LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 25, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 25, 2019

October 25, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Visa, Mastercard Say They Just Made Mobile Shopping a Lot Easier
The world’s biggest card networks—a group that includes Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover—have joined forces in an effort to make web purchases easier and reduce what the industry calls “online cart abandonment.” They’ve developed a checkout option that competes with established offerings from PayPal and Apple Pay that lets consumers save their payment details all in one place. Retailers then offer it as a payment button, thus eliminating the need to type in 16-digit card numbers and expiration dates in tiny boxes. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Despite Safety Concerns, 64% of U.S. Cardholders Save Their Information Online
According to the latest survey from Bankrate Credit Cards, six in 10 U.S. credit or debit cardholders (64 percent) say they have saved their card number online or in mobile apps despite safety concerns. The survey finds that more than half (56 percent) of U.S. adults save their credit or debit card information on a retailer or service’s website (like Amazon, Walmart or Netflix) while 32 percent save their credit or debit card information in a mobile payments app (like Apple Pay or Google Pay). Story by Claire Dickey for Bankrate

Fix Facebook Before Moving Ahead on Libra, US Lawmakers Tell Zuckerberg
A battery of US lawmakers bluntly told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a hearing here to address his existing failures first before launching the digital currency Libra. In a six-hour grilling at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, both Democrat and Republican lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction with Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans. Despite some top-notch firms pulling out, Facebook and 20 partner organizations have formally launched the digital currency Libra project. Story in Business Standard

9 Airline Credit Cards That Get You Free Companion Tickets
Among the many perks that airline credit cards offer is the ability to earn frequent flier miles toward free flights on everyday purchases, and travel-specific benefits such as free checked bags and priority boarding. What’s more rare is the opportunity to bring a travel buddy along for free with a companion ticket. However, a handful of outstanding airline credit cards offer such a benefit, either for simply paying the annual fee year after year or for hitting certain spending thresholds each calendar or account year. Here are nine airline credit cards that include some type of companion ticket benefit, and the conditions under which you can earn and take advantage of them. Story by Eric Rosen for Conde Nast Traveler

Revolut to Launch Multi-Currency Debit Card in the U.S. by Year’s End
Revolut, a global digital banking service, is planning to launch a multi-currency debit card in the United States by the end of the year. The card can be used in over 150 currencies using the current interbank exchange rate. Mastercard will be the network backing the U.S. Revolut card. Revolut has been beta testing in Singapore for some time now, and already have 30,000 active users there. Revolut cardholders can use their debit cards to withdraw money from countries around the world. Standard accounts have $300 in free ATM withdrawals each month. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com

What Percent of $1.5 Trillion in Card-Based Business Spending is Prepaid?
According to Mercator Advisory Group’s report,  Prepaid Cards: Continued Growth, 17.3% of the $1.5 trillion card-based business spend is prepaid. In 2018, prepaid commercial cards reached $291.8 billion – but by 2023, will only reach $293.9 billion. 35% of current commercial prepaid cards are closed-loop, while 65% are open-loop. Open-loop commercial prepaid has a forecasted growth rate of 1.9%, closed-loop has a negative growth rate of 3.3%. Story in Payments Journal

Visa Boosts Credit Lines, Perks for Small Business Cards
Visa is retooling its small-business credit cards by expanding credit card lines, adding travel insurance and product-warranty extensions and making it easier for business owners to integrate card accounts with accounting software. The move aims to give small and midsize banks another tool to compete with small-business credit card sector specialists like Brex, whose rewards card targets startups, and U.S. Bank’s Leverage rewards card for entrepreneurs. Brex and Leverage were introduced last year. Story by Kate Fitzgerald for Payments Source

Capital One Business Cards are Currently Offering up to 200,000 Miles or $2,000 Cash Back
The Spark Miles is offering an initial 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months and an insane 150,000 miles after you spend $50,000 on purchases in the first six months. The Spark Cash is offering a similar bonus, except in cash back. You’ll earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months, plus $1,500 cash bonus after you spend $50,000 on purchases in the first six months. Story by Madison Blancaflor for Business Insider

More Americans are Using Apple Pay Than Any Other Mobile Payment App
According to new data from digital marketing research firm eMarketer, Apple Pay has surpassed the Starbucks mobile app as the most-popular method for making mobile payments in the United States. EMarketer said that this year, Apple Pay will be used by 30.3 million users in the United States, while Starbucks  will have 25.2 million users. The reasons for Apple Pay’s growth in use are simple. More retailers have added point-of-sale systems that include the NFC technology that Apple Pay uses to process purchase transactions, and Apple Pay can also be used at a variety of different stores. Starbucks’ app, which uses traditional product bar codes to scan products, can only be used at Starbucks stores. Story by Rex Crum for The Mercury News

The Iconic American Express Green Card Turns 50 and Gets a Needed Revamp
For 50 years, the American Express “Green Card” has been everywhere its card members wanted to be. Now, the Green Card is getting a much-needed revamp, with a new look and more travel benefits – and, yes, a higher annual fee. In probably the most radical of changes, the card will no longer be a charge card, but function more like a traditional credit card with the ability to revolve a balance and pay over time. This is the final nail in the coffin for American Express’ charge card model, which defined the company’s image for decades. Story by Ken Sweet for the Associated Press

Bank of America Enhances Mobile Banking App, Including Erica Digital Assistant
Bank of America announced a redesigned version of its mobile app that includes streamlined functionality and a series of major enhancements, including additions to its groundbreaking Erica virtual financial assistant. Starting in early 2020, Erica users will be able to get insights as to how much they can save when accelerating payments on credit card balances. Erica clients can also launch card disputes through the mobile app and get additional details on unauthorized charges without having to make a call in many cases. Erica is currently used by about 9 million customers who have completed 75 million transactions on Erica. Story in Mobile Payments Today

U.S. Merchants Need to Know Not All Nations Embrace Credit Cards
More than any other part of the world, in North America–and in the U.S. in particular–the online payment market is dominated by credit cards. In Western Europe, 43% of all online purchases are paid for with a card. In Eastern Europe, that figure is 34%. In Asia-Pacific it’s just 30%. North America’s online credit card transactions are much higher, at 59%. This is really important for American merchants to get their heads around. However, there are some signs that the U.S. payment market is diversifying. Within the last two years, certain numbers increased, the proportion of U.S. online shoppers who paid using a bank-transfer app rose to 8% from 6%, and those using an e-wallet rose to 23% from 20%. U.S. online card payment transactions declined to 59% from 61%. It’s a small shift. But in a market that has been dominated by cards for so long, it’s something to keep a close eye on. Story by Steve Villegas for Payments Source

bill-hardekopf

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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