This Week In Credit Card News: Very Slow Move To Chip Cards, Mike Tyson Promoting Bitcoin

Could Mike Tyson Become The New Face For Bitcoin?

Although bitcoin has taken some major steps toward mainstream adoption over the past year, the cryptocurrency’s user base is still largely dominated by tech-savvy individuals who see digital currencies as an important innovation. However, Bitcoin Direct is looking to change the cryptocurrency’s image by making Mike Tyson its poster boy. The former heavyweight champion is apparently lending his name and face to an ATM that will allow users to covert their cash into bitcoins. [Benzinga]

42% of IT Decision Makers Aren’t Moving on EMV Transition

Many businesses are not prepared for the upcoming October 1st deadline for processing chip-embedded credit cards. A large portion of IT decision makers–those involved with deciding the technological state of a company–still have not made plans to change their card processing infrastructures. The survey revealed 42% of decision makers have no plans for switching to EMV technology at this time. A majority of respondents indicated little concern for the magnitude of risk associated with missing the liability shift deadline. In fact, 58% of businesses said the liability risks to come after the deadline “will have limited or no impact on their company’s bottom line.” [LowCards.com]

Hobby Lobby Sues over Card Fees

Hobby Lobby is fighting Visa and MasterCard in court over what it claims are excessive fees for accepting debit and credit cards at its stores. Hobby Lobby, which has more than 600 stores across the United States, claims in its lawsuit that Visa and MasterCard’s near total dominance of the payment processing market gives them the ability to fix prices. [The Oklahoman]

Discover Eliminates Some Credit Card Perks

Discover is “streamlining” cardholder benefits, eliminating some perks that offered customers help in times of emergency. Starting Aug. 1, Discover is also canceling its roadside assistance, travel delay insurance, lost luggage insurance, baggage delay insurance, 24/7 travel assistance and MyConcierge, a lifestyle deals and planning service. [Credit.com]

Mobile Payments Revolutionising African Lives

Africa is usually seen as a continent facing many obstacles, such as unreliable electricity, limited internet coverage, poverty and weak governance. However, it is a fertile ground for innovation, and the fact that in 2012 the number of mobile phone subscriptions exceeded that of US or EU proves this. In some African countries people have greater access to mobile phones than to clean water. The number of people with mobile connection across the continent has grown from 778 million in 2013 to a projected 1 billion by the end of the year. [The Market Mogul]

CurrentC Payment App Set to Launch Next Month

CurrentC, often coined as the “Retailer’s Answer to Apple Pay,” is set to hit stores next month. The payment app has been in development for three years. It was the brainchild of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a consortium of retailers including Walmart, Target and Best Buy. CurrentC will deduct money from a customer’s checking account, not a credit card, saving the retailers the 2-3% typically charged as the interchange or swipe fee. It will scan paycodes for purchases rather than relying on near field communications (NFC). [LowCards.com]

42% of US iPhone 6 Owners Use Apple Pay in May and June

More than two-fifths of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users reported having used Apple Pay between the end of May and mid-June, with 84% making more than three in-store transactions. Nearly a quarter (24%) used it in more than six stores during the same period and 70% say they are more likely to choose a store that accepts the mobile payment service. [NFC World]

This Court Ruling Just Made it Easier to Sue Companies that Get Hacked

Hackers are breaking into major companies and making off with hoards of customer data, including credit cards, at an alarming rate. But one minor consolation for the companies, so far, has been a legal rule that shields them from damages. Until now. In a ruling causing a stir on legal blogs, the influential 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last week reinstated a lawsuit against Neiman Marcus over a 2013 data breach in which hackers stole credit card information from as many as 350,000 customers. The unanimous 3-judge ruling, issued in Chicago, is a big deal because it lowers the bar for consumers who want to sue over such breaches. [Fortune]

Subway to Add PayPal as a Payment Option

Subway announced that it will integrate PayPal as a payment option later this year in more than 27,000 U.S. locations. Paydiant, a mobile wallet developer PayPal acquired last year, originally built Subway’s mobile app and released an update earlier this year. The app enables users to place mobile orders. PayPal also will be integrated as a payment choice for online orders. [Mobile Payments Today]

