Big Changes With In-App Payments; A Major Credit Card Move By Apple?

Google Loosens Its Strangehold on In-App Payments, Starting with Spotify

Google struck a landmark deal that will let Spotify offer its own in-app payment option alongside Google’s Android billing system, a move the search giant has resisted for years. While the change may seem minor, it could prove to be a major crack in the fortresses that Google—and Apple—have built around their massive mobile-app economies since laying the foundations for them more than a decade ago. The effect on consumers like you may be very small at first: A segment of Android users who want to subscribe to Spotify will be able to sign up more simply in its app and have a new choice in how to pay. But the change, if adopted more widely, would not only give you more control over how you pay for transactions in mobile apps. It also could disrupt dynamics that in some cases have made your in-app purchases more expensive and in other cases removed the option of an in-app purchase altogether. [CNet]

Apple’s Small Fintech Acquisition Could Proceed A Credit Card Takeover

Apple said it’s acquiring UK fintech Credit Kudos in what could be its first step toward an attempted takeover of the international consumer credit market. Credit Kudos is a less than three-year-old London-based fintech specializing in credit checks. The company, which Apple paid $150 million for, could give Apple Card a path to the UK thanks to its business model that, well, thinks different. Credit Kudos rivals Big Credit by performing credit checks on someone’s current finances rather than their financial past, allowing the approval of credit-worthy applicants who slip through the cracks of legacy companies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Not only could Apple use the company’s tech to enhance Apple Card‌’s credit checker in the US, it could also serve as a stepping stone to Apple establishing itself as a provider of financial products in Britain. [The Motley Fool]

The 5 Best Travel Perks You Can Get with Your Credit Card

Travel is back and so are some of the things we didn’t miss during the pandemic: the mosh pit at the boarding gate; snail-paced security lines and those irritating luggage fees. One escape route from that unpleasantness may lie in the travel credit card you use to book your trip. Cards with the richest benefits carry hefty annual fees ($400 or more on the priciest options) but with access to airline clubs and hotel upgrades, you could earn that back after a few trips. Here, some of the better ways you can put your plastic to work while on the road. [The Wall Street Journal]

Most Medical Debt Will Not Appear on Your Credit Report if It’s Been Paid Off

Three of the country’s largest credit reporting agencies are removing nearly 70% of medical debt from consumer credit reports. Starting July 1, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will no longer include medical debt that went to collections on consumer credit reports once it has been paid off. That will eliminate billions of dollars of debt on consumer records. In addition, unpaid medical collection debt won’t appear on credit reports for the first year, whereas the previous grace period was six months. That will give people more time to work with their health insurers or providers to address the bills. [CNN]

Newsom Offers $400 Debit Cards for Car Owners as Gas Spikes, But GOP Rejects ‘Band-Aid’

Vehicle owners in California would receive $400 debit cards from the state under a proposal unveiled Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom in an effort to provide relief from skyrocketing gas prices. Under Newsom’s proposal, Californians would receive a $400 debit for each registered vehicle they own, with a limit of two. According to the governor’s office, the average motorist pays about $300 in gasoline excise taxes each year. The rebate program will cost a total of $9 billion. [Times of San Diego]

Robinhood Ups Fintech Competition with New Debit Card Launch

Robinhood launched a new debit card that would allow spare change investing as it looks to expand beyond trading and into more consumer finance verticals, heating up competition with fintech giants Chime and PayPal. With the new cash card, users could choose to round up their change to the nearest dollar and invest it in assets of their choice. The company, known as a pioneer of commission-free trading, would also reward users of this feature with a weekly bonus. The card is being offered by Robinhood Money, a new subsidiary of the online brokerage. [Reuters]

This Rewards Card Offers 5% Rewards on Climate-Friendly Spending

There’s a new card available that rewards cardholders for climate-friendly spending. If you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, this may be a good rewards card option to consider. When you use the FutureCard Visa Card to make climate-friendly purchases, you’ll earn 5% back in rewards. Other purchases made with your card will earn 1% in rewards. Trains, buses, subway, metro, light rail, and commuter rail purchases; online marketplaces for gently-used clothing and thrift stores; electric vehicle charging; bike shops; electric scooters, mopeds, and bike shares; plant-based meat, dairy, and egg products. It’s worth noting that rewards earned at a rate higher than 1% are capped at $25,000 in spending per calendar year. [The Motley Fool]

Bank of America Offers New Credit Card with Digital Resources for Small Businesses

Bank of America announced new secured credit options to help small businesses including a credit card and credit line, as well as new digital resources. The bank launched its Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card, Business Advantage Secured Credit Line and the Start a Business Center, its latest products and resources for entrepreneurs looking to start a small business or build their business’ credit history. The new credit card has no annual fee, and some of its benefits include a client-determined credit line from $1,000 to $10,000; 1.5% cashback on all purchases, with no annual rewards earn cap and Preferred Rewards for Business eligibility. The products all come with no fee to join or participate. [GO Banking Rates]

The United Club Infinite Card is Offering a 120,000-Mile Bonus for a Limited Time

One of the best airline credit cards has just increased the value of its sign-up bonus by 50%. The United Club Infinite Card now comes with 120,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s 40,000 points more than its previous offer of 80,000 miles after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening. Insider estimates United miles value to be 1.3 cents, on average. That makes this new bonus worth $1,560, $520 more valuable than the previous offer. [Business Insider]

Credit Card Churning: Which Bonuses Can I Earn Multiple Times?

Here’s something you may not know: it’s possible to earn the signup bonus on some rewards credit cards more than once. Each card issuer offers its own rules to govern the process, but you can rack up many of the same bonuses over and over again if you give it enough time. Keep in mind that we don’t suggest “churning cards” (signing up for new offers just to earn the signup bonus). But if you’ve had a card once in the past and think you might be willing to try its benefits again, some cards will give you another shot. [The Simple Dollar]

Capital One Scores Again with Kohl’s Private Label Credit Cards

It takes a lot to keep a private label credit card relationship going these days. Bank margins are under more pressure than ever, and retail partners face a changing environment. Just within the past year, we’ve seen Walgreens enter embedded payments with a link to Synchrony, American Express souping up its decades-long relationship with Delta Airlines, Barclaycard replacing Synchrony with the Gap PLCC and a new branded card, and Citi bringing the Exxon Mobile Smart Card+ at a time where gas prices are at a peak. And, don’t forget Capital One, which won the Walmart business from incumbent Synchrony, and now serves the top US retailer. Today’s news is about another Capital One win with Kohl’s. [Payments Journal]

CFPB’s Overdraft Fee Research Refuted by CBA President: ‘Not Backed by Reality’

The president of the Consumer Bankers Association accused the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of making “unsubstantiated claims” about overdraft fees after the federal agency released research on how much banks have relied on such charges over the last six years. The CFPB’s research found that revenue from overdraft fees and non-sufficient funds in 2019 was estimated at $15.47 billion, and the agency’s director said that banks have become reliant on such fees “to feed their profit model” rather than focus on customer service. [Fox Business]

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