This Week In Credit Card News: Hiding Bank Accounts From Your Spouse, Mobile Payments Are Soaring

Don’t Feel Bad, Millions Hide Bank Accounts From Their Spouses Too

One in twenty people in the U.S. admit to having started secret bank accounts or credit cards without their partner’s knowledge. Multiply that by the number of American adults, and you could be looking at 13 million people who have hidden bank accounts or credit cards from their significant others, according to a new survey. A survey of 1,003 respondents found 19% admitted to spending more than $500 without telling their significant others, but men are almost twice as likely to have done so. And 24% of men said they had spent over $500 without telling their partners, compared to just 14% of women. [Fortune]

Your Smartphone Will Start Replacing Your Debit Card at ATMs This Year

Several major U.S. banks confirmed they will be introducing contactless ATMs in 2016. These kinds of contactless ATMs have been around for a while–Spain has had them since 2011 and Australia introduced the first EMV chip ATM a year ago–but these will be the first in the U.S. market. Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo have all committed to employing NFC-equipped ATMs this year. Bank of America will have the new ATMS in select markets in late February. Wells Fargo and Chase will follow suit later in the year. [Android Authority]

Mobile Payment Transactions Soar in US and UK

Mobile payment apps are soaring in popularity in the UK and US, but the world’s least developed countries are making almost no progress in the move to eliminate cash and cheque transactions that cost them billions of dollars annually. Finland topped the index for the third year running followed by Singapore and the US, which have been in the number two and number three slot respectively since 2014. The UK rose three places in 2015 to fourth. [Financial Times]

These Hack-Proof Chips Might Actually Keep Your Credit Card Information Safe

MIT researchers and Texas Instruments say their new radio-frequency (RFID) chips are hack-proof and could keep your credit cards safer. RFID chips, which can be found in credit cards and security badges, can become vulnerable through what MIT calls “side-channel attacks,” which use fluctuations in a power source to attack the chip. MIT’s researchers have come up with two solutions, including an on-board power supply that has a connection with the chip circuitry that’s “virtually impossible to cut” and by using a set of “‘non-volatile memory cells that can store whatever data the chip is working on when it begins to lose power.” [Tech Radar]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Rogue Apps Threaten Your Bank Accounts, Card Debt Lowers Sex Appeal

Rogue App Stores Threaten Mobile Banking Security

So-called rogue app stores, once a fringe element, are becoming a serious concern for banks, as subtly altered versions of popular apps are appearing more often on smartphones. Several factors are driving the trend: Consumers are drawn to the rogue app stores by the lure of free programs. Companies unwittingly encourage the use of nonapproved app stores by directing their employees to download enterprise apps from alternative sources. Google and Apple are supporting the use of alternative stores. Meanwhile, rogue app stores are stealing the digital certificates of approved app stores to fool mobile devices into thinking they’re legit. [American Banker]

Chase ATMs to Give Cash via Smartphones

JPMorgan Chase said it is upgrading its entire fleet of ATMs this year to include several new perks–including the option to withdraw money using a smartphone. The first phase of the rollout will let customers withdraw cash from a Chase ATM using a one-time pin number that will be sent to their smartphones. In the second phase, customers will be able to withdraw cash simply by tapping their phones to the ATM, using the same technology that enables Apple Pay and other payment apps. [USA Today]

This Survey Says Credit Card Debt Lowers Your Sex Appeal

Almost half of Americans, or 49%, find debt from credit cards to be a turnoff in a potential partner, according to a new survey. Women, in particular, are wary of someone buried in bills, with 51% (compared with 46% for men) saying, “Sorry, not interested.” [Reuters]

Brazil Credit Card APR Climbs to 431.4%

The average annual percentage rate on Brazilian credit cards climbed to 431.4% in December, its highest level since that statistic began to be published in March 2011. The average credit card APR rose by 16.1 percentage points in December compared with November and by 99.8 percentage points relative to the same month of 2014, when the average APR stood at 331.6%. [Fox News Latino]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Wearable Payments Will Skyrocket; U.S. Losing Money Making Each Penny

