UK Credit

Women are smarter credit card users; The popularity of crypto

Women are smarter credit card users than men

Women make better decisions with their credit cards than men, according to new research. Despite social stereotypes that have long (and wrongly) equated women with emotional spending and impulse buying, data shows that they are often more financially savvy than their male counterparts when it comes to credit cards. Women are “significantly” more likely than men to open a credit card to build credit, while men are more likely to get their first credit card to make big purchases. In fact, 65% of women listed building credit as their main reason for applying for a new credit card, compared to 51% of men. [Next Advisor]

One in five adults have invested, traded or used cryptocurrency

One in five Americans have invested, traded or used cryptocurrency, another sign that digital assets continue to grow in popularity even as lawmakers warn of market risks and seek to regulate the industry. Half of men aged 18-49 said they had dabbled in crypto, the highest share of any demographic group; 40% of black Americans said they have traded or used crypto. [CNBC]

Amazon renews Prime credit card deal with JPMorgan Chase after flirting with American Express

Amazon has chosen to renew a deal allowing JPMorgan Chase to issue the tech giant’s flagship credit card, ending months of heated negotiations. The Amazon Prime Rewards card was one of the industry’s most coveted co-branded offers, a rare prize due to the massive reach of Amazon’s loyalty program, with its roughly 150 million U.S. members. American Express and Synchrony were among the issuers involved in the talks. Credit card agreements with popular brands such as Amazon, Costco and American Airlines have become one of the most contested contracts in the financial world. This is because they instantly give the issuing bank a captive audience of millions of loyal customers who spend billions of dollars a year. [CNBC]

Can Russia use China UnionPay to replace banned US cards?

Russian banks are not entirely closed to credit cards after Visa and Mastercard left Russia, but the country’s remaining options, including China UnionPay, are fraught with economic and political risk. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and a dozen other American or European payment companies withdrew from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s other payment card options include its own Mir network, and sanctioned banks in the country have reportedly reached out to China UnionPay to fill the void left by US-based networks. Russia hopes to find new payment options to offset a decline in gross domestic product of 7% or more due to the sanctions. This is a bigger drop than Russia experienced during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. [American Banker]

Powell: Digital currencies will require new regulations

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said new forms of digital currency such as cryptocurrencies and stablecoins pose risks to the US financial system and will require new rules to protect consumers. Powell said new technologies will likely make electronic payments cheaper and faster. But they could also destabilize existing financial institutions. Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency usually pegged to dollars or a commodity like gold. Central bank digital currencies are digital forms of dollars or other currencies, issued by governments. The Fed is studying digital dollars but has not yet decided to issue one. [Associated Press]

How Mastercard is marketing a new tactile card for the blind and visually impaired

Mastercard is stepping up its inclusivity efforts with a new TV ad targeting people who are blind and visually impaired. The ad, which is starting to air on HGTV, features the company’s new touch card, a product that includes special notches to distinguish it by touch rather than sight. For example, credit cards have a square notch; debit cards have a rounded notch; and prepaid cards have a triangular notch. [Ad Age]

Capital One reaches agreement with MLB to increase cardholder benefits

Capital One has signed a multi-year deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) that is reportedly valued at $125 million and includes sponsorship opportunities and cardholder benefits. Capital One took over MLB banking promotion rights from Bank of America, which partnered with the sports league in 2004. Capital One rewards cardholders can redeem their rewards for MLB tickets through the new Capital One Entertainment box office. They can also get exclusive tickets to MLB events like the World Series, which Capital One will sponsor, and will soon get discounts on MLB Shop and MLB.TV. [eMarketer]

Wells Fargo unveils credit card that rewards rent payments

Wells Fargo says its new credit card is the first to allow the nation’s 109 million renters to pay their landlords every month while earning points and miles. Wells partners with Bilt Rewards on a Mastercard that can be used to make payments on any rental property in the United States without incurring transaction fees. Buildings that don’t accept credit cards or digital payments will receive a check after the cardholder uses their Bilt app to pay their rent. Rent payments using the card would come from a linked bank account. [CBS News]

Apple and Google cut ties with Russian payment cards Mir

Apple and Alphabet’s Google are cutting ties between their digital wallet services and the Russian version of Visa and Mastercard called Mir. Apple is removing optional Mir cards from Apple Pay. Mir is managed by the National Payment Card System, known by its Russian initials NSPK. It belongs to the Central Bank of Russia. Users lost the ability to load new Mir cards into Apple Pay accounts. Apple is expected to remove existing Mir cards from the service in the coming days. Google, meanwhile, suspended a pilot plan to allow consumers to use Mir cards in Google Pay in Russia. [The Wall Street Journal]

Digital IDs become more critical as online and mobile banking dominate

Rampant online fraud shows why banks, neobanks and fintechs all need to offer consumers better protection for their data and money. Without action, consumers could lose faith in digital banking and e-commerce, which would hamper marketing efforts and ultimately growth. Digital ID became a problem the first time a consumer made a transaction on an old banking website, but the boom of the pandemic and the corresponding reliance on mobile devices have injected tremendous urgency into solving this challenge. Much more than banking is involved, as almost all human activity that does not require physical proximity seems to have shifted to the Internet. [The Financial Brand]

Ethereum startup partners with Visa to spend unused phone minutes on a virtual credit card

Christian Duffus realized that the extra airtime on his Kenyan SIM card could not be used in the United States or redeemed online. So, together with Visa, he designed a comprehensive solution to convert airtime into cryptocurrency and essentially turn the SIM card into a debit card. He created an app called Fonbnk. The app allows its users to convert airtime into an ERC-20 (Fungible token run on Ethereum blockchain) stablecoin called MIN. This token is pegged to the US dollar. The founder of Fonbnk realized that most telecom companies that offer prepaid airtime have some form of functionality that allows users to send and receive airtime for free. Thanks to this feature, most of these markets have developed a floating market for the resale of airtime. [Forbes]

UK lawyer launches class action lawsuit over visa and mastercard fees

A UK business lawyer is filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of a large group of customers challenging multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) charged by Visa and Mastercard. Harcus Parker will take the company card application to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the UK’s specialist judicial body for hearing competition cases. The law firm, which specializes in collective litigation, competition lawsuits and class actions, seeks compensation on behalf of UK businesses that have been charged to MIFs for accepting payments using corporate credit cards British and foreign visitor credit and debit cards. [PYMNTS]