This Week In Credit Card News: Meta Lets Users Shop Amazon Without Leaving App; Holiday Spending May Decline

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Meta Lets Amazon Shoppers Buy Products on Facebook and Instagram without Leaving the Apps Meta doesn’t want you to leave its popular mobile apps when making that impulse Amazon purchase. The company debuted a new feature allowing users to link their Facebook and Instagram accounts to Amazon so they can buy goods by clicking on promotions in their feeds. Meta is looking for new ways to bolster ad revenue after Apple’s iOS privacy changes in 2021 made it more difficult for social media companies to target users. The update was a major blow to Meta’s business and, alongside a brutal digital ad market, pushed the stock down 64% last year. But following three straight quarters of revenue declines, the business has bounced back this year, lifting the stock by more than 160%. Meta has pointed to its hefty investments in artificial intelligence as a key technology that’s helped it land retailers looking to serve customers targeted promotions. [CNBC] Holiday Shopping May Decline This Year, But Who’s to Blame: Inflation or Declining In-Store Experiences? If all you’re planning to give for the holidays this season is some quality time, you may not be alone. According to a new survey, 17% of consumers polled are “optimistic” about their financial situation, while 60% have already begun to “cut back on giving gifts.” Additionally, 52% of respondents are planning not to exchange gifts with other adults, good news for the youngsters. And 63% of those surveyed are cutting back on holiday decor, including festive lights, while 58% said they’re planning to cut back on holiday cooking, bad news for many. [The Grio] Millennials Are Struggling with Credit Card Debt Credit card debt surged again during the third quarter and so did the number of people missing payments. Credit card balances rose by $48 billion in the third quarter to a record high of $1.08 trillion, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The $154 billion year-over-year gain in debt was the largest such increase since the beginning of the series in 1999. At the same time, the 90-day delinquency rate measure for credit cardholders increased to 5.78%, up from 3.69% a year earlier. While rising delinquencies spanned incomes and regions, they were particularly acute among millennials and those with auto or student loans. [Yahoo Finance] Hamas Financing Brings Regulator’s Attention to Cryptocurrency The deputy secretary of the Treasury and the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission both identified the “illicit financial use of digital assets” as a source of great concern, including as financing for Hamas. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said that cryptocurrencies are being used to finance Hamas and in a wide range of other illicit activity such as ransomware attacks. Adeyemo said Treasury will “take actions to go after that.” [Plan Adviser] 35% of Larger SMBs Use Corporate Credit Cards to Fund Growth Initiatives Whether it’s driving innovation or creating employment opportunities, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) play a vital role in the economy. However, one significant hurdle stands in their way: access to credit. SMBs are grappling with the challenge of securing the financing necessary to survive, a challenge further intensified in today’s uncertain macroeconomic landscape. Only 47% of SMBs with annual revenues of $10 million or less had access to business or personal financing as of July 2023, leaving them vulnerable to financial uncertainties. Corporate credit cards stand out as the preferred choice for 52% of SMBs searching for alternative financing, surpassing options like business loans from online lenders (22%) or working capital loans from banks (21%). [PYMNTS] Goldman Moves to Unload GM Credit Card Goldman Sachs plans to begin a process to unload its General Motors GM credit card program in another step away from its failed foray into consumer lending. The bank on Tuesday informed a group of employees within its Platform Solutions division, who work on the GM card, that a process to find a new issuer will begin soon, people familiar with the matter said. GM is expected to run the process. The credit card program is largely marketed toward people who buy and own General Motors cars. Goldman is also the issuer for the Apple credit card, which is much larger. [The Wall Street Journal] Citigroup to Pay $25.9 Million for Targeting Armenian-American Card Applicants Citigroup has agreed to pay $25.9 million to settle U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau charges it intentionally discriminated against credit card applicants who the bank identified as Armenian-American based on their last names. The regulator said on Wednesday that from 2015 to 2021, Citigroup managers trained employees to stereotype applicants suspected of being of Armenian descent because their last names ended in “ian” and “yan,” believing them likely to commit fraud. [Reuters] Affirm’s Debit Card Sees 75,000 Sign-Ups Per Month Affirm Holding’s fiscal first quarter results showed resilient consumer spending across a variety of channels and enthusiasm for the company’s debit card offering. Management noted that as many as 75,000 consumers a month have been signing up for the Affirm Card GMV debit card. The card gives consumers the option to pay for purchases over time or all at once. More than 400,000 cards were active at the end of September. [PYMNTS] United Airlines Tweaks Frequent Flyer Program to Reward Credit Card Spending United Airlines plans to make it easier for customers to earn elite status through co-branded Chase credit cards, the latest airline to tweak its lucrative frequent flyer program to reward big spenders. United said that in 2024, it will reward customers with 25 qualifying points for every $500 they spend on co-branded cards. Currently, customers get 500 points for every $12,000 spent. The carrier will also lift caps on credit card spending that can qualify toward elite status. Travelers need 5,000 qualifying points plus four flights to get to silver status, the lowest level, or have a combination of flights and points. [CNBC] Capital One Faces Lawsuit from Savers Left Behind Amid Rate Hikes Capital One Financial is being sued by savers who say they were tricked into thinking that they were earning the highest rate available from the company’s online banking arm. The plaintiffs in a lawsuit that seeks class-action status argue that the bank acted deceptively, dishonestly and unfairly by creating a new high-yield account rather than raising the rates it was paying on its longstanding “360 Savings” account. Existing 360 Savings customers who were seeking juicier yields in the current higher-rate environment would have needed to open a “360 Performance Savings” account, according to the lawsuit. [American Banker] American Express Business Checking Is Now Available to All U.S. Small Businesses American Express Business Checking is now available to all U.S. small businesses that meet certain requirements. Previously, Business Checking was only available to American Express cardholders. Most U.S. businesses are eligible, but nonprofits, money service businesses and enterprises that deal with cryptocurrency, internet gambling or marijuana do not qualify. Current and previous American Express Rewards Checking account holders are also not eligible to apply. [Forbes] Maximize Your Purchases with Bank of America’s More Rewards Day Promotion Bank of America is holding its second annual “More Rewards Day” event, offering eligible cardholders the opportunity to earn bonus rewards for their purchases, just in time for the holiday season. On November 9, 2023, all personal and small business cardholders will have the chance to earn 2% cash back (up to $50 maximum) or two points or two miles per $1 on the first $2,500 in eligible purchases. [CNBC]

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