LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 19, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 19, 2018

October 19, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Searching For A Fixed-Rated Credit Card? Good Luck Finding One
Less than 5 percent of the 2,335 credit card agreements on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were related to cards with fixed or non-variable interest rates. Most of the roughly 60 fixed-rate agreements on file came from small lenders with limited regional footprints. The number of fixed-rate cards available dwindled after The CARD Act took effect in 2010. The law mandated that card issuers give fixed-rate borrowers at least a 45-day notice before hiking rates. Cards tied to federal interest rates don’t require the same heads-up before rate increases, which prompted many card issuers to pull back on fixed-rate products and push out variable-rate options. Story by Adrian D. Garcia for Bankrate

Square Launches Terminal, An All-In-One Device For Card And Mobile Payments
Square is launching a new point-of-sale hardware device called Terminal, which can accept credit card and mobile payments through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and NFC. Square Terminal is a portable all-in-one device that can process payments over Wi-Fi and print out receipts, signifying the company’s focus on expanding its services to more types of sellers and buyers. Square’s goal with Terminal is to get businesses to replace their legacy payment terminals with Square Payments point-of-sale software. Story by Dami Lee for The Verge

Half Of Americans With This Credit Card Regretted Getting One
Nearly half (47%) of Americans who have held a store credit card have regretted their choice to get one, according to a new survey. And wealthy Americans were most likely to get a store card, and regret it. A staggering 88% of households with an annual income of $100,000 or more have had a store card at some point, compared with 75% of the general population. And 58% of these consumers regretted their decision. Generation Xers, millennials and parents with children under the age of 18 were also more likely than the average American to feel remorse over getting a store card. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

Goldman Wades Deeper in Crypto
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a venture founded by one of its former partners, billionaire Mike Novogratz, are investing about $15 million in cryptocurrency custodian BitGo Holdings Inc., as the bank’s deep-pocketed clients keep asking about secure ways to hold those assets. U.S. regulators require large money managers to entrust client assets to a so-called qualified custodian — often industry pillars such as State Street Corp. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. But the initial unwillingness of many traditional firms to hold digital currencies, which are notoriously vulnerable to hackers, has kept a lot of major investors out of the market. That’s given startups such as BitGo a chance to pursue their business. Story by Lily Katz for Bloomberg

How Prepaid Cards Can Ease Gig Workers’ Payment Pains
According to the most recent Gig Economy Index, 33.8 percent of U.S.-based workers have participated in the gig economy in some capacity. That economy is evolving, as are its workers’ payment preferences. Forty-seven percent of surveyed gig workers reported having a full-time job in Q2 2018, and 75.5 percent said they would not quit their gig work to take on a full-time job. This could be a sign that they are seeing the gig economy as more than a “side hustle” or opportunity to earn extra cash. These gig economy gains have been impressive, but offering workers more flexible payment tools to quickly complete jobs in the field – and sidestep the cumbersome reimbursement process – could encourage greater participation. Businesses that rely on gig workers, though, should note that the right set of payment tools and practices sows stronger relationships. Story in PYMNTS

Tech Vendor Fixes Problem That Held Up Prepaid Cardholders’ Paychecks
Several days after U.S. workers who deposit their wages onto Netspend prepaid cards began complaining that they hadn’t received their latest paychecks, transactions are now being processed normally. The customer furor stemmed from problems at FIS, a financial technology provider, which processes payments for MetaBank, one of several banks that issues Netspend cards. Netspend was apparently one of multiple firms whose customers were affected by the problems. The identities of the other companies, which also partner with MetaBank, have not been disclosed. Story by Kevin Wack for American Banker

Mastercard Will No Longer Require Signatures On Cards, Receipts
Mastercard announced that cardholder signatures will now be optional for the back of credit cards and receipts. Mastercard said it is making the changes due to advancements in technology and security. Mastercard said cardholders will be able to check out faster, and consumers who use contactless payment methods won’t have to worry about providing a signature. The company noted that the decision was made to better align with consumers’ preferences. Based on a survey in the U.S., only 40 percent of consumers sign the backs of their cards, while one-third of those who haven’t signed said they don’t see a reason to do so. The survey also found that more than half of respondents believe they are secure without signing the cards. Mastercard noted that two-thirds want biometrics to replace signatures, passwords and pins. Story in PYMNTS

Large Retailers Want To Stop Accepting Premium Credit Cards
Some of America’s largest retailers want to stop taking premium rewards credit cards. The merchants want the option to refuse payments made with a high-cost premium card which can carry an interchange fee as high as 3%. The move could spell serious trouble for the rewards industry since the revenue gathered from these fees goes a long way to paying for all the miles, points, and other benefits that come with these cards. Story by Sam at Simple Flying

AmEx’s Limited-Edition Rose Gold Version Of Its Gold Card Is So Popular It’s Facing Delivery Delays
Earlier this month, American Express introduced a refreshed version of its venerable Premier Rewards Gold card. The new version, dubbed the American Express Gold Card, offers a significantly improved rewards earning scheme than the previous card. AmEx gave the new card a sharp, new metal design–a gold version of the Platinum Card’s look. AmEx is also offering a limited-edition rose gold card, which is available until January 9. Users of the online community Reddit have reported extended waits after requesting a rose gold replacement for their Gold Card, above the 7-10 days estimated by AmEx support chat representatives. Story by David Slotnick for Business Insider

American Express, PayPal Expand Partnership To Improve Digital Payments
Through its expanded partnership with PayPal, American Express says its U.S. card members will be able to use membership rewards points for purchases at PayPal merchants online; send money via Venmo or PayPal to friends and family directly from the Amex mobile app; add American Express cards to the PayPal wallet from the Amex mobile app or website; and pay their American Express bill with their PayPal or Venmo balance via PayPal instant transfer feature. Story by Liz Kiesche for Seeking Alpha

4 Ways To Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud
Unless you avoid using credit cards altogether, no one can fully prevent credit card fraud. The Federal Trade Commission says in 2017, credit card fraud was the biggest type of identity theft in the United States with over 133,000 cases reported. The problem is only getting worse. People with existing credit card accounts filed 20% more fraud reports in 2017 compared to the year prior. He says there are four ways consumers can protect themselves from credit card fraud. Story by Linda Bell for Fox Business


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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