Wearable Technology Will Be Used by Half of Consumers for Mobile Payments

Research firm, Gartner Inc., has released a recent prediction that wearable technology will play a much larger role in mobile payments over the next few years, saying that half of all consumers will be using them or smartphones to complete transactions at checkout counters in retail stores and restaurants. [Mobile Commerce Press]

Coin Production Costs May Help Push U.S. to Cashless Society

It now costs more money to make a penny and a nickel than the coins are actually worth, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. A single penny now costs 1.7 cents to produce, while a nickel costs 8 cents. Logically, the way to solve this issue is for the U.S. Mint to utilize cheaper metals, but they have not been able to identify anything cheaper than zinc. Every penny is made up of 97.5% zinc. Yet another option for alleviating some of the costs of coin production would be to produce new coins to hold the same value. The drawback to this idea is that businesses, banks, and even vending machines would have to be reconfigured to accommodate the new coin. [LowCards.com]

U.S. Consumer Credit Grew Slowly in November

Americans’ outstanding debt tab grew at the second-slowest pace of the year in November as they appeared to rein in borrowing for higher education, masking a pickup in credit card debt. Revolving credit, mostly credit cards, rose at an annual 7.4% rate, a steep increase from October’s downwardly revised rate of 0.1%. Nonrevolving credit rose at an annual 3.8% rate, its slowest pace since October 2011, and a drop from the downwardly revised 7.3% annual rate notched in October 2015. [The Wall Street Journal]

Does Bernie Sanders Understand He’s About To Abolish The Credit Card Industry?

I came across something in Salon which, even for there, seemed to me to be a very odd thing to be celebrating. Which is a speech Bernie Sanders gave in which he threatened to pretty much kill off the entire credit card industry. That isn’t, of course, what he thinks he said but it is the meaning of what he did say. If you cap the interest rate at which people can lend money, and your cap is below the economic cost of lending that money, then people don’t cut their interest rates to the new cap: they just stop lending money. And Bernie’s number for interest rates on credit cards is rather below current market rates for credit cards. [Forbes]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Iris Scanning At ATM Machines, Will Everything Be A Payment Device?

Coin and MasterCard Want to Make Everything You Wear a Payment Device

The Coin “smart” credit card hasn’t worked out so well, but it has meant that Coin has learned a thing or two about how to integrate payment systems into hardware. So the company is teaming up with MasterCard to help other companies integrate mobile payments into their fitness devices, or smart watches, or jewelry, or clothing—basically anything and everything that can fit an NFC chip inside it. [The Verge]

Citibank Testing Card-Free ATM Machines with Iris Scanning

Thanks to new developments in biometric technology, Citibank is testing a set of ATMs that do not have screens, pin pads or card readers. The machines are powered by EyeLock iris-scanning technology that verifies a person’s identity based on patterns in their eyes. Through a combination of near field communication (NFC) and QR code scanning, the app sends signals to the ATM to process withdrawals and provide other account details on request. Customers do not have to remember their PINs or even have their cards to make withdrawals from the ATM. They simply let the machine scan their eyes for identity verification, and then use the ATM much like they would traditional models. [LowCards.com]

Prepaid Debit Cards Target Niches or Aim to Replace Bank Accounts

When Steve Streit conceived the prepaid debit card, he had something very specific in mind: a way to let kids spend money online without using a parent’s credit card. He didn’t imagine that 16 years later the prepaid cards would be used by tens of millions of lower-income Americans to manage their money–or that a bevy of small rivals would offer new products on top of the prepaid system he pioneered. But unlike Green Dot, which boasts that it invented the prepaid card industry, most new firms are going out of their way to call themselves technology companies, perhaps partly because of the stigma that comes along with the prepaid industry. The cards have long been decried by consumer advocates who argue they come with too many fees and too few consumer protections. [Tribune News Service]

MasterCard Lets You Order Groceries from this Samsung Fridge

You may sneak down to your fridge for a midnight snack. But would you head down at an odd hour to order and pay for the groceries? You’ll be able to do just that if you own the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator launching here at CES, the first connected fridge with a new Groceries by MasterCard shopping app. MasterCard is launching the service in the tri-state New York City market with grocery partners FreshDirect and ShopRite. The Samsung fridge has an embedded 21 ½ inch touchscreen that comes preloaded with the MasterCard grocery app. [USA Today]

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