LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 12, 2014
Apple Pay Could Make you Poorer
The new Apple payment system has extraordinary promise. With Apple Pay, you might not need a wallet, and you can leave your credit and debit cards at home. In terms of ease and convenience, payment cards represented a big leap from the era of cash. Apple hopes its system will be a comparable leap from the era of cards. Skeptics have focused on questions of security and privacy, but prospective users might want to pause over a different problem: when payment becomes easier, and when people don’t see the money they’re handing over, they tend to spend a lot more. And as payment becomes more automatic, people become less sensitive to what they’re losing. Apple Pay users might find that their thinner phones are making their bank accounts thinner as well. Story by Cass Sunstein for Bloomberg.
Credit Card Offers Are Not Always What They Seem
The offers stuffing your mailbox can sound enticing: transfer a balance from a high-rate credit card to a new card and pay no interest for six months, a year or even longer. If you’ve been struggling to pay off credit card debt, such offers can help you pay off your balance, at no cost, over time–assuming you can actually afford to pay the full amount by the end of the promotional period. But the offers can carry other risks that consumers may not fully understand. Story by Ann Carrns for The New York Times.
Home Depot Data Breach Could Be the Largest Yet
Home Depot confirmed on Monday that hackers had broken into its in-store payments systems, in what could be the largest known breach of a retail company’s computer network. The retailer said the exact number of customers affected was still not clear. But a person briefed on the investigation said the total number of credit card numbers stolen at Home Depot could top 60 million. By comparison, the breach last year at Target, the largest known attack to date, affected 40 million cardholders. Story by Nicole Perlroth for The New York Times.
Credit Card Industry Ramps Up Security Efforts
The credit card industry is accelerating efforts to keep sensitive customer information out of the hands of merchants, as a rash of data breaches at major U.S. retailers erodes confidence in electronic payment systems. Visa and MasterCard are rolling out technology that replaces cardholder information such as account numbers and expiration dates with a unique series of numbers that validates the customer’s identity. Story by Robin Sidel for The Wall Street Journal.
Walmart to Launch EMV Enabled Cards
Shoppers who use the Walmart credit card will be able to enjoy enhanced security as the store rolls out its chip-and-PIN credit cards. This is part of a significant and widespread movement in the United States projected to be completed in October 2015. Walmart is not the first retailer to use EMV technology in its credit cards. The first major retailer to do this was Walmart’s sister company, Sam’s Club, which issued a chip-enabled MasterCard in June. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.
The $40 Billion Reason Apple Is Giving Away That U2 Album For Free
You might be wondering why Apple is letting anyone with an iTunes account download U2’s new album for free until Oct. 13. Here is one possible theory: the more people Apple can get into its iTunes system, the more credit card numbers it is likely to collect from them. And the more credit card numbers it has, the more attractive Apple’s new mobile payments system, Apple Pay becomes to those users. Story by Jim Edwards for Business Insider.
Will Stores Warm Up to Apple Pay?
Apple has lined up an impressive list of banks and credit card issuers to support its new mobile-payment service. Now all it needs is more merchants, and customers. Apple hopes its service, Apple Pay, will prompt shoppers to ditch their wallet and make purchases with an iPhone. The system relies on a technology known as near-field communication, or NFC, that has had trouble winning acceptance from merchants. Story by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Greg Bensinger for The Wall Street Journal.
LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.46 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.48 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.48 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.40 percent.