LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 22, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 22, 2019

March 22, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Only 3% of US Retail Sales Completed Via Mobile Wallet
Expert Market has mapped out mobile wallet usage in 36 countries around the world. In the US, only 3% of retail sales were completed through a mobile wallet. The global penetration rate of this technology is still very low topping at 6%, except for one country. The one outlier in this report is China, which has a staggering 36% of the population using mobile wallet. This is nine times the global average of 4%. Story by Michael Guta for Small Business Trends

70% of Americans with Credit Card Debt Admit They Can’t Pay It Off This Year
A new survey by real estate data company Clever found that 47 percent of Americans carry a monthly balance on their credit cards. Of them, over 70 percent say that balance is more than $1,000 on average. Over half of those surveyed, 56 percent, say they’ve had credit card debt for at least a year. And most will continue to carry it for years to come. Almost 20 percent estimate it will take them more than three years to pay off their debt, while roughly 8 percent say they don’t know when they’ll be able to pay it down. Only about 30 percent of people with credit card debt say they’ll be able to wipe it out this year Story by Megan Leonhardt for CNBC

Instagram Tests In-App Shopping
Shopping on Instagram is about to change forever. On March 19, the social platform announced in a blog post it was launching a beta shopping program with over 20 beauty and fashion brands, including direct-to-consumer players, in which it would test the ability to shop, check out and manage orders within the app. Prior to this, users could only swipe up on a product or image through Instagram Stories and be brought to a brand’s website in order to fulfill a purchase. Story by Emma Sandler for Glossy

9 Ways Apple’s Credit Card Could Disrupt Everything
Apple is expected to introduce a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs. How could it make this card a must-have item for its premium customers? This is a natural next move in Apple’s strategy to transform the smartphone into a wallet, but with razor-thin margins and economic instability to contend with, how can Apple and its partner craft success within this ultra-competitive market? Story by Jonny Evans for ComputerWorld

Chase Replacing Prepaid Liquid Card With a Bank Account
JPMorgan Chase is discontinuing its Chase Liquid general-purpose reloadable prepaid card and replacing it with a checking account called Chase Secure Banking, which has many of the same features but requires the customer to open a Chase bank account. Chase Secure Banking has the same $4.95 monthly fee as Chase Liquid. The new account includes a Visa debit card for payments and access to 17,500 Chase-branded ATMs, access to Chase’s mobile app and online banking, direct deposit, and other banking services. It does not provide paper checks. Current Chase Liquid cardholders can keep their Liquid account after opening a Chase Secure Banking account, but Liquid no longer will be offered to new customers. Story by Jim Daly for Digital Transactions

Bill Payment Service Doxo Now Works with Apple Pay for 45,000 Billers
Checking out in stores with your iPhone is easier than ever today, but paying bills with Apple Pay is still a challenge. Doxo is a bill payment service with a large database of billers, and they’re trying to tackle that problem with their latest iOS app. Doxo now works with Apple Pay on iOS for paying bills with over 45,000 billers supported so you can use the service and pay monthly bills without storing debit or credit card credentials online. Apple Pay relies on the iPhone storing your payment credentials securely on device rather than saving your credit card number and billing information on an online service. Story by Zac Hall for 9 to 5 Mac

Credit Card Fraud Is Down, But Account Fraud That Directly Hurts Consumers Remains High
Credit card fraud has dropped for $8.1 billion in 2017 to $6.4 billion in 2018. Fraudsters have shifted their focus to account takeover and new account fraud—using accounts in someone else’s name to buy goods, take out loans or even take out a mortgage. While the numbers of account takeover have declined from $5.1 billion to $4 billion, new account fraud rose slightly from $3 billion to $3.4 billion well above levels as recently as 2016. Unlike card fraud, the account fraud can hit consumers directly with financial losses and/or months or years of recovering identities and correcting credit records. Fraud has also moved to new areas such as merchant debit cards and prepaid cards, reward programs and takeover of mobile phone accounts—businesses which generally do not have the level of account security that banks have implemented. Story by Tom Groenfeldt for Forbes

Chase Freedom Unlimited Offers 3% Cash Back for In-Person Applicants
Chase recently revealed a new rewards structure for their Freedom Unlimited card, making the card’s already-generous cash back deal even sweeter. Beginning March 18, new Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders can earn 3 percent cash back on all purchases during their first year of membership on up to $20,000 in spending. After reaching $20,000, the rewards rate reverts to the card’s standard unlimited 1.5 percent cash back. In order to receive the 3 percent offer, new cardholders must apply in-branch at a Chase location. Chase has 5,200 branches nationwide in just 26 states, but they are actively expanding. Story by Kendall Little for Bankrate

Synchrony: Creating a Super Private Label Credit Card
Synchrony is partnering with Discover Global Network to provide greater acceptance within the automotive category. With Discover’s reach in acceptance, Synchrony will not only enable top auto transmission repair shops, but they will also reach many of the 11,000 smaller locations normally outside the scope of private label credit cards. The same goes for automotive subsectors such as painting, shock absorbers, and automotive technology. Instead of the business model linking iconic retailers, or top retail stores, Synchrony’s new approach with Discover enables fragmented vertical markets into one master private label credit card function rather than individual, dedicated card programs. Smaller shops will be able to participate in a private label credit card program. Story by Brian Riley for Payments Journal

Capital One is Offering a 100% Bonus When You Transfer Miles to Emirates’ Frequent-Flyer Program
The most valuable kind of credit card reward is transferable points- points that can be transferred to hotel and airline partners. Credit card reward programs generally have set transfer ratios for how many proprietary points are worth a set number of partner miles. Occasionally, programs will offer transfer bonuses. Today, Monday, March 18, Capital One announced its first-ever transfer bonus. From today until March 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET, Capital One Venture cardholders will receive a 100% bonus on miles transferred to the Emirates Skywards frequent-flyer program. Story by David Slotnick for Business Insider

Western Union Enables Mobile Wallet Transfers Via Thunes Partnership
Western Union announced that it has teamed up with cross-border payments network Thunes to enable customers to send funds directly into mobile wallets around the world. In addition, users of Western Union’s network of agents can also send funds directly into a recipient’s mobile wallet. Thunes (previously TransferTo) provides a cross-border network that delivers payment solutions for emerging economies. Headquartered in Singapore, the company also has regional offices in London and Miami. The partnership with Western Union will offer more financial access for consumers—especially those without access to traditional financial services—by connecting them to alternative payment solutions. Story in PYMNTS


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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