LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 29, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 29, 2018

September 29, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Don’t Cut Up Your Credit Cards Yet–or Sell MasterCard, Visa and AmEx
The demise of the credit card is greatly exaggerated. Yes, companies like Square and PayPal, which owns Venmo, are red hot, especially with millennials. But the stocks of American Express, Visa and MasterCard have all hit record highs recently. AmEx stock is up more than 10% this year. Visa is up about 30%, making it one of the top stocks in the Dow. And MasterCard has soared 45% in 2018. It’s easy to dismiss these credit card companies as financial endangered species, at risk of extinction as people use credit and debit cards, not to mention cash, less often. Yet all three are benefiting from their own digital efforts. Story by Paul R. LaMonica for CNN

Second-Highest Credit Card Debt Belongs to Top Net Worth Households
America’s total outstanding balance on revolving credit, primarily credit card debt, is over $1.03 trillion. How much of that $1.03 trillion balance is yours? According to recent data, you’re more likely to have a greater share of that balance if you’re in one of two groups: the poorest or the wealthiest Americans. The average credit card debt for households with zero or negative net worth is $10,307, not surprising since if you have a negative net worth, you need credit just to get by. On the other end of the economic spectrum, households with net worth above $500,000 carry the second-highest average credit card debt at $8,139. Story in Money Tips

Reducing False Positives in Credit Card Fraud Detection
Consumers’ credit cards are declined surprisingly often in legitimate transactions. One cause is that fraud-detecting technologies used by a consumer’s bank have incorrectly flagged the sale as suspicious. Now researchers have employed a new machine-learning technique to drastically reduce these false positives, saving banks money and easing customer frustration. Story by Rob Matheson for Science Daily

Credit Card Interchange Settlement Once Again Divides Merchants
Déją vu, anyone? Similar to its now-moot predecessor agreement from 2012, the proposed $6.24 billion monetary-damages settlement in a big credit card interchange antitrust case announced by Visa and Mastercard is drawing diverging reviews from merchants. Based on anecdotal comments and the history of the earlier settlement, small, independent businesses, which in 2005 filed the original class action in the consolidated litigation now known as MDL 1720, are more likely to endorse the pending settlement than big ones. Big merchants deride the dollar amount as trivial compared with the “swipe fees” they pay, which include interchange and other costs. They also note that the proposed settlement does not touch on the bank card networks’ acceptance rules, which merchants allege are anti-competitive. Story by Jim Daly for Digital Transactions

Chase to Scrap Blueprint, Its Card Management Program
If you’ve been taking advantage of Chase’s Blueprint program to help you with your credit card payments, you’d better draw up another set of plans. A Chase spokesperson confirmed that it is ending the program Nov. 11, 2018, citing low consumer participation as a factor. Blueprint has been available for several Chase cards, including all of its Sapphire and Ink cards. The Blueprint program featured four elements to help cardmembers manage their spending. Story by Robin Saks Frankel for NerdWallet

HSBC Says Full Service Restored on Mobile Banking App
HSBC said full service was quickly restored after some customers were temporarily unable to use their mobile banking apps on Friday. The problem was the latest in a series of technical outages at British banks that have been criticized by lawmakers who said lenders had justified branch closures on the basis that they are providing a seamless online and mobile phone banking service. Story by Shubham Kalia and Huw Jones for Reuters

Bank of America Introduces My Rewards Program
Bank of America has announced the launch of My Rewards, a single, convenient dashboard that enables banking customers to see and manage all of their rewards across multiple Bank of America rewards programs. Users will begin to see My Rewards in online banking within the next week, and the rollout for the Bank of America mobile app will continue in October. My Rewards offers clients an easy-to-use tool that tracks the rewards they earn across Preferred Rewards, credit cards and BankAmeriDeals, all organized in a centralized dashboard. Story in Mobile Payments Today

U.S. Bancorp Sells its Debit Card Service Business to Fiserv for $690 Million
U.S. Bancorp said it was selling the third-party debit card operations of its Elan Financial Services unit to Fiserv Inc. for $690 million. The business provides debit card services, including operating and servicing more than 1,800 automated teller machines as well as networks that connect them, to other banks and credit unions. It generates about $170 million in annual revenue. The deal includes Elan’s ATM managed services and access to the surcharge-free MoneyPass network. It does not involve the ATM operations of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest bank by assets in the country. Story by Evan Ramstad for The Star Tribune

Are Young Adults More Likely or Less Likely to Buy Prepaid Cards?
Young adults are more likely than average to buy prepaid cards but there’s a relatively serious decline underway in the number of 25-34 years olds buying prepaid cards. In 2016, 81% of 25-34 years olds had bought a prepaid card in the last year. Today, 66% of 25-34 year olds have bought a prepaid card in the last year. Similar declines are prevalent among “Gen Z” aged adults, 18-24 year old, where today 68% have purchased a prepaid card down from a similar 2016 high of 77%. Age isn’t the only characteristic in prepaid’s decline, high-income earners are also buying in fewer numbers. Story in Payments Journal

Credit Cards Offer More Than Just Rewards–Here are 7 of the Best Lesser-Known Perks
Credit cards offer a wide range of perks, many of which are underutilized, in part because lots of people don’t know they exist. In a recent survey, less than half of the respondents were familiar with secondary credit card benefits, or benefits that might not be a card’s main feature but, when taken advantage of, can still save you time and money. Here are seven of the top credit card perks you may not know about. Story by Yoni Blumberg for CNBC

What You Should Know About Instant Approval Credit Cards
If you need a new line of credit fast and have strong financial credentials, you could get approved for a new credit card in minutes or less. But an instant approval doesn’t mean you’ll have access to the credit line right away. Here’s a look at instant approval credit cards and how to get one. Story by Lance Cothern for US News

Real-Time Payments Initiatives on the Rise Worldwide
Deployments of real-time payment systems are surging worldwide, according to new research. In its fifth annual Flavors of Fast report, FIS identifies 40 active real-time payment programs worldwide, up from 25 in 2017, and nearly three times as many as the company’s inaugural 2014 study. Further, the report identifies five payments programs under development, plus another 16 expected to be live in the next 12 to 18 months, double the number of programs on the radar in 2017. Story in Mobile Payments Today


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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