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report

Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.68%, slightly above last week’s average of 14.67%. Six months ago, the average was 14.41%. One year ago, the average was 14.49%. [LowCards.com]

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Source post on MoneyBuilder

This Week In Credit Card News: Huge Hacks On Adultery Website And Major Online Photo Sites

Adultery Website Hack Could Expose 37 Million Cheaters

Ashley Madison, the adultery website which uses the tagline “Life is short. Have an affair,” confirmed that it suffered a “criminal intrusion” into its system which could expose private details of as many as 37 million members as well as private information from the website’s company, Avid Life Media, which runs several similar sites. [ABC News]

Breach Hits Major Retail Photo Sites

CVS, Rite Aid, Sam’s Club, Costco, Walmart Canada and several other retail chains have suspended their online photo services following a possible breach of customer credit card information that resulted from a cyberattack against a third-party service provider, PNI Digital Media. Staples, which was the target of a major hack last year, acquired the company a year ago. [Credit Union Times]

Apple Patent Targets Ads Based on Credit Card Balance

Apple may soon be taking personalized ads to a whole new level if its pending patent application gets approved. The application outlines the possibility for Apple to check the balance on your credit card in order to push ads your way that it knows you can afford. The new platform would be an opt-in service, so Apple would not check your account information without your permission. But after that, the program could assess the current status of your debit and credit cards to determine which ads are best for you. [LowCards.com]

Citibank Must Pay $700 Million to Consumers for Illegal Credit Card Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Citibank to reimburse about nine million consumers for deceptive marketing and incorrect charges associated with credit card add-on services. These holders of Citi credit cards–or those of a Citi subsidiary that issues store-brand cards for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s–were victims of misleading sales tactics, the CFPB alleges. In many cases, confusing text on credit card applications got consumers to sign up for extra debt-protection services they didn’t necessarily want to pay for. In some cases, says the CFPB, Citi charged customers for benefits, like credit monitoring, that they weren’t actually receiving. [Time]

Fraud Warning Issued as Security Flaw in Contactless Payment Cards Revealed

A security flaw in contactless bank cards means they can be “easily and heaply” exploited for fraud, a leading consumer group has warned. Tests showed that thieves can steal the details of debit and credit cards using easily obtained scanning equipment, enabling them to launch an online “shopping spree” with someone else’s money. The group tested contactless payments with six debit cards and four credit cards–and the scanners were able to extract key details including card numbers and expiry dates every time. [London Evening Standard]

Google Testing “Buy Button” on Mobile Search Ads

Google unveiled a new feature called “Purchases on Google.” Consumers now see a “Buy” button on a limited number of mobile search results. If they click on the button, they are taken to a page where they can purchase that item. The merchants will handle the actual transaction, and the pages will be hosted by Google. Google will test these buy buttons with approximately 12 merchants over the next two weeks. The plan is to then expand to most of the United States by 2016. [LowCards.com]

Amazon Launches Prime Members Credit Card with 5% Cash Back

Amazon increasingly sees Prime as its future. This subscription service costs consumers $99 per year and offers a myriad of benefits like free two-day shipping, streaming video, Kindle rentals, and now 5% cash back with an Amazon store card. The retailer has quietly rolled out this new Prime card without so much as a press release. Amazon will probably start pushing it soon, though. This is a store card, so it won’t work anywhere other than Amazon. However, the new Prime card makes the process more seamless with an automatic 5% statement credit on all Amazon purchases (not just those eligible for Amazon Prime). [Geek]

9 Things That Surprisingly Won’t Affect Your Credit

There are a lot of things that have traditionally not made their way onto your credit report, even though you might have assumed (or hoped) they did. Responsible practices like always paying your rent on time basically go unrecognized. On the flip side, there’s some negative information that you might think could harm your credit but actually has no bearing on it. So what’s left out of the traditional credit score equation? Here are some of the more surprising things. [Forbes]

Mobile Payments: Moving Towards a Trillion Dollar Industry

Five years ago, the notion of paying for items via your smartphone was seen as something of a novelty. Mobile purchases are now at an all-time high and this trend is predicted to continue over the next few years. Estimates regarding the number of annual mobile payments vary between experts, but the majority agree that spend will increase by around $300 billion. According to Statista, mobile spending in 2015 will hit $431 billion globally, but by 2017, this figure will increase to more than $720 billion. [The Coin Telegraph]

