This Week In Credit Card News: More Americans Now Paying Off Card Balances, Cici’s Pizza Data Breach

More Americans Are Paying Off Their Credit Cards Every Month

Americans have developed better credit card payment habits over the last few years. In 2015, 52% of participants said they always pay their credit cards in full, compared to just 41% in 2009. In addition, only 47% said they carried a balance over from one month to the next versus 56% in 2009. With regards to fees, only 8% of those surveyed in 2015 said they were charged an over-the-limit fee for exceeding their lines of credit, compared to 15% in 2009. 14% said they were charged a late fee for not making a payment on time, while 26% said the same thing six years prior. [LowCards.com]

Hackers Snatch Credit Card Data from CiCi’s Pizza Chain

Cici’s Pizza, a restaurant chain with 500 locations across the U.S., has been affected by a credit card breach. The breach has impacted more than 135 locations and first started in 2015. Security blogger Brian Krebs confirmed the hack with one of CiCi’s third-party point-of-sale providers, Datapoint POS. The company told Krebs that the cybercrooks used social engineering to install the malware on the POS systems. The hackers posed as technical support specialists from CiCi’s point-of-sale provider and had the employees install the malware. The botnet snatched at least 1.2 million unique debit and credit card numbers, half of which where swiped from CiCi’s. [Inc.]

Mastercard Buys Majority Stake in VocaLink for $920 Million

Mastercard agreed to buy a controlling stake in VocaLink, which handles most payroll and household bill processing in the U.K. Mastercard will pay $920 million for 92.4% of the U.K.-based payments-processing firm. VocaLink’s existing shareholders will retain 7.6% ownership and can receive as much as $220 million more if performance targets are met. The deal will give Mastercard more of a foothold in Britain as larger rival Visa pursues plans to boost its presence and improve its technology in the region. [Bloomberg]

Wal-Mart Escalates Fight With Visa, Blocks Cards at Three Canadian Stores

Wal-Mart has taken the unusual step of making its shoppers feel the pain of a dispute with Visa. The retail behemoth stopped accepting Visa credit cards at three of its Canadian stores, marking a rare consumer-facing battle in an escalating war between the biggest global retailer and credit card companies, largely over the fees Wal-Mart pays them. The retail chain argues that the fees it pays when shoppers use the cards are too high. U.S. stores, which account for 62% of Wal-Mart’s global sales, are unaffected by the Canada dispute and work under a different agreement. [The Wall Street Journal]

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This Week In Credit Card News: 30% Of Global Consumers Victims Of Card Fraud; Omni Hotel Data Breach

Nearly 1 in 3 Consumers Victimized by Card Fraud

Globally, 30% of consumers have experienced card fraud in the past five years. Card fraud rates–unauthorized activity on debit, prepaid and credit cards–is on the rise worldwide. Mexico leads as the top country experiencing the most card fraud at 56%, followed by Brazil at 49% and the U.S. at 47%. In 2014, the U.A.E, China, India and the U.S. topped the list. The U.S. is the only country to remain within the top three both years, due in part to being a laggard in the roll-out of EMV chip cards, with skimming and data breaches continuing to be security challenges. [NACS Online]

Omni Hotels Announces Data Breach of 50,000 Credit, Debit Cards

Omni Hotels & Resorts says it was the victim of a malware attack and data breach that impacted more than 50,000 customer credit and debit cards at 49 of the chain’s 60 locations. The data breach was detected on May 30. The company said it did not notify consumers until it had worked with an IT security company to fix the problem. Debit card PINs and customer contact information was not revealed during the breach. [Dallas Morning News]

American Airlines to Renew Credit Card Deals With Citigroup, Barclays Unit

American Airlines is renewing credit card relationships with Citigroup and Barclaycard, taking the unusual step of sticking with two card issuers following a big merger. The deal calls for Citi, which has been American’s partner for three decades, to offer its co-branded airline cards to new customers through mobile channels like American’s website, direct mail and airport lounges. Citi will give up the ability at the end of the year to offer its cards to new American Airlines customers in airports and on American flights. That right will shift to Barclaycard, a unit of British bank Barclays, which was the co-brand card issuer for US Airways. [The Wall Street Journal]

Unbanked Consumers Use Reloadable Debit Cards as Bank Accounts

A greater number of people are using reloadable debit cards in place of their checking accounts, according to new research from Pew. Nearly 23 million adults are using prepaid cards regularly, and many of these consumers are unbanked. Since they don’t have traditional bank accounts, they use reloadable debit cards like a checking account. General purpose reloadable prepaid cards, or GPR prepaid accounts, let consumers add funds to their account via direct deposit or cash deposits. [LowCards.com]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Wendy’s Data Breach Affects 1,000+ Stores; Card Fraud Dropping

Over 1,000 Wendy’s Restaurants Infected with Malware

Wendy’s admitted that 1,025 restaurant point-of-sale systems were infected with malware during a five-month-long data breach. The attack was two-pronged. The fast food restaurant first noticed unusual payment card activity in February 2016 and reported they had disabled the malware responsible for this activity in May. In June, the company found additional malicious activity in other restaurants and discovered a second malware attack. The company said both infections have been removed. Hackers were able to use the malware to access the POS systems remotely to steal cardholder names, card numbers, expiration dates, verifications values, service codes and other data. The company said CVV codes were not at risk. [LowCards.com]

