LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 13, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

How Data Breaches are Hurting Small Businesses
Bank of America Merchant Services’ third-annual Small Business Payments Spotlight found that 21% of SMBs reported a data breach within the last 24 months, up by 17% from two years ago. A full 41% of small businesses said they were hit by a breach that cost them more than $50,000 to recover. Further, almost 30% of the consumers surveyed revealed that they would never return to a small business that suffered a breach, up from 20% two years ago. Story by Lance Whitney for Tech Republic

Target’s New Loyalty Program Launches Nationwide in October
Target’s revamped loyalty program is ready for its nationwide debut. Target Circle will be available to shoppers in the United States beginning October 6. Program perks include earning 1% on Target purchases, personalized deals and early access to its sales. The launch follows an 18-month test in six cities that garnered 2 million members. The expansion of the loyalty program complements Target’s branded credit card, Redcard, which only a quarter of its customers use. The program is free. Target will begin automatically enrolling members that have Target.com and Redcard accounts. The company has said earlier this year that Target Circle also gives the company more data about shopping habits. Story by Jordan Valinsky for CNN

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Skirting U.S. Sanctions, Cubans Flock to Cryptocurrency to Shop Online, Send Funds
Cuba, which in many ways remains stuck in the analogue past, may seem an unlikely hotbed for cryptocurrencies, digital tokens that use encryption techniques to secure transactions. Yet the roll-out of mobile internet nearly a year ago has opened the way for cryptocurrency transactions, and enthusiasts have multiplied as the currency helps overcome obstacles created by U.S. sanctions on Cuba. The decades-old U.S. trade embargo cuts Cubans off from conventional international payment systems and financial markets. Cubans cannot obtain credit or debit cards for international use on the island and struggle to do so abroad. So Cubans are buying digital currencies, which are mostly unregulated, decentralized and anonymous, to make purchases online as well as to invest and trade. Story by Sarah Marsh for Reuters

Stripe to Offer a Corporate Card, Joining Brex and Others
Stripe is launching its own corporate credit card less than one week after the payments processing giant introduced a new lending product. The Stripe Corporate Card will cater to the small businesses and startups in the U.S. on Stripe’s payments platform. The card will aim to solve what the company says is a challenge for smaller companies that have trouble securing cards to buy supplies and to issue to employees. The card also means Stripe is getting into the same space as Brex, the corporate card startup which recently garnered a $2.6 billion valuation. Story by Julie Verhage for Bloomberg

Here’s the Generation That Actually Has the Highest Credit Card Limits
The average American has three credit cards with a median combined limit of $9,500, according to a new survey about credit card preferences and habits by The Ascent. However, there’s quite a bit of variation among different age groups. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Generation Xers, on average, have the highest credit limits. After all, this is loosely defined as Americans between the ages of 38 and 55 in 2019 — so they are largely in their peak earning (and spending) years. Story by Matt Frankel for The Ascent

Beto O’Rourke: Banks And Credit Cards Should Ban Gun Purchases
2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Thursday that the nation’s financial institutions should take a more active role in curbing gun violence by prohibiting the purchase of firearms. “Credit cards have enabled many of America’s mass shootings in the last decade,” O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. “And with Washington unwilling to act, they need to cut off the sales of weapons of war today.” Story by Tristan Justice for The Federalist

Mastercard Gets More Serious about Commercial Payments with New Offering
Mastercard is stepping up its efforts in commercial payments, announcing its new Mastercard Track Business Payment Service. The new service could help Mastercard take a bigger piece of the market for business-to-business payments, which the company estimates to be much larger than the market for retail payments, by offering a digital solution that helps businesses pay one another. Many commercial payments are still handled in an old-fashioned manner, involving checks and invoicing, but businesses generally aren’t inclined to use traditional credit cards for these supplier purchases. Story by Emily Bary for MarketWatch

Citigroup Doubles Down on Credit Cards Even as U.S. Economy Softens
Despite signs that the U.S. economy is slowing, Citigroup is betting big on credit cards. Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. card issuer, has been among the most aggressive promoters of zero-interest balance transfers. For a small fee, customers can move debt from a rival card onto Citi’s plastic and pay no interest for 21 months. That is currently the longest 0% deal in the industry, according to consumer finance company Bankrate. Rivals offer 15 interest-free months with no fee. The card business now accounts for nearly one-third of Citigroup’s overall revenue and is one of the biggest potential drivers of future earnings growth. But some analysts and investors worry this portfolio could become a liability if the economy goes south. Story by Imani Moise for Reuters

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Wearable Shipments Surge in Q2 Driven by Health, Mobile Payments
Shipments of wristworn wearables, including smartwatches, basic watches and wristbands, rose 29% from a year ago to 32 million shipments in the second quarter, driven largely by health as well as mobile payment use, according to International Data Corp. The company reported the top five companies in the sector, Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei, Fitbit and Samsung, captured about 66% of the market collectively, an increase of 12% from a year ago. Story in Mobile Payments Today

Data Breaches Elicit Calls for More Transparency
In the aftermath of corporate breaches that expose consumers’ personal and financial data, victim companies carefully guard details of what went wrong. They argue the information must stay under wraps because it could provide a blueprint for hackers planning attacks. But corporations are now coming under increasing pressure to release details about how hackers infiltrate their systems and steal sensitive information. Story by Catherine Stupp and Kim S. Nash for The Wall Street Journal

daVinci Payments Launches Chinese Yuan-Funded Prepaid Cards
Illinois-based daVinci Payments has announced it is releasing a Chinese Yuan corporate-funded prepaid card for employees or customers of multi-national corporations. The launch makes daVinci, formerly Swift Prepaid, the first North American program manager with this offering. The company has partnered with UnionPay to provide virtual and physical cards that will be accepted at point-of-sale terminals in China. Peoples Trust of Canada is the product issuer. Story in PYMNTS

CPI Card Group Launches Second Wave Payment Cards Made with Recovered Ocean-Bound Plastic
CPI Card Group announced the launch of Second Wave, a payment card with a core made with recovered ocean-bound plastic. Second Wave cards are EMV and dual interface capable. The new product is aimed at reducing first-use plastic and diverting plastic waste from entering the ocean, offering companies the opportunity to serve a growing market of environmentally-conscious consumers. Story in Yahoo Finance


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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