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report

Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.67%, slightly above last week’s average of 14.65%. Six months ago, the average was 14.41%. One year ago, the average was 14.49%. [LowCards.com]

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Source post on MoneyBuilder

This Week In Credit Card News: Days Of Paying Cash Are Gone, Mobile Pay Not Catching On

Credit Cards are the Preferred Payment Method

It’s all in the cards–the days of cash and carry are long gone. That’s the finding of a recent survey that asked more than 500 people about their preferred payments methods. When people pay in person, 42% use debit cards and 38% use credit cards, while only 17% use cash and 3% use checks. Online, the breakdown was 50% credit cards, 30% debit cards and 20% PayPal or similar bank account-linked services. The respondents who prefer debits cards said they are convenient and allow them “to use real money.” In the case of credit cards, respondents said they want rewards points. [The New York Post]

Are Millennials Not Interested in Mobile Payments?

A new study from Trustev suggests there might be some issues holding the rise of mobile payments back a bit. 91% of Millennials had at least one debit card, and routinely used them. 80%, meanwhile, had a standard credit card. When it comes to online payments, the older Millennials–between 25 and 34–were more likely to turn to a credit card, and 67 percent of the younger Millennials were following suit. What’s more, alternative payment systems weren’t unknown to the Millennial crowd, just often unused. 66% of Millennials reported having at least one payment app installed-be it Venmo, PayPal, or something else, but these apps weren’t often used. Bitcoin was also sufficiently unappealing. While 63% have heard of it, just 12% have actually used it. [Payment Week]

Apple Pay Brings Contactless iPhone Payments to U.K.

Apple is making the U.K. the first market outside the U.S. for its digital-wallet system as the company fights for a place in the electronic-payments industry. The Apple Pay service was made available at 250,000 retail locations in Britain on Tuesday. The U.K. is an important market for Apple because the level of contactless penetration in cards and accepting terminals far exceeds that of the U.S. [Bloomberg]

Wal-Mart Canada Shuts Online Photo Centre over Potential Credit Card Data Breach

Wal-Mart Canada is contacting customers who may have been affected by a potential data breach of its photo website. The company said it was recently informed of a “potential compromise of customer credit card data” of its photo site. Wal-Mart said it has no reason to believe that in-store, Walmart.ca or Walmart.com transactions had been affected. The photo centre website–since disabled–is operated by a third-party, PNI Digital Media, which is owned by Staples. [The Star]

Samsung Starts Testing its Apple Pay Rival in Korea

Samsung is inviting select S6 and S6 Edge owners in Korea to participate in the first public trial of Samsung Pay before a wider rollout kicks off in the coming weeks. Samsung Pay combines NFC, which is used by Apple Pay and Google Wallet, with technology that the company picked up with its acquisition of LoopPay. This allows Samsung’s phones to communicate with magnetic stripe card readers, making Samsung Pay instantly compatible with most payment terminals you’ll find at retailers today. [The Verge]

Americans Would Rather Have Nude Photos Stolen Than Financial Data

According to a new survey from MasterCard, 77% of Americans worry about the security of their personal information. 62% worry about their emails getting hacked, and 46% worry about being pickpocketed. A staggering 92% of participants said they take precautions to protect their financial information, but 46% say they rarely change the passwords on their accounts. 39% reported they use public networks to check financial accounts from their phones, which makes them far more vulnerable to hacking than checking the information on a secure personal network. [LowCards.com]

Cyber-Crime Hits Napa County Wineries

As many as 250,000 customers who used their credit cards at dozens of Napa Valley wineries this April had their financial information and personal data stolen by a cyber-thief. The intruder gained access to customer names, credit/debit card numbers, related billing addresses and any dates of birth from winery clients using eCellar Systems created by Missing Link Networks of Calistoga. [Napa Valley Register]

Senate Banking puts CFPB and Cordray in the Crosshairs

The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday for his twice-a-year legislative grilling, where lawmakers raised ongoing concerns about the bureau’s massive data collection, its management, its lack of oversight and its overspending. Chairman Richard Shelby noted that the CFPB has grown to over 1,450 employees and it has recently expanded enforcement actions to cover telecom companies and broadened its authority over the auto finance industry. Shelby also raised concerns about the CFPB’s spending and lack of budgetary oversight. [Housing Wire]

Do You Have to Respond to a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Card?

