This Week In Credit Card News: Women Are Smarter Credit Card Users; The Popularity Of Crypto

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Women Are Smarter Credit Card Users Than Men

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Women make better decisions with their credit cards than men, new research shows. Despite social stereotypes that have long (and incorrectly) equated women with emotional spending and impulsive purchases, data shows 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 named credit building as their top reason to apply for a new credit card, compared to 51% of men. [Next Advisor]

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One in Five Adults Has Invested In, Traded or Used Cryptocurrency

One in five Americans has invested in, traded or used cryptocurrency, another sign that digital assets continue to get more popular even as lawmakers warn of market risks and work to regulate the industry. Half of men between the ages of 18 and 49 said they have dabbled in crypto, the highest share of all demographic groups; 40% of Black Americans said they have traded or used crypto. [CNBC]

Amazon Renews Prime Credit Card Tie-Up 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 rewards credit card, ending months of heated negotiations. The Amazon Prime Rewards card was one of the industry’s most highly coveted co-brand deals, a rare prize because of the massive scope of Amazon’s loyalty program, with its estimated 150 million US members. American Express and Synchrony were among the issuers involved in discussions. Credit card deals with popular brands including Amazon, Costco and American Airlines have become some of the most hotly contested contracts in the financial world. That’s 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 aren’t entirely shut off from credit cards following the departure of Visa and Mastercard from Russia, but the country’s remaining options—including China UnionPay—are fraught with economic and political risk. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and about a dozen other US or European payment companies have pulled out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s other payment card options include its own Mir network, and the country’s sanctioned banks have reportedly reached out to China UnionPay to fill the gap left by the US-based networks. Russia’s hoping to find new payment options to offset a gross domestic product decline of 7% or more due to the sanctions. This is a larger decline than Russia experienced during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. [American Banker]

Powell: Digital Currencies Will Require New Regulations

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said new forms of digital money such as cryptocurrencies and stablecoins present 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 stabilize existing financial institutions. Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency usually tied to the dollar or a commodity such as gold. Central bank digital currencies are digital forms of dollars or other currencies, issued by governments. The Fed is researching digital dollars but has not yet made a decision on whether to issue one. [Associated Press]

How Mastercard is Marketing New Touch Card for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Mastercard is stepping up its inclusivity efforts with a new TV ad targeting blind and visually-impaired individuals. The commercial, which begins running on HGTV, introduces the company’s new Touch Card, a product that includes special notches to distinguish it by touch rather than by sight. For instance, credit cards have a squarish notch; debit cards have a rounded notch; and prepaid cards have a triangular notch. [Ad Age]

Capital One Strikes a Deal with MLB to Boost Cardholder Perks

Capital One signed a multiyear deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) that’s reportedly valued at $125 million and includes sponsorship opportunities and cardholder perks. Capital One took over the MLB’s bank 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 newly launched Capital One entertainment ticketing platform. They can also get exclusive tickets to MLB events like the World Series, which Capital One will sponsor, and will soon get discounts at 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 let the nation’s 109 million renters pay their landlords each month while earning points and miles. Wells is partnering with Bilt Rewards on a Mastercard that can be used to make payments on any rental property in the US without incurring transaction fees. Buildings that don’t accept credit card or digital payments will be sent 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, Google Cut Ties to Russia’s Mir Payment Cards

Apple and Alphabet’s Google are cutting ties between their digital-wallet services and Russia’s homegrown version of Visa and Mastercard called Mir. Apple is removing Mir cards as an option in Apple Pay. Mir is run by the National Payment Card System, known by its Russian initials NSPK. It is owned by Russia’s central bank. Users lost the ability to load new Mir cards into Apple Pay accounts. Apple is expected to delete existing Mir cards from the service in the coming days. Google, meanwhile, has paused a pilot plan to allow consumers to use Mir cards within Google Pay in Russia. [The Wall Street Journal]

Digital IDs Become More Critical as Online & Mobile Banking Dominate

Rampant online fraud underscores why banks, neobanks and fintechs all need to offer consumers better protection for their data and their money. Without action, consumers could lose confidence in digital banking and ecommerce, hindering marketing efforts and ultimately growth. Digital ID became an issue the first time a consumer transacted on an early banking website, but the pandemic boom and the corresponding reliance on mobile devices has injected huge urgency into solving this challenge. Much more than banking is involved, as nearly every human activity that doesn’t require physical proximity seems to have moved 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 couldn’t be used in the United States or redeemed online. So, in collaboration with Visa, he devised a global solution for converting airtime to cryptocurrency and essentially turning the SIM card into a debit card. He created an app called Fonbnk. The app allows its users to convert airtime to an ERC-20 (Fungible token run on Ethereum blockchain) stable coin called MIN. This token is pegged on the US dollar. The founder of Fonbnk realized that most telecommunication companies that offer prepaid airtime have some form of functionality that allows users to send and receive airtime for free. As a result of this functionality, most of these markets have developed a floating market for reselling airtime. [Forbes]

UK Litigator Launching Class-Action Lawsuit Over Visa, Mastercard Fees

A commercial litigator in the UK is filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of a large group of clients contesting multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) charged by Visa and Mastercard. Harcus Parker will bring the corporate card claim to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the UK’s specialist judicial body for hearing competition cases. The law firm, which specializes in group litigation, competition lawsuits and class-action claims, is seeking compensation on behalf of UK businesses that were charged MIFs for accepting payments using UK corporate credit cards and credit and debit cards from overseas visitors. [PYMNTS]


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