LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 13, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Another Big U.S. Bank is Being Accused of Opening Fake Accounts
As Wells Fargo struggles to recover from its admission three years ago that it had opened millions of accounts that customers didn’t want, another big U.S. bank is fighting charges from regulators that it was involved in similar conduct. The CFPB is suing Fifth Third for opening accounts, including credit cards, that its customers didn’t know about or request. Fifth Third employees sometimes moved money from authorized accounts to unauthorized ones and then closed the fake account once they received credit for reaching their sales goals, according to the civil complaint. Customers saddled with unauthorized accounts were also charged unfair fees, according to the CFPB. Story by Renae Merle for The Washington Post

Credit Card Issuers Offer Customer Assistance in Response to Coronavirus
As coronavirus continues to incite global economic fears and threaten public health, credit card issuers are beginning to roll out assistance programs for cardholders who may be financially affected by the outbreak. For example, eligible Citi credit cardholders may make use of “always on” assistance programs, which include credit line increases and collection forbearance options. Forbearance plans offered by your issuer may include postponing payments for several months, lowering monthly minimum payments or even eliminating some fees. But you should consider forbearance as a last resort. Reach out to your issuer first to discuss your individual circumstances. Story by Kendall Little for Bankrate

Coronavirus Crisis: The Future of Cash, Checks, Credit Cards & Crypto
‘Dirty money,’ is literally true. Will concerns about cash carrying Coronavirus give Americans an incentive to ditch traditional currency and coins in favor of digital alternatives, including cryptocurrencies? Since the outbreak of COVID-19, here is some of what’s been happening with paper money: Federal Reserve banks have been quarantining dollars that come back from Asia for seven to ten days to avoid spreading the virus, even though contact with other people or their bodily fluids is considered the main way of catching it. In China and South Korea, banknotes have been quarantined for seven to 14 days after being subjected to ultraviolet light, or simply destroyed. South Korea’s central bank already routinely heats money to disinfect it. Story by Steve Cocheo for The Financial Brand

Wells Fargo Officials Resign Days Before They Were Set To Testify Before Congress
Two Wells Fargo board members have resigned, including chairwoman Elizabeth Duke, the bank announced Monday. The departures come days after a House committee report found the bank has been too slow to reform itself in the wake of a series of scandals – including widespread fraud in the consumer banking business tied to overly aggressive sales goals. Story by Brakkton Booker for NPR

JPMorgan Chase Settles in Suit Over Credit Card Crypto Purchases
The sixth-largest bank worldwide, JPMorgan Chase Bank, has settled a lawsuit over unannounced changes made to the fee structure applied to cryptocurrency purchases made using its credit cards in 2018. The details of the settlement have not been disclosed. The three plaintiffs accused Chase Bank of violating its cardholder terms of service during January 2018. The trio asserts that Chase applied the fee structure for cash advances to cryptocurrency purchases made with Chase’s credit cards for 10 days without providing any warning as to the change. During a previous hearing, Chase sought to argue that cryptocurrency purchases comprise “cash-like transactions” as per its terms of service, and as such, it did not breach its contract with cardholders. Story by Samuel Haig for Coin Telegraph

If Tim Cook Won’t Tell The World How The Apple Card Is Doing, I Will
Roughly 3.1 million Americans, or 2.2% of all US adults with a credit card, have the Apple Card already. Who they are may surprise you. Most are younger consumers: 70% are Millennials. Just 3% are Baby Boomers, by the way. Just a third have annual household income below $50k (versus 55% of the overall population) and a third have income greater than $100k. They’re a highly educated group: 56% have a college degree. Six in 10 Apple Card customers consider the card to be their primary credit card-roughly equal to the primary card status achieved by Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, and slightly higher than Wells Fargo and Capital One. Story by Ron Shevlin for Forbes

Mobile Banking Set Up in a Number of Areas Hard-Hit by Tornadoes
Banks are beginning to move mobile banking options into areas hard-hit by the tornadoes on March 7th. Regions Bank has placed a full-service bank branch in North Nashville after their branch at that location suffered catastrophic tornado damage. The mobile branch will remain in place until further notice, and offers their customers in the area in-person banking with tellers inside during normal business hours, and an exterior ATM for round-the-clock banking transactions. Regions says they will waive ATM fees for anyone who does not bank with them, but must use their machines for transactions, as well as suspending ATM fees charged to their customers using other banks ATMs, both through March 19th. Story by Derry London for WSMV

PayPal Aspires to Reach 1 Billion Users
PayPal ended the year with 305 million active accounts, but CEO Dan Schulman thinks there’s a lot of room left to grow. “Our aspiration is to have a billion people on our platform,” Schulman said. Schulman was clear this was merely an aspiration for the company — not an outlook — but he thinks it’s a good medium-term goal for the company. PayPal’s added 143 million active accounts over the last five years. Schulman also wants PayPal users to engage with the service every day. The average PayPal user makes just over 40 transactions per year now, up from about 25 five years ago. Story by Adam Levy for The Motley Fool

Mastercard, Samsung Team Up for Financing Devices in Emerging Markets
Mastercard starts a partnership with Samsung to enable digital access to consumers and small businesses in emerging markets through its Pay on Demand platform. The platform will be launched in the Middle East and Africa region in early 2020 and extend to additional regions later. The Pay on Demand platform includes: a lending marketplace that provide consumers with affordable device financing from lenders; Samsung’s Knox security platform to ensure safety of consumer data; tools for consumers to analyze and build their credit history from usage data; and, in partnership with telcos, an opportunity for consumers to obtain virtual card numbers that can be used to pay for their device and for other transactions. Story in Seeking Alpha

Prepaid Debit Card Innovation Once Again Resolves a Pain Point in the Hospitality Industry
In the hospitality industry, tipping for service is the norm. However, not all tipping is done in cash. If a tip is added to the bill and paid for with plastic, the funds are not immediately available to the workers. Prepaid debit cards are the perfect solution for immediate payout of workers tips on a daily basis, and can be used immediately once funded. Digitizing tips is a great solution for workers to receive money in real time every day after every shift and prepaid cards are a great way to do so. Employers can transfer gratuities instantly to a prepaid card. This also creates a safer environment for workers who are no longer leaving jobs with wallets full of paper cash. Story by Sue Brown for Payments Journal

How Digital Gift Card Businesses Are Using Big Data To Boost Customer Experience
Thanks to advancements in technology surrounding online monetary transfers, customers can now access all kinds of digital gift cards in a few clicks. This is also creating a significant advantage for businesses that can use big data to form digital gift card systems. Creative use of big data? Can lead to substantial benefits, including better customer acquisition and retention, improved campaign focus, and targeting, as well as a better understanding of potential risks along the way. Story by Ilker Koksal for Forbes

LowCards.com simplifies the confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that helps consumers easily compare compare credit cards in a variety of categories such as lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance transfers and lowest introductory rates. It also gives an unbiased ranking and review for each card. Created by Hampton & Associates, the company has been analyzing the credit card industry and supplying objective websites on various consumer expenses for 20 years. For more information, contact Bill Hardekopf at 205-985-9725 or billh@LowCards.com. Follow our tweets: @lowcards

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 13, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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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.