LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 10, 2017

November 10, 2017, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Senators Push to Ditch Social Security Numbers in Light of Equifax Hack
Eyeing more secure alternatives to Social Security numbers, lawmakers in the U.S. are looking abroad. The Senate Commerce Committee questioned former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Verizon chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia and both the current and former CEOs of Equifax on how to protect consumers against major data breaches. The consensus was that Social Security numbers have got to go. Social Security numbers are a privacy nightmare. While a consumer who gets hacked can replace credit card numbers and other account details, a Social Security number is relatively permanent, linked to a real identity throughout a person’s lifespan. Story by Taylor Hatmaker for Tech Crunch

Not Just a Financial Toll: Some Victims of Identity Theft Consider Suicide
Identity theft can be more than a hassle–replacing credit cards, closing bank accounts, or changing passwords. But for some victims, it can be a life-altering experience that also causes serious emotional problems and can even drive some to consider suicide. The top three financial impacts of identity theft were not being able get credit cards (38 percent), being denied a loan (34 percent) and being in debt as a result of the crime (28 percent). Physical and emotional consequences included stress, trouble sleeping, inability to concentrate, fatigue, and panic attacks. Sixty-six percent felt violated; 58 percent felt vulnerable. Seven percent said they considered suicide. Story by Herb Weisbaum for NBC News

Apple Pay Cash Launches in Beta, Letting You Send and Receive Cash in Messages
Apple is soft-launching direct, person-to-person payments in an iMessage today with the Apple Pay Cash beta. The feature, which was announced earlier this year, allows you to send and receive cash inside the Messages app on iPhones. You’ll see an Apple Pay button in the apps section of Messages that allows you to initiate a payment. Payments can also be triggered by simply asking for money in a message or tapping on a message sent by someone else asking for money. The beta is available for U.S. customers only with iOS devices on 11.2 or later and with two-factor authentication set up on their Apple ID. The source of funding is any debit or credit card you have currently added to Apple Pay. Apple will charge no fees for money that is funded via debit cards and an ‘industry standard’ fee for credit cards, likely in the few percent. Story by Matthew Panzarino for Tech Crunch

Walmart Rejected Apple Pay and Now It’s Paying Off: Here’s Why
Walmart’s decision to turn its back on a major Apple initiative might have been a smart gamble. In a study from Pymnts.com, 5.5% of iPhone users said that they had used Apple Pay at participating retailers in June, up from 4% in March and 4.5% in October 2016. Walmart Pay, the retail giant’s mobile payment alternative, attracted 5.1% of Walmart shoppers in June. That was up from 3.3% in March. A Walmart senior vice president said Walmart Pay should soon pass Apple Pay for usage at participating retailers, making the retail giant’s service the most popular in the U.S. Story by Don Reisinger for Fortune

Holiday Season to Hit $100 Billion in Online Sales, Mostly Via Mobile
Retailers’ days could be especially bright this holiday season, as online sales are expected to hit $100 billion for the first time ever, said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Last year, online holiday sales reached $91.7 billion, topping Adobe’s initial estimates. Adobe also expects this year’s Cyber Monday–the Monday after Thanksgiving during which retailers offer deep discounts on online purchases–to be the biggest online shopping day ever. Story by Elizabeth Gurdus for CNBC

New French Restaurant in New York City Accepts Bitcoin, Ditches Visa/MasterCard
A new French restaurant in New York City is taking things one step further to give diners a unique experience: it’s letting them pay in bitcoin. La Sirčne, which opened on Friday, is located on Upper West Side, and proclaims to be an authentic French bistro. This is the second La Sirčne restaurant in New York. The first is located downtown in Lower Manhattan. While the restaurant accepts bitcoin, cash, cheque, and American Express, it doesn’t take Visa or Mastercard. Story by Rebecca Campbell for CryptoCoins News

One Financial Fear Scares Millennials Even More Than Death
Death can be a frightening thought. But, according to a new survey from financial-advice website Credible, there’s one thing that scares millennials even more: having credit card debt. Of the 500 Americans polled who are currently in credit card debt, more than 33 percent said debt is the scariest aspect of their daily lives. That’s compared to 20 percent who said the same about the thought of dying, 17 percent who said the same of war, 11 percent who are most afraid of having to work forever and 6 percent who are most afraid of climate change. Story by Shawn M. Carter for CNBC

Visa Swaps Payment Cards for NFC Gloves at the Winter Olympics
Visa is very fond of showing off its tap-to-pay technology at the Olympics, and that’s truer than ever with the 2018 Winter Olympics around the corner. The payment giant is selling a trio of NFC-equipped gadgets to help you shop at the PyeongChang games, most notably a set of winter gloves. Yes, you can pay for that souvenir without freezing your hands as you reach for a credit card or even your phone. You won’t have to use them or the other devices at the games, but they’ll come with prepaid values of between 30,000KRW to 50,000KRW ($27 to $45) to encourage shopping in South Korea. Visa hasn’t offered pricing. Story by Jon Fingas for Engadget

Capital One Exits Mortgage Origination Business, Cuts 1,100 Jobs
Capital One Financial Corp. will stop originating mortgage and home-equity loans after competition made it difficult for the businesses to be profitable. The company will cut 905 jobs across offices in Plano, Texas; St. Cloud, Minnesota; and Melville, New York, as part of the move, according to an internal memo. It’s also eliminating about 200 jobs at a call center in an unrelated move. Capital One had about 50,400 employees as of Sept. 30, according to a regulatory filing. Capital One had about $20.6 billion worth of residential mortgage loans as of June 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence. That made it the 12th-largest mortgage lender among banks. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Capping Credit Card Fees Would Cap Benefits to Canadians
Credit cards are owned by nearly 90 per cent of Canadian and are used in approximately 65 per cent of point-of-sale payments. However, large merchants want government to impose price caps on the transaction fees that enable card issuers to incent credit card use. Such price fixing would likely harm consumers. Since 2008, the value of retail transactions involving credit cards has risen by over 50 per cent due to their convenience, security, insurance, warranties on purchases and, arguably the biggest driver, the rewards that cards offer. Owners of reward cards – about 80 per cent of Canadians with credit cards have at least one – cite rewards as the primary motivator. Credit card benefits are paid through a combination of annual fees charged to cardholders and transaction fees charged to merchants. Story by Julian Morris and Ian Lee for Financial Post



The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 10, 2017. 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.
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