If you own a credit card, chances are you’ve experienced the disquiet that comes from an alert saying someone may have stolen your card. Dealing with fraud alerts can be time-consuming, so you may be wondering if you have to respond to it every time, or whether your card company can just take care of the problem itself. After all, you’re shouldn’t be liable for charges that you didn’t actually make. [Time]

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report

Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.65%, the same as last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.44%. One year ago, the average was 14.49%. [LowCards.com]

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Source post on MoneyBuilder

This Week In Credit Card News: AmEx Introduces Digital Wallet, Verifying Identity Thru A Selfie

Meet AmEx’s PayPal Competitor, Express Checkout

As the war to own the digital wallet continues, American Express is joining the battle with Express Checkout, a new way to pay using your AmEx card online. AmEx Express Checkout is similar to the way PayPal works. AmEx will autofill all the shipping and billing information, and the card member’s account information is transferred to the merchant securely, says AmEx. As a security protection, each time card members click on the AmEx Express Checkout button on a merchant site, they will be required to login. [Fortune]

MasterCard Pilots Pay-By-Selfie Facial Authentication

MasterCard has decided to pilot a program that allows customers to authenticate payment by a “selfie” when making online purchases. At checkout, users will be asked to hold up their phone and snap a photo, after which facial recognition software will either allow or disallow the transaction. The facial recognition scan won’t be saved on MasterCard servers; rather, it’s converted into a code for secure transit, which can’t be used to reconstruct a picture of the user’s face once created. [Info Security]

JPMorgan to Pay $166 Million Over Debt Collection Abuses

JPMorgan Chase will pay $166 million and change credit card collection practices after regulators found that the bank used abusive tactics to collect debts. Of the penalties, $136 million settles claims brought by the CFPB, 47 states and the District of Columbia. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency imposed a $30 million penalty in a related action. [Bloomberg]

Consumers Not Enthusiastic about Digital Wallets

Americans are simply not that enthusiastic about the digital wallet. Despite the development of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and a number of other independent digital wallet services, Americans aren’t taking to virtual payments as expected, according to a new study from Gallup. The reports showed 30% of fully engaged consumers used their digital wallets at every possible opportunity during the last 30 days, compared to 12% of indifferent users and 2% of disengaged consumers. [LowCards.com]

EU Files Antitrust Charges Against MasterCard Over Card Payment Costs

The European Union on Thursday filed formal charges against MasterCard, accusing the company of violating the bloc’s antitrust laws by artificially raising the cost of card payments. The charges, which follow a two-year investigation, are the latest step in a series of legal battles between the EU and U.S.-based credit-card companies over fees. The probes could lead to fines of up to 10% of global annual revenue, or $950 million for MasterCard, and require the companies to change their business practices. [The Wall Street Journal]

Apple Has Filed a Patent for a New Feature that Could Kill Off Mobile Payment Apps

Apple Pay is missing one essential feature that it needs to stop people using other mobile payments apps: person to person transactions. The company just filed a new patent that will let people send money to one another directly from their iPhone’s Wallet, which has replaced the Passbook app. [Business Insider]

Credit Card Breach at a Zoo Near You

Service Systems Associates, a company that serves gift shops and eateries at zoos and cultural centers across the United States, has acknowledged a breach of the processing systems of its debit and credit cards. Several banking industry sources told KrebsOnSecurity they have detected a pattern of fraud on cards that were all used at zoo gift shops operated by Denver-based SSA. [Krebs on Security]

Gen X, Baby Boomers See Credit Cards as a Lifeline

Generation X, weighed down by debt, is unfortunately growing accustomed to the burden. Gen Xers–and their older, Baby Boomer peers–see credit cards as a lifeline, according to a new study. Of the 1,000 Gen Xers age 35 to 48, and 1,000 Boomers ages 49-67 surveyed, 48% say that credit cards now function as a financial survival tool. [USA Today]

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report

Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.65%, slightly above last week’s average of 14.62%. Six months ago, the average was 14.46%. One year ago, the average was 14.48%. [LowCards.com]

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Source post on MoneyBuilder

This Week In Credit Card News: Data Breach At Trump Hotels, The Post Office As Your Bank?

