LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 18, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 18, 2019

October 18, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Mastercard, Visa, eBay Drop Out of Facebook’s Libra Payments Network
The biggest financial companies that Facebook recruited to launch a world-wide cryptocurrency-based payments network have backed out of the project, threatening to derail an ambitious initiative to remake global finance before it ever gets off the ground. Visa,  Mastercard, Stripe and eBay said they were withdrawing from the coalition of companies that had originally signed on to help launch the libra cryptocurrency, following PayPal, which previously dropped out of the Libra Association. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis and Peter Rudegeair for The Wall Street Journal

Bank of America’s Digital Channel Now Accounts for 26% of Total Sales with Mobile Representing Over Half
Bank of America counts 38 million digital banking users as of Q3 2019, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. The firm also has 28.7 million active mobile banking users, marking a 10% annual increase, flat with Q2 2019’s 10% YoY growth in active mobile users. BofA’s digital channel now accounts for 26% of total sales, with mobile representing over half of these digital sales. For context, BofA’s digital sales are nearly consistent with JPMorgan Chase’s. Story by Rachel Green for Business Insider

PayPal is Launching a Venmo Credit Card to Help Monetize the Payment App
Venmo is moving from enabling payments with emojis on a phone to a more traditional method. The popular app, owned by PayPal, will offer a Venmo-branded credit card in 2020. Synchrony Financial will handle the banking side of the card. The app started with peer-to-peer payments and became famous for incorporating a social network with the ability to “like” and comment on friends’ transactions. Venmo has since brought in 40 million users, launched a debit card last year and offers a “pay with Venmo” option with partners like Uber. Story by Kate Rooney for CNBC

Mobile Banking Firm Sues Facebook over Calibra’s Logo
Facebook’s Libra project has yet another issue to deal with: a mobile banking app has sued the social network’s Calibra subsidiary over their very similar logos. The tech giant introduced Calibra as the division that will oversee its cryptocurrency plans, including the development of a digital wallet. According to the lawsuit filed by a mobile banking company called Current, Calibra’s logo “is not only confusingly similar to, but virtually identical to the Current Marks.” Story by Mariella Moon for Engadget

American Express Takes Aim at Rival Brex With New Card Offerings for Startups
American Express is rolling out a new corporate card program for startups after newcomers like Brex have had success in grabbing a slice of the market. The cards will be available in coming months, offering full corporate liability without requiring founders to provide a security deposit or personal guarantee. New technology allows AmEx to see a startup’s bank balance to let fledgling firms qualify for cards. American Express is taking aim at a part of the market that’s become popular for startups themselves. Brex, the fintech company that’s been called AmEx 2.0, garnered a $2.6 billion valuation just one year after launching its first product, a corporate card for its fellow startups. Stripe Inc., a payments provider most recently valued at $35 billion, also has a corporate card for small companies. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Apple and Goldman Sachs Don’t Report Apple Card Information to Credit Bureaus
If you’ve signed up for the Apple Card, your payment history won’t be reflected on your credit reports. Apple and Goldman Sachs have yet to start reporting consumers’ payment information for the Apple Card to the major credit bureaus, a source close to Goldman Sachs confirmed to MarketWatch. The source later said that the companies will begin reporting to the credit bureaus later this quarter. This means that the two companies have yet to send details on customers’ balances and on-time payments to Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, information that is used to calculate people’s credit scores. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

73% of Americans Rank Their Finances as the No. 1 Stress in Life
If the state of your finances is stressing you out, you’re far from alone. This week Capital One released the results of a new CreditWise survey, in connection with National Get Smart About Credit Day. The results found that finances are the number one cause of stress (73%), more than politics (59%), work (49%) and family (46%). Younger generations are even more stressed out about finances than older generations with the majority of Gen Z’ers (82%) and millennials (81%) saying finances are at least somewhat stressful. Despite finances being a major cause of stress, respondents are optimistic about their financial future. Story by Alexandria White for CNBC

Hacking Back? BriansClub Dark Web Attack a Boon for Banks
A Dark Web “carding store” called BriansClub, which specializes in selling stolen payment card information, has itself become a victim, with thieves making off with 26 million credit and debit card records. The site appears to be a target of “hacking back,” since the data was shared with financial institutions in an effort to cut off any potential card fraud. The data set represents everything uploaded to BriansClub in the last four years, according to independent researcher Brian Krebs (ironically, the forum’s namesake). Of those, 14 million of the payments cards are unexpired. Story by Tara Seals for Threat Post

For Citi, Cards are Driving Multi-Product Relationships
To Citibank, the world’s largest credit card issuer, cards are driving revenue and deeper relationships with the brand. On Tuesday, the bank reported that, in North America, revenue from branded cards grew 11% to $2.3 billion. According to Mark Mason, Citi’s chief financial officer, cards are important customer acquisition drivers for other areas of the business, including retail banking products. Story by Suman Bhattacharyya for Bank Innovation

Amex Canada Rolls Out SMB Card With Employee Misuse Protection
American Express Canada announced the launch of a new small business credit card, the American Express Business Edge Card, designed to support spend management for SMBs in the country. In addition to earning rewards points on business-targeted purchases like office supplies, the card provides choice in how small businesses redeem those points, including for business trips, employee gift cards or personal travel. The card integrates a suite of business expense management solutions as well as insurance coverage to protect against employee misuse of the card, car theft and other risks. Story in PYMNTS

Some Credit Cards Offer Cell Phone Insurance to Cover You for Damage
For many of us, our cell phones are among the most expensive things we own, and something we carry almost everywhere we go. This combination means that breaking one or having one stolen at some point is unfortunately pretty common, and it’s a significant financial blow. There are credit cards that will provide complimentary cell phone coverage just for paying your phone bill with that card. Story by Caroline Lupini for Insider

The Psychological Perks of Paying Off Debt
Debt has the power to take over your entire life, from what you buy to where you live. But when debt is paid off, the benefits go well beyond the bank. A host of psychological perks can occur. It’s no surprise that owing a large amount of money causes psychological strain, but did you know that it’s ranked as one of the most stress-inducing life events? Debt associated with rough events, such as divorce or a reckless phase in life, is painful to carry around. So when you finally cut that debt from your life, you’ll likely experience emotional liberation. When you’re in debt, it can feel like your life’s on hold. Your life dreams–getting married, launching a business, having a baby–seem impossible to pursue when your financial life is in disorder. Debt tends to carry a uniformly negative stigma and can weaken self-esteem at its root. Story by Claire Dickey for Bankrate


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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