Counterfeit Credit Card Fraud Reaches Lowest Level Since 2013

The US credit card market’s move to EMV chip technology has helped reverse a years-long trend of increasing counterfeit fraud, according to some new data. The share of financial losses stemming from counterfeit activity–which increased dramatically following a wave of high-profile data compromises in recent years–fell 18% in the first quarter of this year, reaching its lowest level since early 2013. Counterfeit fraud losses have declined steadily relative to other categories since the industry’s EMV liability shift took effect late last year, and have decreased by nearly one-fourth since their peak in late 2014. [EconoTimes]

Supreme Court Asked to Weigh Florida Credit Card Surcharges

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a dispute about the constitutionality of a Florida law that has blocked businesses from imposing surcharges on customers who pay with credit cards. A divided 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the longstanding law is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. The appeals court said Florida allows businesses to offer discounts to customers who pay with cash but does not allow surcharges for credit card purchases—a situation the majority opinion likened to “distinctions in search of a difference.” [Florida News Service]

Uber Switches to Bitcoin in Argentina After Govt Blocks Uber Credit Cards

The Argentinian government blocked credit card companies from dealing with Uber, causing the ridesharing company’s national branch to use Bitcoin instead. The city of Buenos Aires issued orders both to the national communications agency and credit card companies to block the Uber app and deny the company use of credit card service. This prompted Uber to partner with Swiss Bitcoin company Xapo to enable payments through Bitcoin debit cards. [The Coin Telegraph]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Disposable Numbers Fight Fraud; Do Card Issuers Target Less Educated?

Latest Credit Card Innovation: Disposable Numbers

There’s one major topic driving the conversations in payments: fraud. More specifically, credit card fraud. And that’s why one company is after innovating the market by putting its own twist on how credit card numbers are thought of by making them disposable. This is part of the tech by a startup called Final, which this week started shipping its Visa-branded consumer credit card product with that feature. [PYMNTS]

Credit Card Companies Know How Little You Know

Credit card companies need people to spend more than they can afford, but not so much that they default on their payments. So they could benefit from targeting individuals who are more likely to have cognitive failings. This is the dark side of behavioral finance. Some new research claims to find exactly such a result. They find that less educated consumers–who are likely to be less financially sophisticated–are more frequently given offers that include back-loaded costs. Those are plans that start with low interest rates, but increase later, with extra-high over-limit and late-payment fees. In other words, those are likely to be the borrowers who make bad financial decisions–racking up debt and eventually paying much more in interest. [Bloomberg]

Americans Feel Financially Unprepared for Longer Lives

Americans are happier to be living longer than ever, but 70% feel financially unprepared to live to 100 or beyond. A new study discovered that respondents knew a longer life would give them the opportunity to reach their dreams and feel more fulfilled. However, money fears and lack of planning are stopping many from taking risks and pursuing these goals. While Millennials and GenXers have the most time to follow their dreams, a great majority (79% of GenXers and 74% of Millennials) feel unprepared for a longer life. 57% of Baby Boomers also feel financially unprepared. [LowCards.com]

Visa Files Counterclaim to Wal-Mart in PIN Debit Card Lawsuit

Visa fired back at Wal-Mart in a legal dispute over letting customers authorize a debit card transaction with a signature, saying that the retailer secretly configured its payment terminals so only personal identification numbers, or PINs, could be used. Visa said it received complaints from customers who could no longer use their debit cards at Wal-Mart stores unless they had a PIN. [The Wall Street Journal]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Fewer Subprime Borrowers; Average Data Breach Cost Is $4 Million

Millions of U.S. Consumers Are Escaping Subprime

The percentage of Americans with subprime credit scores has fallen to the lowest level in more than a decade, a development that could give bank lending and the overall economy a boost. The share of U.S. adults with credit scores that are considered “subprime” fell to 20.7% in April, the sixth consecutive year-over-year decline and the lowest level since at least 2005, when FICO started tracking the data. The ranks of subprime borrowers swelled during the financial crisis, peaking at 25.5% in 2010 as mortgage payments, credit card bills and other debts went unpaid. An increase in more creditworthy borrowers could allow them to increase lending without lowering standards. [The Wall Street Journal]

Average Cost of Data Breach Hits $4 Million</strong;

The average cost of a data breach has now reached $4 million, up 30% from 2013, according to a recent study. The average was $3.79 million last year. Identification and response speed also make a difference in the cost of a breach. Breaches identified in fewer than 100 days cost $3.23 million, while breaches identified after 100 days cost $4.38 million. [LowCards.com]

Costco, Citi Deluged by Complaints in Rocky Credit Card Rollout

Costco customers have flooded the retailer’s Facebook page with hundreds of complaints about a new Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, saying they endured lengthy wait times and had trouble activating accounts. Costco, the world’s largest wholesale club, told customers that the bank is working to deal with a deluge of calls about the new Costco cards. [Bloomberg]

A Shocking Percentage of Millennials Don’t Own Credit Cards

It’s not all that surprising that some millennials don’t own credit cards, but the percentage of this demographic that falls into this category is rather stunning. In fact, a mere 33% of adults ages 18 to 29 had a credit card in May 2016. This compared to 55% for those ages 30 to 49 and 68% for those older than 65. [Business Insider]

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