LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 7, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–September 7, 2018

September 7, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Amazon Orders 20,000 Vans to Build Delivery Fleet, Quadrupling its Original Purchase
Amazon has ordered 20,000 vans for its new delivery program in which contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver packages for the online retailer. The company said Wednesday that it increased its van order from 4,500 after it was surprised by the number of applications it received. The delivery program is part of Amazon’s plan to gain more control over how its packages are delivered and rely less on other delivery services, such as UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. With these vans on the road, Amazon said more shoppers would be able to track their packages on a map or see a photo of where a package was left when they weren’t home. Story by Joseph Pisani for the Associated Press

Why Credit Card Rules are Anticompetitive
Under US rules, merchants aren’t allowed to add surcharges to reflect their costs for taking credit cards. They can’t even try to steer customers by disclosing which cards carry lower expenses (although discounts for cash are legal). These decisions allow credit card companies to engage in what would otherwise be considered anticompetitive behavior. The no-surcharge and no-steering rulings eliminate competition among credit card companies because a low-cost credit card company will not see its low fees reflected in lower surcharges and a higher market share. Story by Alex Verkhivker for Chicago Booth Review

PayPal Just Announced It Has over Quarter of a Billion Users
PayPal has just announced that it now has more than 250 million customers using its payment services. It has taken the firm just over 18 months to get to that goal since it announced that it had passed 200 million users in February last year. The company said that the growth in users meant that around three million people were joining the service every month. Story by Paul Hill for Neowin

Fintechs See Mastercard-Google Data Deal as a Call to Arms
Technology developers have little choice but to see big data deals like Mastercard’s reported collaboration with Google as an opportunity for deep, actionable analysis, setting aside the chilling effect of privacy concerns and a consumer buy in. Mastercard and Google’s reported deal deal gives the search giant the ability to track card sales data to ostensibly measure the effectiveness of marketing and search. This can more closely match consumers’ shopping and payment habits to retail technology and business decisions and give Mastercard technology cred beyond card payments. The news sends a clear message to fintechs: There is a demand for consumer data that outweighs the privacy concerns that would hinder many data-sharing partnerships. And this, in turn, creates a demand to enable consumers to put the brakes on their involvement in any such deals. Story by John Adams for Payments Source

British Airways Investigating Customer Data Breach
British Airways said on Thursday that it is investigating a customer data breach on its website and mobile app. Around 380,000 card payments were compromised by the breach. The breach occurred from Aug. 21 to Sept. 5 and is now resolved, according to the airline. British Airways said that the stolen data did not include travel or passport details. Story by Carmin Chappell for CNBC

Bitcoin Bloodbath: Cryptocurrency Plunges 20% in Two Days
Bitcoin investors are getting their digital butts kicked lately. Hard. Bitcoin prices have plunged more than 20% in the past two days. Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and other cryptocurrencies have suffered similarly large drops. The reason for the latest pullback? A Business Insider report that investment banking giant Goldman Sachs  may be dropping plans to launch a crypto trading desk. Goldman Sachs told CNNMoney though that it hadn’t made a firm decision about bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies just yet. Story by Paul R. LaMonica for CNN

Hu-manity.com Launches App That Lets Consumers Claim Their Personal Data
Hu-manity.co, the company pushing for the 31st human right for individuals to own their data as property, announced the launch of an Android app aimed at giving consumers the power to claim, control and manage their data. Hu-manity.co  said its new app, #My31, will give users a title for digital data that is stored on a blockchain. Users can then choose if, how and where their data will be used by companies, and their choices will be recorded on blockchain. Story in PYMNTS

Justice Department Probing Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Banking Unit
The Justice Department is probing whether employees committed fraud in Wells Fargo’s wholesale banking unit, following revelations that employees improperly altered customer information. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that some employees in the unit added information on customer documents, such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth, without their consent. The Justice Department in recent weeks has sought more information from the bank to examine if management pressure prompted the employees to improperly alter or add the information. The employees at the time were working to get customer documents in order prior to a regulatory deadline. Story by Emily Glazer for The Wall Street Journal

Scammers Use Fake Checks to Steal Tens of Millions of Dollars Each Year
You just received a check to pay for something you’re selling on Craigslist or to cover your first assignment as a mystery shopper. Think you could tell if it’s real or fake? Chances are you couldn’t, and con artists are counting on that. Counterfeit checks, often digitally altered versions of real business checks, are so good that they’re nearly impossible to spot. Even bank tellers can be fooled. It’s estimated that as many as 500,000 Americans were burned by fake check scams last year, with the average victim losing about $1,200. Story by Herb Weisbaum for NBC News

Try These Creative Strategies for Lowering Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
If you’re struggling to qualify for a personal loan, your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio could be to blame. Your DTI, often expressed as a percentage, compares your debt payments with your gross income each month. Loan companies look closely at your DTI before approving your application. If the ratio is high, lenders take it as a warning sign that you might not be able to repay what you owe. Plus, a high DTI could make it difficult for you to cover living costs or save for the future. Lenders often look for a DTI of 36% or lower for any type of loan. So if your ratio is higher than that, what can you do to bring it down into a more acceptable range? You need to focus on reducing your debt or increasing your income. Here are six ways to achieve both goals. Story by Rebecca Safier for MarketWatch

What Are Virtual Credit Cards, and Should You Have One?
These days, you can’t make an online purchase without thinking about security. While you may not be responsible for fraudulent charges made by an identity thief, it can still take weeks to get the situation resolved, and you could end up without any available credit when you need it. Fortunately, there’s now a better way to keep your credit your own. It’s called a virtual credit card, and it’s designed to keep your online transactions as secure as possible. Here’s what you should know about virtual credit cards. Story by Kailey Fralick for The Motley Fool


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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