This Week In Credit Card News: Harriet Tubman Card Draws Backlash; Will Issuers Now Identify You By Your Walk?

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Mastercard Is Pioneering New Payment Technology That Identifies Commuters By The Way They Walk Commuters may soon be able to ditch their bus pass and access public transport with technology identifying them by the way they walk. Mastercard is working with transport firms to develop a new system that would authenticate passengers by their gait. The company said everyone has a unique walk, and it is investigating innovative behavioral biometrics such as gait, face, heartbeat and veins for cutting edge payment systems of the future. [ MarketWatch ]
Will commuters now be identified and be able to pay for their morning commute by the way they walk?
Getty Harriet Tubman Visa Debit Card Draws Backlash
A OneUnited Bank limited edition Visa debit card depicting Harriet Tubman has come under fire online from critics who say the design is in poor taste. At the center of the controversy are Tubman's arms, which are crossed over her chest with her hands balled into fists. The gesture, to some, resembled the popular salute from Marvel's "Black Panther." OneUnited, which calls itself the nation's largest black-owned bank, was quickly accused of using the historical figure to pander to African-American customers, during Black History Month. [ Fox News ]
Half Of U.S. Adults Have Unused Gift Cards Or Store Credits
According to a new survey from Bankrate , 50% of U.S. adults currently have unused gift cards or store credits. This equates to an average of $167 per person in unredeemed funds. One in four adults have let a gift card expire in the past, and 22% have lost a gift card. Over half (57%) of respondents said they have held onto a card for over a year. [ ]
Tech Startup Chime Gives Users Paychecks Early. It Wants Their Savings Too
In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are making big bets that the future of banking is digital, doesn't have fees, offers a relatively high savings rate, and might not technically be a bank at all. Chime is part of a fast-growing class of well-funded financial technology startups offering debit cards, checking accounts and other financial services. Today, Chime has 8 million accounts, the company said, about half of which use the company for direct deposits. In 2018, the company had only about 1 million people signed up. Chime announced a new 1.6% interest rate on savings accounts, which compares with most large bank's rates of well under 1%. [ Bloomberg News ]
Capital One To Open Its First Airport Lounge Next Year
Capital One is poised to open its first-ever foray into the airport lounge arena at Washington's Dulles Airport in 2021. It's been reported by the Washington Business Journal that the lounge will measure 9,100 square feet and will be located just after security. It's reportedly going to be operated by TAV America Operations Services Inc., the same group that operates the Turkish Airlines lounge at Dulles. Rumored amenities include dining, premium alcoholic beverages, a gym, work areas, showers and spa services. Families will be thrilled to hear that a kids' room may be in the works, too. [ The Points Guy ]
Coinbase Becomes First 'Pure' Crypto Firm Approved As Visa Principal Member
Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, has been made a Visa principal member. The firm said the news marks it as the "first pure-play crypto company" to be approved by the credit card giant. The debit card allows users to spend cryptocurrency as cash anywhere Visa is accepted. The card has since been made available in 29 markets with 10 cryptocurrencies supported. Principal members of Visa are financial institutions authorized to issue some types of payment cards. In theory, Coinbase could issue cards to other crypto companies, though it's not clear if it plans to use that power immediately. [ Coindesk ]
Biometrics Invade Banking And Retail
Banks have been quietly rolling out biometrics to identify customers—verifying them by their fingerprint, voice or eye scan—and retailers like Amazon are getting into the game. These companies are amassing giant databases of our most personal information, including our gait, how we hold our cellphones, our typing patterns, and this raises questions about data security and privacy. Amazon wants consumers to be able to pay for items in physical stores by waving their palm in front of a payment terminal. Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo have introduced various biometric ID options, including voice, fingerprint, eye or facial recognition. Mastercard and Visa are rolling out payment cards with embedded fingerprint ID. [ Axios ]
Can The Coronavirus Spread Through Cash Exchanges Or Live On Credit Cards?
Sometimes it's hard to avoid surfaces and objects that other people have touched, which is a common way for bacteria to travel. Numerous studies have shown that ATMs, credit cards and those payment tablets popping up in restaurants are rife with all sorts of illness-causing germs. Plus, despite the rise of digital wallets, millions of...