Columbia Care Launches First Credit Card for the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is now legal for medical use in 33 states and for recreational use in 10 states. However, the use and distribution of marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Major credit card issuers like Mastercard and Visa are hesitant about entering the cannabis industry until federal laws change. As a result, many dispensaries are unable to process credit card payments for their products. Columbia Care, a multi-state operator for medical marijuana, is launching the first credit card for the cannabis industry. Consumers who used the CNC Card had an 18% increase in basket size for in-store purchases. [LowCards.com]

Visa and Mastercard have been hesitant to enter the cannabis industry because of federal laws.

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Amazon Launches a Credit Card for the ‘Underbanked’ with Bad Credit

Amazon is finding a way to get its rewards credit card in the hands of more people. The e-commerce giant partnered with Synchrony Financial to launch Amazon Credit Builder, a program that lends to shoppers with no credit history or bad credit, who would otherwise be exempt from Amazon’s loyalty cards. The card has the same perks, like 5% cash back on purchases, that come with the popular Amazon Store card. These rewards cards incentivize shoppers to use Amazon instead of an alternative and helps drive loyalty within its customer base. [CNBC]

Sallie Mae is Expanding from Student Loans to Credit Cards

Sallie Mae, the student loan provider once sponsored by the government, is expanding into credit cards. The company unveiled a suite of three credit cards aimed at college students, recent graduates and young professionals. Its new cards offer rewards for responsible financial behavior. They come 18 months after the company introduced personal loans. But some consumer advocates warn that these young adults shouldn’t mix their student loans with credit cards. [USA Today]

Mastercard Braces for Retail’s AI-Fueled Future

The rise of cashless and cardless retail transactions suggests consumers are growing comfortable with paying for products from accounts linked to portable devices. How quickly these commerce modalities go mainstream is an open question, but Mastercard is leaving nothing to chance. The company is preparing for digital commerce ruled by recommendation systems fueled by machine learning systems, and war-gaming for the arrival of 5G, as well as the proliferation of the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. [CIO]

Visa Aims to Expand Beyond Cards with Launch of B2B Connect

Visa announced the launch of its B2B Connect platform, part of the payments giant’s efforts to move beyond card-based transactions. The company is trying to get a piece of the lucrative market for commercial cross-border transactions, which Visa estimates could add about $12.5 trillion to its addressable opportunity. B2B Connect will look to offer businesses an advantage in speed, with a goal of completing the funds transfer on the transaction day or the day after. In many cases, high-value cross-border transfers take three to five days using alternative methods. [MarketWatch]

Publix Poised To Take Mobile Payments Via Its iPhone App

If there’s one place that mobile payments can really make an impact, it’s big-box retail, especially groceries. It’s now possible to turn your phone into a checkout stand, using mobile payments systems to pay for your groceries without having to wait in a line for one of a few manned checkout stations or the self-checkout systems. Publix is rolling out a new mobile payments system gradually to all its stores. [Payment Week]

Most US Mobile Banking Apps Have Security and Privacy Flaws, Researchers Say

You might figure the biggest U.S. banks would have some of the most secure mobile apps. New findings from security firm Zimperium say most of the top banking apps have security flaws that put user data at risk. The researchers found most of the apps had issues, like failing to adhere to best coding practices and using old open-source libraries that are infrequently updated. [Tech Crunch]

Chase Launches Student Credit Card in Branches Only

Chase has launched Chase Freedom Student, a credit card designed for those still in school. Students can now apply for the card, but only at a Chase branch. The Chase Freedom Student card is aimed at providing young adults with tools and information that can guide them on a strong path to financial health and independent credit building. [NerdWallet]

You’re Eating about a Credit Card’s Worth of Plastic Every Week

Plastic trash is everywhere. Now we know it’s in us, too. You’re eating, swallowing or breathing in about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic each week, a new study suggests, an amount equal to the weight of one credit card. This plastic contamination comes from microplastics, particles smaller than five millimeters which are making their way into our food, drinking water and even the air. [USA Today]

Places Where People Are Most Likely to Have 5-Figure Credit Card Balances

About 1 in 6 credit cardholders in America’s biggest cities carry a balance of $10,000 or more, according to a new report from CompareCards. Most of the cities with the biggest percentages of people with five-figure credit card debt are clustered along the East Coast and West Coast. Often, it is the wealthiest cities that carry the biggest credit card balances. [CompareCards.com]

Six European Mobile Wallets to Use Alipay’s QR Format

Alipay has partnered with six mobile wallets in Europe to promote the easy use of QR code-based digital payments for travelers both on the Continent and from China. The mobile wallets are working towards adopting a unified QR code based on Alipay technology. Once the rollout is complete, users of the six participating European digital wallets will be able to make QR code-based payments with their home apps at local merchants in 10 European countries where those apps are accepted. For merchants, it means accepting payments not only from users of their home-market apps but from those of the six other partners as well. [Alizila]

Two New Tools Can Help You Achieve a Good Credit Score

The rules for achieving a decent credit score haven’t changed much since credit scoring was invented: Pay all your bills on time, don’t use too much of your available credit and build a long history of responsible behavior. But credit novices and those looking to rebuild after missteps now have two new tools they can use: Experian Boost and UltraFICO. Both reward good financial habits that go unrecognized by current credit scoring models. [USA Today]

Provided by LowCards.com

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