Some U.S. Retailers Shun Apple Pay, Eye Rival Payments System
Some large U.S. retailers are refusing to use Apple Pay, Apple’s new electronic payments service. They are working on developing their own payment system, called CurrentC, through the Merchants Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium. It would bolster their profits by eliminating transaction fees on credit cards. Included in this group of nearly 50 big retailers are Walmart, Rite Aid and CVS.
Why Credit Card Companies Couldn’t Stop Hacks at Target and Home Depot
While public outrage over recent data breaches has focused mostly on the retailers that were hacked, several security experts say the credit card industry shares some of the blame. Major credit card companies unveiled a strategy over a decade ago to fight hackers. Those security tests have failed to stop the growing number of cyberattacks against retailers this past year. Two of the biggest retailers to get hacked–Home Depot and Target–say they passed the security tests before hackers stole the debit and credit card data of a combined 96 million consumers from their computer systems.
B2B Credit Card Payments Jump
The share of U.S. companies that pay their suppliers by credit card has doubled in the past two years. An estimated 10% of this year’s business-to-business purchases will be made with credit cards. As companies struggled out of the credit crisis, many sought the extra 30-day float and perks that credit cards offer, and wrote fewer checks. Plus, using a business credit card also can increase fraud protection and lower processing costs, especially on small purchases.
Coming Next Fall: More Chip and Pin Cards in the U.S.
Americans traveling in other parts of the world are sometimes bewildered to discover that their debit or credit cards don’t work at automated kiosks that use new chip and PIN technology rather than magnetic stripes. EMV cards have been the standard in Canada, Europe and other parts of the world for several years now, but they’re not as widely used in the U.S. That’s likely to change next October, when liability for fraud shifts from U.S. card issuers to merchants if merchants don’t upgrade their payment terminals to properly accept chip-based cards. Some smaller merchants may be slow to adopt the new technology if they feel it’s less expensive to assume the fraud risk than update their payment terminals.
China Eases Monopoly on Credit Cards
Foreign companies will be allowed for the first time to apply to set up credit card clearing operations in China. The country will ease restrictions on credit cards in a move that might give Visa, MasterCard and other foreign competitors greater access to the Chinese market. Beijing’s restrictions have given a monopoly on credit card processing to a state-owned entity, UnionPay. All banks are required to participate in UnionPay and all transactions must be processed through it.
Data Breaches Affected 18.5 Million Californians in 2013
Nearly half of California’s residents were affected by data breaches and cyber intrusions in 2013, a staggering seven-fold increase from the previous year. According to a new report, the personal information of approximately 18.5 million Californians was hacked last year. There were 2.5 million accounts which were hacked in 2012. The state’s Attorney General estimated as many as one-third of those people will become victims of fraud.
Ex-Googler Sees Opportunity as Credit Cards Lose Magnetic Stripe
In the coming year, Americans will ditch their old magnetic-stripe credit and debit cards for new plastic embedded with chip-and-pin technology. To Osama Bedier, former head of Google’s Wallet mobile payment business, the shift is a once-in-a-lifetime opening. “This is the biggest opportunity in the payment business for decades,” he says. Bedier launched a startup called Poynt Co. and unveiled the company’s first product, a merchant terminal that reads chip-and-pin cards. The unit can handle other payment technologies that have flooded the market in recent years, including Near Field Communication, QR codes, beacons and Apple Pay.
6 Ways for New Grads to Tackle Their Student Loans
The six-month grace period for many student loans is about to expire for new college graduates. If the past is any guide, many people will miss their first payment and some will end up defaulting on their loans–even though there’s usually no good reason for that to happen.
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 14.51%, slightly below last week’s average of 14.52%. Six months ago, the average was 14.49%. One year ago, the average was 14.44%.