Last week, we mentioned card issuer alerts calling for more vigilance on the part of merchants to “shore up” their Point-of-Sale systems, in an age of increased hacking, breaches, and network intrusion. This lack of security has resulted in some unfortunately spectacular “virtual break-ins,” like the Target breach and the ones that followed, resulting in the information for millions of customers being pilfered, compromised, and sold not only to the “highest bidder,” but to whoever meets the price of those vending the data.
If you’re traveling abroad this summer, you might want to make sure you have at least one EMV-ready credit (or debit) card at your disposal. (The same might apply if you’re traveling a couple years into the future, after they become more widespread here in the U.S.!)
We write a lot about the coming changes to “charge cards” as we’ve known them, for a couple generations. Changes driven both by technology, and the vulnerabilities of that technology. For example, as a regular reader of these posts, you know that EMV cards are coming, with adaptation being pushed even faster by news of massive breaches at Target, Neiman-Marcus, and other retailers.
As an astute reader of this space, you have, of course, been following all the news and fallout emanating from the Target data breach, affecting upwards of 110 million customers (and of course numerous banks and credit unions who suddenly had to reissue cards, cover fraudulent charges, etc.)
In increasing signs of a perking — or at least, stabilizing — economy, comes the news that late payments on credit cards are at a 20-year low. According to an AP article, the credit reporting bureau TransUnion is reporting “ the second-lowest recorded since the second quarter of 1994, when the rate was 0.56 percent, and it’s running ahead of the historical average of 1.03 percent. The firm’s records go back to 1992.”
We’re probably as surprised as you that it’s already “back to school” time in so many places, for so many students. Aren’t we still a few weeks away from our Labor Day barbecues!?
A new survey by the National Retail Federation says that American’s will spend more than $18 billion on Valentine’s Day, making it one of our “spendiest” holidays, close on the heels of Christmas and Halloween. According to the NRF, the average outlay will be around $130 a person — a $5 uptick from last year, though the “average” for men actually clocks in at around $176, while for women it hovers around $90.
Aside from the all the big election news this week, a couple of smaller items popping up in the newsfeeds on the credit card front point toward a rapidly changing landscape there too, one where mobile payments are even more common.
Two Billion Cardholders Coming to the U.S.? In challenging economic times, where might two billion new cardholders come from? Two…