LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 18, 2016
2030: The Year Mobile Payments Kill Cash
By the year 2030, cash will be dead. And mobile payments are what will kill it. That’s one of the key findings of the latest cybersecurity report by IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The report, simply titled The Future of Cybersecurity, speaks to security issues with mobile payments, as well as the cloud, email, and personal security. According to the report, 70% of the people who responded believed that, by the year 2030, “mobile payments will be secure enough to overtake the use of cash and credit cards.” Story by Conner Forrest for Tech Republic.
Why Apple and Samsung Have Already Lost the Mobile Payments War in China
If you’re a smartphone company–even a big, successful one–looking to get into the Chinese market with your own mobile payments system, here’s a piece of advice: don’t. Over the last month, we’ve seen Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and even Huawei Pay enter mainland China. There are reports that Xiaomi, ZTE, and Lenovo are working on their own services as well. Who asked for these? Not ordinary people. Chinese phone owners themselves overwhelmingly use Alipay and WeChat Wallet, created by web giants Alibaba and Tencent, respectively. And for good reason. It’s more than brand loyalty or even convenience–they are genuinely better products than their competitors, with more advanced features and better incentives to keep coming back. Story by Erik Crouch for Tech in Asia.
Amazon Alexa Can Arrange to Pay your Credit Bill
Amazon’s Alexa has been piling on new capabilities lately, from letting you order pizza from Domino’s to playing music from Spotify. Now she’ll help you pay your bills on time and actually arrange to make that payment. Amazon is teaming up with Capital One to let the voice inside Amazon’s Echo smart wireless speaker, Fire TV–and the recently announced Echo Dot and Amazon Tap devices–deliver financial information to Capital One card holders. Just by asking, you can have Alexa check your Capital One credit card and checking and saving balances, review recent transactions and even ask her to pay your bill: (“Alexa, ask Capital One to pay my credit card bill.”) And if you’re not sure when that bill is due, Alexa can tell you that, too. Story by Edward C. Baig for USA Today.
Uber to Give Drivers Option to be Paid Instantly
Uber is launching a pilot program intended to help the ride-hailing service’s drivers draw their pay faster, an effort that may also fend off emerging payday lenders who are targeting drivers. Uber will allow drivers to deposit their earnings from each ride into an account with GoBank, a subsidiary of the pre-paid debit card company Green Dot. Uber won’t charge any fees forthe service, and GoBank will not charge a monthly fee so long as drivers access their accounts at least once every six months. Should it go untouched for longer, drivers would face a monthly fee of $8.95. San Francisco-based Uber pays its drivers once a week, sometimes leading to financial stress for some members of its largely low-to-middle income workforce. Story by Ken Sweet for the Associated Press.
Only 37% of Retailers in the US Can Process Chip-Embedded Cards
A new study that found that only 37 percent of US retailers were ready to process chip-embedded credit and debit cards. The slow adoption of chip-embedded cards leaves merchants open to accepting liability for fraud perpetrated with traditional, less-secure magnetic stripe cards. The US officially migrated over to the so-called EMV standard (eponymous for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the companies that developed the standard) in October 2015, and at that late date, it was one of the last countries to make the shift. The upgrade in technology has forced card issuers to send out new, chip-embedded cards to users (which still have magnetic stripes to complete transactions on now-“legacy” magnetic stripe terminals). It also required merchants to upgrade their terminals to be able to accept the new credit cards. Credit card networks like Visa and MasterCard instituted a liability shift in October to get merchants to speed things up on their end-either upgrade your terminals or you’re liable for any fraud that happens with a card that could have made a transaction using the chip technology. Story by Megan Geuss for Ars Technica.
Gas Gift Card Provider Acquires Prepaid Services Company
SVM LP, a provider of gift card solutions for businesses, has acquired 1to1 Card, a leader in the delivery of prepaid card management services for multiple payment products including incentive, loyalty and promotional cards, rebates, pay cards and general-purpose reloadable cards. SVM offers gift cards from every major gasoline company in the United States. SVM now becomes a single source for both open- and closed-loop cards with customization capabilities for a wide variety of products. SVM’s acquisition of Woodridge, Ill.-based 1to1 Card will enhance the company’s incentive business and bring a variety of new products, services and expertise to its business-to-business customer network. Story in CSP Daily News.
2.2 Million Cancer Patient Records Exposed in Clinic Breach
21st Century Oncology Holdings has warned 2.2 million patients that their health data and Social Security numbers were stolen from its network. The breach, which was discovered last November, was not revealed until March 4. The stolen data included patient names, Social Security numbers, physician names, treatment information, diagnoses and insurance information. According to 21st Century Oncology, which operates 145 cancer treatment centers in the United States and 36 in Latin America, the hackers first gained access to its network in October, but it had to wait to notify patients until the FBI Investigation concluded. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
RushCard Looks to Settle Class Action Lawsuits after System Outage Impacted Thousands
Six months after a botched systems upgrade left hundreds of thousands of RushCard prepaid debit card users locked out of their accounts, the company is preparing to settle several lawsuits stemming from the debacle. In a motion filed March 15, a Manhattan court agreed to put the brakes on a pair of class action lawsuits filed by RushCard users in the Southern District of New York while they work out a group settlement with RushCard. It’s highly unlikely the terms of the settlement, which should be finalized by the end of May, will be made public. It’s possible the settlement could encourage other consumers to file their own complaints. But even with this settlement, the company will still face the possibility of an investigation by federal agencies. Story by Mandi Woodruff for Yahoo Finance.
2016 Data Breaches Up 4.7% Year Over Year
The latest count from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) indicates that there has been a total of 155 data breaches recorded through March 15, 2016. The total number of breaches in 2015 came in at 781, just two shy of the record 783 breaches that ITRC tracked in 2014. The 155 data breaches reported so far for 2016 is 4.7% higher than the number reported for the same period last year. A total of more than 169 million records were exposed in 2015. Story by Paul Ausick for 24/7 Wall Street.
American Express Says Hackers Stole a Bunch of Customer Data
American Express is warning some customers that their personal details may have been exposed due to a data breach of a third-party service provider. A notification letter filed with the California Attorney General’s office on March 10 explains the credit card company became aware “that a third party service provider engaged by numerous merchants experienced unauthorized access to its system”–meaning that a hacker/hackers likely gained access to a database and downloaded customer info. The company says in the letter the data apparently includes customer account numbers, names, and other card information. The breach occurred on Dec. 7, 2013, but it did not involve American Express-owned systems. Story by Paul Szoldra for Tech Insider.
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 14.80 percent, the same as last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.59 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.48 percent.