users onto a public server. On Sunday, the San Francisco firm’s parent company, Eventbrite confirmed that information was stolen, but did not disclose the number of customers affected. Story by Carson Kessler for Fortune

CFPB to Resume Private Consumer Data Collection
The interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced he would lift the freeze on the bureau’s collection of private consumer data, which helps its examiners oversee financial institutions. “Out of an abundance of caution and a desire to protect Americans’ privacy, I placed a hold on the collection of personally identifiable information and other sensitive data,” Mick Mulvaney said in a memo to agency staff. “We can lift that hold.” Story by Lalita Clozel for The Wall Street Journal

Mastercard is Looking to Integrate its Payment Tech into Google and Amazon Voice Assistants
Mastercard is looking at ways to integrate its payments system into voice assistants made by Google and Amazon to let people pay by talking to a device. The payments giant has a product called Masterpass that allows a user to upload credit card details and acts as an easy way to pay for things online. Recently, the company launched a facility for people to pay with Masterpass for products within Facebook Messenger. A user would interact with a brand by messaging them on Messenger. When they buy a product, Masterpass can be used to pay. It’s a trend Mastercard is calling “conversational commerce” and it extends to voice too. Story by Arjun Kharpal for CNBC

Acorns Receives 10,000 Pre-Orders for its Newly Launched Payments Card and Debit Account
Acorns, the financial management service for micro-investments, is adding a rewards debit card to its arsenal of tools aimed at getting Americans to create balanced stock portfolios for economic health. The company has already racked up 10,000 pre-orders for its new payment card that offers perks like investments into Acorns accounts when users purchase with the card at certain online and brick and mortar retailers. The debit card comes with Acorns micro-investment and its retirement account built into the cards services. The card comes with real-time round-ups on all purchases so that consumers are automatically putting money into their Acorns accounts every time they spend. Story by Jonathan Shieber for Tech Crunch


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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