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Posted: Nov 9, 2017
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A recent CNN Money article, Millennials Aren’t Opening Credit Cards. That’s a Mistake, caught my eye.   While the article does talk about the benefits for Millennials to open a credit card such as building a credit score, earning rewards, and fraud protection, it also mentions that the Card Act made it harder for Millennials to open credit cards.  The Card Act didn’t make it harder for Millennials (or other generations) to open credit cards, issuers did by their interpretation of the Card Act requirement of “proof of ability to pay”. 

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Posted: Nov 3, 2017
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Author: Lou Grilli

Another way Credit Unions can keep members happy, reduce declines, and keep cards top-of-wallet.

The ability for an issuer to approve a “Partial Authorization” has been available since 2005, yet most issuers and merchants still don’t take advantage of it. As a result, transactions on debit, prepaid, and gift cards frequently get declined, resulting in frustrated cardholders, and lost sales. 

Simply put, a Partial Authorization occurs when an authorization request for a card presented to a merchant is attempted for the full amount of the transaction and, if there are not enough funds in the debit or prepaid or gift account available to cover the full amount, the authorization is approved for the amount available. This allows the cardholder to use the available amount in the account, and for the merchant to obtain an additional form of payment for the difference. For non-reloadable gift Cards, the issuers will also return a card balance which will be printed on the receipt. Partial Authorization keeps transactions alive without the merchant telling a customer it has been declined and allows the cardholder to pay the remaining amount with another form of payment.

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Posted: Oct 19, 2017
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What credit unions need to be on the look out for

The recent breach of Equifax accounts represented something far worse than breaches of card data (such as name, card number, expiry, and in some cases addresses) as has happened at Home Depot, Target, Chipotle, Arby’s, Michael’s and several other brick and mortar and online locations. In this case, much more than card data was compromised.  The data stored at Equifax includes social security numbers, account history, drivers’ license numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, birthdates, history of previous addresses and employers – all the information that is used to verify new banking customers or to reset lost passwords.

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Posted: Oct 11, 2017
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Author: Lou Grilli

Should Credit Unions Renew?

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on CU Insight and has been modified.]

It’s hard to believe that three years has passed since Apple surprised the mobile payments world by stating that iPhone 6 users can make payments with the touch of a finger, beginning on October 20, 2014. About 500 credit unions and banks were among the initial issuers who agreed to a three-year term to participate, meaning their contracts are coming up for renewal. Many financial institutions signed on shortly thereafter. According to PYMNTS.com, the terms of the contract required the issuers to give up to Apple a half penny for every debit transaction or 0.15 percent of every credit transaction conducted through Apple Pay. These fees were over and above charges already assessed by the card networks and the processors. But those financial institutions, mostly larger or forward thinking credit unions and banks, wanted to be on the forefront of what was highly touted to be the evolution to the long-awaited “year of the mobile payments.”

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Posted: Oct 5, 2017
Categories: Credit Cards, Marketing
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Philadelphia’s American Heritage FCU offers a parachute to members in need

When it comes to the record growth of consumer debt, many questions come to mind. What do we know? What can history teach us? What should a credit union do to keep their members safe? According to Federal Reserve data, total U.S. credit card debt has reached $1 trillion, surpassing a previous mark set in April of 2008 just before the Great Recession. For households that carry credit card debt, the average amount per household is now $9,600, which equals 17 percent of an average U.S. household income. The average interest rate on a credit card is 16 percent, and about 24 percent for those with subpar credit, that debt grows between $1,600 and $2,300 each year. Yet, despite growing household debt at potentially increasing interest rates, most Americans appear to be optimistic about the future due to the stable economy and low unemployment. Unfortunately, all it takes is one major set-back in the way of a job loss or major medical situation to turn the tide and create problems for consumers with high credit card debt.
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