This Week In Credit Card News: Stolen Cards Can Make Thieves Rich; Save Big With Gift Card Exchanges

How Much is a Batch of Stolen Credit Cards Really Worth?

You don’t have to be a bank to make money on credit cards. A hacker can make between $250,000 and $1 million by selling a batch of 50 to 100 credit card numbers. A shrewd buyer can then turn those stolen card numbers into between $2 million and $8 million, though the risk of getting caught is higher for the buyer than the seller. Those are the findings of a study this year by a research team led by Michigan State University criminologist Thomas Holt. [Detroit Free Press]

6c7e581cd24f6f05a8a0659248da3f24 This Week In Credit Card News: Stolen Cards Can Make Thieves Rich; Save Big With Gift Card Exchanges

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Gift Card Exchanges Can Save You up to 35%

Savvy shoppers can buy gift cards at steep discounts using online marketplaces, such as Cardpool, Gift Card Granny and Raise, to pay for holiday gifts. Raise estimates that consumers will save more than $40 million this holiday season through buying discounted gift cards on its platform alone. The amount you save depends on the popularity of the brand. The more popular or ubiquitous the merchant, the lower the discount. For example, you can buy a Target gift card at Gift Card Granny with a 5.6% discount as of Nov. 22. By contrast, you can purchase a card for New York & Company, a wear-to-work clothing retailer for women, at 35% off face value at Cardpool. [CNBC]

Mastercard Uses Artificial Intelligence for Transaction Approval

Mastercard is introducing artificial intelligence into its global network to provide more effective transaction approval. The company has introduced Decision Intelligence, a service that uses artificial intelligence to learn from every transaction it monitors. Mastercard wants to reduce the number of transactions wrongly declined while retaining high security. Decision Intelligence examines how a specific account is used over time to detect normal and abnormal shopping spending behaviour. [Computer Weekly]

American Express Raises Its Fee for Late Payments

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This Week In Credit Card News: Scandal Had Big Impact On Wells Fargo; Samsung Pay Offering Rewards

Wells Fargo Reports 44% Decline in New Accounts after Scandal

Wells Fargo recently released its customer activity data from October 2016, which monitors trends including spending, new accounts and closed accounts. The report indicated a 27% decline in new account openings from September to October of this year, and a dramatic 44% decrease compared to year ago levels. This was largely due to the fake account scandal that came to light last month. Applications for consumer credit cards were also down, 35% from September to October and 50% versus a year ago. []

b1c008d62c97ca20caaa1c3ced6697ed This Week In Credit Card News: Scandal Had Big Impact On Wells Fargo; Samsung Pay Offering Rewards

AP Photo/Ben Margot, File

Samsung Pay Adds Rewards, Offering Points for Every Transaction

Samsung is giving customers a new incentive to use Samsung Pay, its mobile payments product. The company released Samsung Rewards, which is a program that provides points whenever a user uses their Samsung Pay for a transaction. The points gathered through the program can then be exchanged for rewards including gift cards, Samsung products, and more from various U.S. retailers. The new program tiers reward levels based on thresholds of transactions. The rewards program also comes with a built-in chance to win instant prizes, which are updated monthly. All of this is clearly about incentivizing use. [Tech Crunch]

NetSpend Cards Promised Instant Cash, Didn’t Deliver, FTC Says

The ads for NetSpend, one of the country’s largest providers of prepaid debit cards, promised “immediate access to your funds.” But that’s not always the case, the FTC charges. In its deceptive marketing lawsuit, the FTC alleges NetSpend denied or delayed activation of cards for thousands of reloadable card customers. This prevented them from accessing money they’d put on the cards or was directly deposited from their paychecks or government benefits. The FTC is asking the court to order NetSpend to return all the money it owes customers and guarantee that in the future it will provide cardholders with timely access to their funds. [NBC News]

CanPay Provides First Debit Card Payment App for Marijuana Retailers

Cannabis legalization is spreading across the country. A significant issue the cannabis industry has faced is the ability to accept debit and credit cards. Mastercard and Visa do not want to work with marijuana retailers until sales become legal on a federal level, so most distributors can only accept cash at their facilities. A new program called CanPay hopes to change this situation. This is the “world’s first debit payment app for cannabis.” It is similar to a mobile wallet, where users download an app, upload their debit card information, and then use the app to pay at the register. []

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This Week In Credit Card News: Avoid Store Credit Cards; How Rising Interest Rates Affect Your Card

Here’s Why You Don’t Want a Store Credit Card, No Matter How Big a Discount it Offers

For a frequent shopper, nothing is better than a good discount—especially during a holiday spending spree. In fact, more shoppers sign up for store credit cards–which often entice customers with a percentage off their purchase at sign-up–during the holidays. Discount retailers, online stores, and jewelry stores nearly double their sign-ups in the month of December. Signing up for a store credit card will typically get you on a mailing list that will offer more discounts and reminders for upcoming sales. And though it may seem like a sweet deal on the surface, it’s generally not a smart financial move. [Business Insider]

fbbbffedb9c500b37ad07d4e9a185542 This Week In Credit Card News: Avoid Store Credit Cards; How Rising Interest Rates Affect Your Card

Store credit cards (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

What Surging Interest Rates Mean for Your Credit Cards, Auto, Student and Home Equity Loans

Interest rates on credit cards move slightly from week to week, but the big jumps occur after the Federal Reserve moves on rates. Card rates are generally variable and pegged to the prime rate. An increase in the federal-funds rate next month would result in an almost immediate increase-of the same amount-in credit card interest rates. Other factors, including card issuers’ outlook on the economy, can impact rates. Credit card rates are comprised of the prime rate plus the margin that lenders tack on. [The Wall Street Journal]

