LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 2, 2018

March 2, 2018, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Debt-Conscious Millennials Are a Threat to Credit Cards
Millennials have been accused of disrupting many industries, from newspapers to brick-and-mortar stores. Credit cards appear to be next in line. Just one out of three millennials carries plastic, according to a Bankrate.com survey, compared to the majority of older Americans. In addition, a Fed survey found the 18 to 24 demographic preferred to pay cash more than others. And if they do carry a card, it tends to be of the prepaid or debit variety. The 2008 global financial crisis and ballooning college tuition may have also scared some millennials away. Millennials are more likely than older generations to have student loans to pay. About 41 percent of them held such debt. And the burden is heavier, too. Story by Lisa Fu for Bloomberg

Credit Cards With Chips Are Reducing In-Store Fraud But Online Breaches Are Picking Up the Slack
Chip-based credit card readers, first introduced around 2011, have led to a 70 percent drop in counterfeit fraud in the United States, according to Visa. Visa says more 481 million chip cards are now in circulation, representing roughly 67 percent of all Visa debit and credit cards. The company also says that nearly two-thirds of US storefronts are using chip cards. Likely due to the fact that EMV cards have been widely adopted, CNP fraud (card not present) is on the rise. Increasingly, hackers are getting their hands on payment card information, and businesses are regularly leaking huge troves of credit card data online. The US leads the world in e-commerce sales, which suggests Americans are far more likely to fall victim to CNP fraud. Data breaches affecting American consumers hit an all-time high last year-up 45 percent from 2016, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Story by Dell Cameron for Gizmodo

Barclaycard Wants You to Dine and Dash Legally
Barclaycard is testing a new payment service that could mean the end to waiting for your bill at a restaurant. It’s called Dine & Dash, but in this version, dashing doesn’t mean skipping out on your tab. Instead, with this service, restaurant-goers would download the Dine & Dash app and just tap their phone on the Dine & Dash device at their table once they arrive. They would then order their meals and eat as usual, and once they were done, they could just leave. When the Dine & Dash app registers that the diners have left the restaurant, it will check them out and close the bill, issuing payment from whatever payment option was loaded into the app by the diner. For diners that want to split the bill with a pal, the app allows them to do that. It also allows users to add a tip and apply a discount code, and once everything’s all squared away, the Dine & Dash device lights up green to indicate the bill has been settled. The setup is similar to Mastercard’s Qkr tool. Story by Mallory Locklear for Engadget

Citigroup Will Refund $330 Million to Credit Card Customers it Overcharged
Citigroup said it would refund about $330 million to consumers after discovering it had overcharged 1.75 million credit card accounts on their annual interest rates. The company reports the average refund will amount to about $190 per account — including interest. Credit card issuers are required to semi-annually review accounts that experienced an interest rate increase to determine if those accounts are eligible for a rate reduction, according to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009, known as the CARD act. Story by Anna Bahney for CNN

NAACP Files Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against Capital One Bank
Over the past two years, Capital One Bank has been closing many of its brick-and-mortar locations around the state of Texas in what the bank claims to be a cost-cutting measure. The NAACP, however, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the publicly traded company, alleging that its actions are discriminatory against its black and Latino customers, while also using black celebrities in its commercials to enhance its agenda. The suit, filed in federal court in the Southern District of Texas, alleges that black and Latino customers are encouraged to use ATM cards to transact their business with the bank, which reduces the possibility of minority customers applying for mortgages, credit, and traditional banking services. Story by Adedamola Agboola for Black Enterprise

How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t
In the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland and at a time when Washington shows little interest in limiting the sales of assault weapons—there’s a real opportunity for the business community to fill the void and prove that all that talk about moral responsibility isn’t hollow. What if the finance industry—credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; credit card processors like First Data; and banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo—were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America? Collectively, they have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker. And it wouldn’t be hard for them to take a stand. PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms. Story by Andrew Ross Sorkin for The New York Times

Mobile Bankers Beware: Sophisticated Hacks Soar
If you bank by phone, you better be careful. Malicious mobile-banking software aimed at taking over consumer bank accounts has threatened up to 10 percent of consumer cell phones, security experts warn. Worse, the software is so sophisticated that it can easily trick even savvy consumers into divulging their banking credentials to the crooks. Story by Kathy Kristof for Moneywatch

Supreme Court Case Seeks Disclosure of Credit Card Fees to Benefit Consumers
Every time a consumer swipes his or her credit card, the credit card company collects a fee. Do most consumers know this? Probably not. That’s because American Express rules prohibit retailers from educating consumers about these fees or giving consumers benefits for using lower-cost cards. Although retailers are fighting for the right to disclose these fees, credit card companies are determined to keep consumers in the dark. To change these rules, retailers support a lawsuit that will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The case, Ohio et al. v. American Express, began when the federal government and 11 states sued American Express, claiming that its rules violate U.S. antitrust laws. Story by Deborah White for Fox News

MasterCard Strengthens Ties to Mobile Network Operators
MasterCard is strengthening its ties with mobile network operators with a new suite of services that are intended to help those companies better assist subscribers and small businesses connect to digital payment experiences. The card network has already helped MNOs such as Vodafone Ukraine, Digicel Group in the Caribbean, Viettel Telecom in Vietnam and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom to roll out various services related to these new offerings such as Masterpass integration, direct carrier billing and QR code-based payments as well as data insights for small business to help them identify new opportunities. Story by Will Hernandez for Mobile Payments Today

Japanese Megabanks Team Up on Mobile Payments
Japan’s three megabanks are working together to standardize a smartphone payment system using QR codes, aiming to promote cashless transactions already widespread in China and elsewhere. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will work out specific plans by the end of March to unify QR code specifications across participating banks. The rollout of the payment system is slated for fiscal 2019. The three banks are also looking at establishing a jointly financed company to oversee the system. Cashless payments will greatly streamline bank operations while the use of QR codes will keep costs minimal for retail outlets that adopt the system. Story in Nikkei Asian Review

Nigerians are Turning to Virtual Debit Cards to Beat Restrictions on International e-Commerce
As a March deadline approaches to block Nigerian debit cards being used online on popular international sites like Netflix and Amazon, Nigerians have been scrambling for alternative payment platforms. Nigerian cards could be blocked as part of international sanctions imposed by a global group of financial intelligence agencies after Nigeria ran afoul of its rules. Some consumers are turning to a locally designed virtual payment card service as an option for those unwilling to use the country’s risky online payment black market. Story by Paul Adepoju for Quartz

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 2, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

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