The Postal Service Wants You to Bank at Your Post Office

Elizabeth Warren would like to change the way you bank. Her backing of the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to begin offering budget-priced banking services to U.S. savers could remake the American landscape regardless. In May, USPS admitted to losing $1.5 billion in its most recent fiscal quarter. Last month, though, the USPS Office of Inspector General refloated an idea to close the Post Office’s budget gap. Simply put, the Post Office should turn itself into a bank. It would begin expanding the kinds of financial services it offers, permitting “unbanked” and “underbanked” customers to take out small loans, cash checks, pay bills, and open savings accounts–all at their local post office. According to the Inspector General, entering this market could help USPS reap as much as $10 billion in annual revenue–and close its budget gap with a resounding snap. [Daily Finance]

Card Breach at Trump Hotel Properties

The Trump Hotel Collection, a string of luxury hotel properties tied to business magnate and now Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, appears to be the latest victim of a data breach on credit cards, according to data shared by several U.S.-based banks. Sources have little doubt that Trump properties in several U.S. locations–including Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York–are dealing with a card breach that appears to extend back to at least February 2015. [Krebs On Security]

Tourists Are Left in Lurch by Greek Crisis

Greece’s unexpected call for a July 5 referendum on the economic policies creditors want–which could push the country into bankruptcy and out of the euro–is catching up with tourists. Automated-teller machines are running dry and many businesses are no longer accepting credit cards. Foreign visitors who find themselves unable to pay for services or meals may have to cut vacations short, just as Greece’s vital summer tourism season gets into full swing. [The Wall Street Journal]

Feds Take Action Against Sellers of Non-Existent Credit or Identity Theft Monitoring Services

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an action against two “credit card add-on product vendors” for billing customers for add-on services they never actually received. The two companies, Intersections, Inc. and Affinion Group Holdings, Inc., must pay almost $9.6 million combined in consumer refunds and penalties. The CFPB said that under the proposed consent orders, Affinion would pay $6.8 million to cover refunds for eligible consumers plus an additional $1.9 million in civil penalties, and Intersections would pay $55,000 for refunds and $1.2 million in penalties. [Consumer Affairs]

Barclay Launches Apple Pay Competitor In UK

Barclaycard is trying to beat the competition by releasing a contactless payment system ahead of Apple Pay’s UK launch next month. The mobile payment solution, known as bPay, comes in three forms, allowing customers to pay for transactions on the go via a wristband, sticker or key fob. Currently, Barclays is the only major bank not to support Apple Pay in the UK. Any Visa or MasterCard registered in the UK can be paired with the corresponding bPay smartphone app–not just cards from Barclaycard. [LowCards.com]

Got a New Plenti Card? Better Check the Fine Print

The new Plenti card from American Express promises to bring order to chaos by combining all your loyalty programs–and the points you earn—from hundreds of retailers into one. But there’s a big catch to that claim that’s easy to miss: while you can earn Plenti points at 10 bricks-and-mortar retailers, including AT&T, Macy’s and Rite Aid, and from hundreds of on-line retailers, right now you can only redeem them at four–Macy’s, Rite Aid, Exxon and Mobil stations. [NBC News]

Most Americans Want More Information about Data Breaches

A staggering number of American consumers want to know more about data breaches than what companies have provided them, according to new research from the Zix Corporation. 84% of Americans said the best way for retailers to maintain consumer trust after a data breach is to immediately send out a notification and keep consumers informed throughout the investigation process. 92% said they believe a company should have to report a data breach to their entire customer base, no matter the size of the breach. [LowCards.com]

J.P. Morgan Expands Prepaid Card Uses

Under an agreement the bank has reached with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, J.P. Morgan Chase will give customers of its Liquid prepaid debit card access to online bill payment and let them use the bank’s person-to-person payment service. [The Wall Street Journal]

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report

Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.62%, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.45%. One year ago, the average was 14.52%. [LowCards.com]

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Source post on MoneyBuilder