LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Banks, Credit Card Companies Explore Ways to Monitor Gun Purchases
Banks and credit card companies are discussing ways to identify purchases of guns in their payment systems, a move that could be a prelude to restricting such transactions, according to people familiar with the talks. The financial companies have explored creating a new credit card code for firearms dealers, similar to how they code restaurants or department stores. Another idea would require merchants to share information about specific firearm products consumers are buying. Such data could allow banks to restrict purchases at certain businesses or monitor them. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis, Telis Demos and Emily Glazer for The Wall Street Journal

Amazon Offers Retailers Discounts to Adopt Payment System
Amazon.com Inc. is offering to pass along the discounts it gets on credit-card fees to other retailers if they use its online payments service, according to people with knowledge of the matter, in a new threat to PayPal Holdings Inc. and card-issuing banks. The move shows Amazon is willing to sacrifice the profitability of its payments system to spread its use. The financial industry’s fees amount to about 2 percent of a typical credit-card transaction, or 24 cents for debit. But big stores such as Amazon and Walmart Inc. have long been able to negotiate lower rates for themselves based on their massive sales volume. Now, Amazon is offering to pass its discount along to at least some smaller merchants if they agree to embrace its Amazon Pay service. Story by Jennifer Surane and Spencer Soper for Bloomberg

Mastercard Pioneers Remote Biometric Card Enrollment
Mastercard unveiled a technology advancement for its biometric cards that enables remote enrollment. The technology advancement that allows people to register their fingerprint onto their biometric card from the comfort of their home. Simplifying the registration process will help speed adoption of biometrics by issuers and consumers alike. The solution is a cost-effective way for issuers to deliver biometric cards at scale without requiring additional infrastructure in branches. Story in Planet Biometrics

Mobile Banking Apps Among Most Used by Americans
Thirty-one percent of consumers use mobile banking apps the most. This puts such apps behind only social media apps (55%) and weather apps (33%). Almost half (46%) of consumers have increased their mobile banking usage in the last year. This share includes almost two-thirds (62%) of millennials. Additionally, the Citi survey revealed that 81% of consumers are now using mobile banking nine days a month, on average, while nearly a third (31%) mobile bank 10 or more times per month. Story by Francis Monfort for Mortgage Professional America

Why Airline Credit Cards Have an Enduring Appeal
So what accounts for the continued appeal of the airline credit card, and who ought to have one? Some things that have always been true about these cards remain so: If you travel a lot on the same airline and spend a lot of money in your everyday life, earning the same reward currency when you travel and when you’re using your card can help you quickly earn more and better free trips. But things have also changed. In addition to the miles, many of the mileage cards now come with privileges. You might get a free checked bag. Or you can board your flight in the fifth group instead of the seventh, thereby getting space for your carry-on in the overhead bin. Story by Ron Lieber for The New York Times

Starbucks Doubles Down On Mobile Payments, Digital Advertising
Starbucks announced that both its loyalty program and mobile transactions saw hefty growth in the second quarter of its fiscal year. So far, it’s added 1.6 million new users, and found that those who had Starbucks rewards programs in place were actually spending more; their spending was fully 39 percent of the entire chain’s sales. Moreover, mobile order and pay options now account for 12 percent of all transactions in the United States just in this quarter. Customers want mobile payments; they like the convenience of line-skipping and paying ahead, just picking up an item and moving on with the rest of the day. Story by Steven Anderson for Payment Week

4 Major Life Goals Americans Are Putting Off Because They Can’t Pay Their Debt
A number of young Americans have hit pause on life events because they can’t pay off their debt, according to a new survey. Of those life events, there are four major ones that stand out. The survey found that 34 percent of millennials have delayed buying a home, 31 percent have delayed saving for retirement, 16 percent have put off having children and 14 percent have put off getting married. Debt has more far-reaching impact, too. Approximately three of every four millennials in the United States report having some form of debt, including a quarter who are more than $30,000 in the hole and 11 percent who owe more than $100,000. Story by Shawn M. Carter for CNBC

What Happens to Your Debts When You Die
When you die, all of your assets–cash, real estate, bank accounts–make up your estate. Your estate’s value is determined through a court proceeding known as probate. Before you pass on money (or whatever) to your heirs, your debts are repaid. An executor handles all of this, and will (hopefully) pay off your debts with your estate. If there’s not enough in your estate to satisfy creditors, your family members may be in for an unwelcome surprise. Story by Alicia Adamczyk for LifeHacker

Mastercard Blames Cryptocurrencies for Slight Drop in First-Quarter Growth
A drop in customers buying cryptocurrencies with a credit card slightly dampened Mastercard’s first-quarter results, the company said on an earnings call this week. “This is due to the recent drop-off in crypto wallet funding,” Mastercard chief financial officer Martina Hund-Mejean said on the earnings call Wednesday. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are among a group of banks that banned credit card purchases for digital currency in February. Story by Kate Rooney for CNBC

Google Pay Arrives on Desktops
Google is extending the compatibility of its Google Pay system to desktops and iOS platforms and it doesn’t care which browser you use. Whether you’re running Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, so long as you’ve saved a debit or credit card with Google Pay, you can use it on any other site or service that supports it. Google Pay bundles together previous Google services like Android Pay and Google Wallet, which were designed to make online payments on mobile devices faster. That functionality has now been ported over to iOS devices and desktops, which should make online transactions on a variety of sites and services quicker for Google Pay users. Story by Jon Martindale for Digital Trends

Mastercard To Bring Santander Debit Cards To The UK
Mastercard and Santander announced a partnership that will issue debit cards to all the bank’s retail account customers on Mastercard’s network. Customers will start receiving cards at the beginning of next year as part of a four-year reissuing program and an eight-year agreement with Mastercard. Santander has over nine million U.K. debit cards in circulation linked to their accounts, enabling Mastercard to boost the issuance of its debit cards in the region. Story in PYMNTS



The information contained within this article was accurate as of May 4, 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