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Cart abandonment is surprisingly high; FTX collapse could lead to crypto regulation

by Ana Lopez
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Six out of ten consumers stop buying online out of sheer frustration

Abandoned shopping cart? It’s so much worse than you think. A survey by Storyblok of 6,000 consumers in the US and Europe found that 60% of consumers abandon purchases because of a poor user experience. The report concludes that this will cost e-commerce companies an average of five purchases per year per consumer. It says 8% of consumers are forgoing more than 10 purchases. When asked about the top reasons for giving up, 37% of consumers said limited payment options, 37% cited poor navigation or layout, and 33% pointed to slow loading times. [Mobile Marketing]

Of the six proposals to regulate cryptocurrency, one is superior

In the wake of billions of losses investors suffered from the failure of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and other crypto collapses, regulating cryptocurrencies is a hot topic the new congress needs to address. Competing proposals to consider range from banning cryptocurrencies completely, to giving them government backing, to suffocating them with regulatory bureaucracy, to letting them fail or succeed all on their own. Some are urging that cryptocurrencies simply be banned. [The Hill]

Credit Card Debt Pressure Millennial, Gen Z Paycheck-to-Paycheck Borrowers

Credit card debt is harder for younger consumers to cope amid the pressures of living paycheck to paycheck. To that end, the Urban Institute reported that nearly one in five adults ages 18 to 24 with a credit record in the U.S. is currently in debt in collections. In addition, according to the Institute, young adults are particularly vulnerable to credit card, car loans and retail delinquencies compared to older adults. While 5% of millennials and 4.5% of Gen Z consumers have credit card debt more than 60 days past due, only 3.5% of Gen X borrowers and 1.8% of boomers are behind on credit card debt. such payments. [PYMNTS]

Middle-class households use credit cards to close the income gap

Inflation and the higher cost of living are taking a toll on middle class finances, with many people resorting to credit cards to meet shortfalls in income. According to a quarterly survey by Primerica, more than half of middle-income Americans (75%) said their income lags behind the cost of living. And 37% reported taking on more credit card debt, the highest rate since Primerica began tracking the data. In addition, 21% of respondents said they make only the minimum payment of their balance each month, marking another all-time high in the survey’s history. [Fox Business]

US retail sales grow 7.6% during the holiday season

U.S. retail sales rose 7.6% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, spanning most of the holiday season, as steep discounts lured savvy consumers, a Mastercard report found. The increase is higher than the 7.1% growth Mastercard predicted in September when it expected consumers to pull purchases into October in the hunt for early deals. However, holiday retail sales growth this year is less than last year’s 8.5% increase, as decades of high inflation, rising interest rates and the threat of a recession have made consumers cautious. Retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, offered deep discounts during the holiday season to get rid of excess inventory and bring stocks back to normal levels. [Reuters]

FTC orders Mastercard to open debit transactions to competing payment networks

The Federal Trade Commission has instructed Mastercard to provide competing payment networks with the information they need to process debit card payments. In a proposed enforcement action, the FTC said Mastercard allegedly violated a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act known as the Durbin Amendment by prohibiting merchants from routing transactions through alternate networks. The action is aimed at “tokenization”, the technology that underpins mobile payment applications such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. According to the FTC, Mastercard has historically denied competing networks access to its token vault. That means that when consumers decided to pay with a mobile wallet, merchants had to route the transactions through Mastercard or Visa and pay the company’s transaction fees, which are typically higher than its competitors. [Engadget]

SELF Launches Anonymous Visa Debit Card with Crypto Recharge

US fintech company SELF has launched an anonymous Visa debit card that can be used at any of the 80 million Visa locations worldwide. ZELF’s latest initiative allows users to open a US dollar checking account with just their name, email address and phone number, eliminating the need to provide documentation such as a social security number and proof of address. According to the fintech company, potential customers can open a payment account within 30 seconds and have an anonymous virtual debit card that works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. SELF’s partnership with Visa aims to prioritize privacy and security for users when it comes to transactions involving crypto. [Coin Telegraph]

How to make holiday returns with Buy Now, Pay Later

Shoppers who used to use “Buy Now, Pay Later” to fund gifts during the holiday season may soon be in for a nasty surprise: Returns can be more challenging than buying in-store with cash or a credit card. According to a September 2022 report from the CFPB, returns and disputes are a common concern of buy now, pay later users, and dispute resolution is the number one buy now, pay later complaint in the CFPB’s complaint database. But seamless returns with buy now, pay later is not impossible if you know the process in advance. [Associated Press]

What to do with gift cards you don’t want

Most of us have that one family member or friend whose go-to gift every Christmas is a gift card. While they can sometimes seem like artifacts from past holidays, gift cards can still make great gifts, but what do you do with gift cards you won’t use? Instead of storing coupons that you know you won’t use but can’t just throw away, here are a few ways to put them to good use this holiday season. [Deseret News]

Don’t let the lifestyle benefits of Amex Platinum distract you from the true value

Did you know that the American Express Platinum Card comes with up to $6,099 in annual statement credits? With that knowledge, the $695 annual fee for the card doesn’t sound too bad. At least, that’s how the card is marketed. The Amex Platinum is crammed with so many obscure perks and credits that it’s technically possible to extract many thousands of dollars in value from its perks each year, though it’s virtually impossible for most of us to do so. Let’s eliminate the distracting benefits of this card and see what the Amex Platinum is worth to the average customer. [Business Insider]

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