Across Channels, Credit Cards Are Most Trusted for Payment

Internet users are more likely to name credit cards as the safest payment method for their purchases, whether in-store or offline, than any other method. More than two in five internet users who owned both a debit and a credit card said credit cards were the safest way to buy online, and 35% said they were also safest in brick-and-mortar stores. In stores, cash came very close, however: 32% of internet users said it was the safest way to pay. [eMarketer]

Goldman Sachs Targets a New Kind of Customer: People in Credit Card Debt

If you’ve racked up some credit card debt-or plan to sometime down the line-Goldman Sachs is looking for your business. In a series of ads that have appeared on platforms like YouTube, Hulu and Pandora, Goldman Sachs is promoting its new line of personal loans-named Marcus, after the bank’s founder-to consumers burdened by credit card debt. The bank launched the product last month to a select group of customers with credit scores above 660, sending them a code by mail to apply for unsecured, no-fee loans on to refinance credit card debt and fund household projects. The loans can range in amount from $3,500 to $30,000.  [Money]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Holiday Shoppers Warned About Fraud; Will Republicans Rein In CFPB?

CFPB Likely to Be Reined in Under Trump, Republican Congress

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could have new leadership and curtail its robust rulemaking and enforcement activities under President Donald Trump. Trump may be able to replace CFPB Director Richard Cordray if an October federal appeals court ruling in PHH v. CFPB that the bureau is an executive branch agency stands-that is if congressional Republicans don’t get rid of his job entirely first.  [Bloomberg]

dfd87c2ab25f60b81cca29cbecb95b1e This Week In Credit Card News: Holiday Shoppers Warned About Fraud; Will Republicans Rein In CFPB?

Richard Cordray, director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg


Holiday Shoppers Warned About Fake Apps and Fraud

Criminals are going after the databases of online merchants and trying to engineer an account takeover. The crooks don’t need to steal your credit card or debit card number. Instead, they use information found elsewhere, maybe via a breach, to gain access to your online account with a given retailer. Once they’re in, the crooks could get access to the credit card you had on store with the online retailer. They might order something online and pick it up in the store. Criminals know that many people re-use passwords, so they can hack into accounts using passwords obtained via other breaches.  [Detroit Free Press]

More Americans Turn to Mobile Banking

Significantly more Americans are turning to mobile and online banking, according to a recent study. The FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households found that, from 2013 to 2015, the percentage of Americans using online banking rose from 55% to 60%, and mobile banking use grew at an even faster rate, rising from 23% to 32%. The FDIC concluded that Americans, particularly the underbanked, appreciate the greater control and convenience offered by mobile and online banking. The FDIC found nearly 20% of households were identified as underbanked, which they defined as households that “had an account at an insured institution but also obtained financial services and products outside of the banking system.”  []

Good News for Visa and Mastercard, As Card Spending Grows

American consumers just can’t get enough of their plastic. U.S. spending on electronic payment cards rose 7.4% last year to $5.8 trillion, according to new data from The Nilson Report. In total, U.S. consumers made 104 billion transactions on their cards in 2015. Credit cards accounted for 53.5% of all card spending, while debit cards were 46.5% of card spending. This is good news for Visa and Mastercard, the dominant card networks. [Barron’s]

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This Week In Credit Card News: Consumers Missing More Card Payments; Mobile Increasing Card Usage

Subprime Credit Card Surge Pushing Up Missed Payments

Credit card lending to subprime borrowers is starting to backfire. Missed payments on credit cards that lenders issued recently are higher than on older cards, according to new data from credit bureau TransUnion. Nearly 3% of outstanding balances on credit cards issued in 2015 were at least 90 days behind on payments six months after they were originated. That compares with 2.2% for cards that were given out in 2014 and 1.5% for cards in 2013. The recent increase in subprime lending is one of the big contributors. Lenders ramped up subprime card lending in 2014 and have been doling out more of these cards recently. [The Wall Street Journal]

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Credit Card Usage on Rise, Mobile Shopping Plays Role

Consumers continue to reach for the familiarity and convenience of credit cards. In fact, U.S. credit card accounts and usage are nearing prerecession numbers once again. Habit and ease of use likely aren’t the only factors playing a role in this increase. A jump in consumers shopping on their phones is one potential driver of credit card usage. Data from the 2017 Mobile 500 report shows mobile commerce is expected to grow 53% this year. Some ecommerce growth statistics predict online sales via smartphone to surpass desktop sales by 2017. [TMG]

7 in 10 Rejected for a Credit Card Hold a Grudge

Rejection hurts, and a rejection on a credit card application is no different. According to a new survey, most Americans (70%) say they would turn their back on a bank that rejected their credit card application and would not apply for another credit product from that bank. It found that there are common misconceptions about why applications are rejected and that rejection can elicit emotions ranging from sadness to anger, confusion to offense. [USA Today]

Debit Cards are Growing Faster than Credit Cards

The amount of debit cards is growing at a faster rate than that of credit cards, according to a new study. Debit cards now represent 70% of payment cards globally, a 2% increase from 2014, and that’s expected to hit 72% by 2021. Credit cards are declining. Emerging markets will lead the debit card charge. There are 2 billion people who are unbanked, indicating that a massive portion of the global population lacks access to banking services. As a result, financial institutions are already starting to move into regions with large un- or underbanked population in an attempt to capitalize those markets. [Business Insider]

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