Consumers are flocking to mobile payment apps, crypto and contactless payments

Mobile payment apps and cryptocurrency are gaining popularity

A growing number of consumers are using mobile payment apps and owning cryptocurrencies. Adoption and use of mobile payment apps are increasing, according to a new survey. Only 14% of respondents said they had not used a mobile payment app in the past year. PayPal was the most popular payment app, with 72% of respondents saying they had used it in the past year, against Cash App (32%), Venmo (26%), Google Pay (21%), Zelle (20%). , and Apple Pay (19%). The study also looked at cryptocurrency trends, finding that more than a third of respondents aged 18-54 own cryptocurrency, with those aged 18-34 most likely to own it. (37%), and people aged 35-54 (33%) trailing only slightly. Additionally, 67% of those who own cryptocurrency would consider using it for purchases if it was linked to a mobile wallet. [Chain Store Age]

Contactless payments win over credit cards

Credit cards may be consumers’ preferred means of payment, but contactless methods are waiting in the wings. A new study shows that while 42% of people surveyed said they preferred making credit card transactions, 36% said they preferred contactless options. These preferences and require merchants to change the payment options they offer, with more than three-quarters of merchants saying they offer contactless payments. Mobile wallets were the most common offerings (63%), followed by contactless card payments (44%) and QR codes (25%). The report also revealed that consumers make 37% of their monthly purchases online. This is reflected in what retailers are seeing, as they report that they now make 58% of their total sales through online channels. [PYMNTS]

CFPB suggests credit card giants may not be playing fair

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating whether the biggest credit card issuers are engaging in unfair or anti-competitive practices given that eight companies control 70% of the market. The CFPB said in a blog post on Wednesday that it was looking for ways to make it easier for consumers to compare, switch or refinance credit cards. Consumers paid about $120 billion a year in credit card interest and fees from 2018 to 2020, or about $1,000 a year per household, the CFPB said. [American Banker]

Google Pay’s new focus is becoming a full-featured digital wallet

In October, Google Pay canceled plans for “Plex” bank accounts with an accompanying card. According to Bloomberg, Google has shared that Pay will now focus on transforming into a full digital wallet. Google now wants to “become the connective tissue of the entire consumer credit industry”. This will involve various partnerships, including with Coinbase and BitPay to “store crypto assets in digital cards.” You can already add a Coinbase card to Google Pay. The company hasn’t announced any plans to accept crypto for transactions using Google Pay (often found on websites and mobile apps), but is leaving that on the table for the future. [9 to 5 Google]

Chase announces changes to its Freedom cards

Chase’s popular line of cash back credit cards, the Chase unlimited freedom and the Chase Freedom Flex, get a makeover. The most notable changes include the removal of grocery spending rewards with both cards and a 1.5% increase in bonus categories for Freedom Unlimited in year one, which also removes the cash portion of its bonus. welcome. Chase joins the ranks of many card issuers who continue to adapt their offerings to the ever-changing consumer spending in recent years. So far, it looks like the changes to these cashback cards will benefit those who spend more on qualifying travel, dining and delivery services. [Bankrate]

Southwest Airlines launches interest-free BNPL solution in partnership with Uplift

BNPL Solution Serving Travel Brands Uplift announced its partnership with Southwest Airlines for interest-free travel to the Hawaiian Islands. The new agreement allows customers to book a flight with Southwest Airlines to Hawaii through January 24, 2022 using interest-free payment options provided by Uplift. Customers can choose from various flights from the domestic United States through the end of August 2022 and can even fly to their preferred destination before paying the full cost of the airfare. Southwest Airlines’ interest-free promotion is available for purchases over $49 for three or six installments, with no late fees or prepayment penalties. Uplift currently has partnerships with over 200 airlines worldwide, cruise lines, resorts and other travel brands to offer BNPL payment options for people wishing to book vacations. [Paypers]

Chase to launch co-branded Instacart credit card

As of June 2020, Chase and Instacart have partnered to provide benefits for Chase cardholders, including free Instacart Express membership and discounts. On Wednesday, the bank and food delivery service announced they would launch an Instacart co-branded credit card. The Instacart Mastercard credit card will be the first co-branded card offered by a food delivery service. The card will give consumers the opportunity to earn accelerated points on Instacart purchases and will offer several other perks, benefits and savings. [CNBC]

UK regulator fines Mastercard and others for prepaid card cartel

Britain’s payments regulator on Tuesday fined five payment companies, including Mastercard, a total of 33 million pounds ($45 million) for cartel behavior involving prepaid cards issued to vulnerable people on welfare benefits. The payment systems regulator said the firms breached competition law by agreeing not to compete or poach each other’s customers on prepaid cards offered by local authorities to distribute social benefits to vulnerable people. The cartel meant that recipients of the cards – which included homeless people, victims of domestic violence and asylum seekers – could have missed cheaper or better products. [Reuters]

Mastercard Reaches NFT Payments Deal With Coinbase Amid Flurry Of Recent Crypto Partnerships

Mastercard said it has signed a deal with Coinbase, the latest in a recent wave of partnerships between the payment and cryptocurrency giants. Coinbase customers will be able to use Mastercard credit and debit cards to make purchases on the crypto exchange’s upcoming NFT market. Coinbase late last year unveiled plans to launch the non-fungible token minting and buying platform, which has skyrocketed in popularity over the past 12 months. By partnering with Mastercard, Coinbase executives said they seek to reduce friction in the NFT purchase process. Currently, this often requires customers to open a crypto wallet, purchase digital currencies, and then spend them on NFTs in an online marketplace. [CNBC]

BJ’s wholesale club to move credit cards to Capital One, dealing a blow to ADS

Alliance Data Systems is losing one of its biggest credit card accounts: BJ’s Wholesale Club. Members-only wholesale club transfers its co-branded credit cards to Capital One. This decision is a blow for ADS, which specializes in in-store credit cards. BJ’s is among its most popular credit card partnerships, representing approximately $1.5 billion in balances. BJ’s sued ADS in Massachusetts Superior Court on Tuesday, claiming the company was slowing down the process of transferring existing card accounts. [The Wall Street Journal]

Traders ask US regulators to review swipe fees

The Merchants Payments Coalition has sent a letter to US antitrust regulators to review swipe fees charged by major US credit card companies after Amazon threatened to ban UK-issued Visa cards and sequentially reversed the decision. Visa and Mastercard account for nearly 80% of the U.S. credit card market, and swipe fees for Visa and Mastercard credit cards combined totaled $61.6 billion in 2020, up 137% over the last decade, according to the Nilson report. MPC also writes that processing fees for all card types and brands have increased 70% over the past 10 years to $110.3 billion in 2020. []

Capital One adds new travel benefits to 3 of its credit cards

Capital One is strengthening the link between its credit card products and travel. The issuer announced that it was adding both exclusive activities and a discount for cardholders to use with the Gravity Haus social club. New two-year partnership gives Capital One Venture X, Capital One Venture and Capital One VentureOne credit cardholders $300 off an annual subscription to Gravity Haus, plus exclusive access to adventure experiences outside. [CNN]