All-in-one credit cards

The use of mobile wallets is steadily increasing throughout the world. They offer the convenience of touch and go payments, simplify quick purchases using mobile phone apps and remove the need to carry a great deal of cards in your purse or wallet. Mobile wallets consist of a mobile app that has been uploaded with your set of credit, debit and reward card details. The system can include an accompanying physical credit card that can be presented for purchases as a normal credit card but can function at any chosen time as one of your credit cards. Online payments will not change, and still require the provision of primary account numbers and CCVs.

Mastercard expanded BIN series

Mastercard® has announced that they have received an additional range of 2-series BINs to add to the 5-series they currently issue. The 2-series BINs operate in the same way as the 5-series and we have made changes to our systems to accommodate the new numbers. Readiness for the 2-series across Mastercard issuers, merchants and other partners is scheduled on target dates. Mastercard customer financial institutions can expect to be issued 2-series BINs starting in 2017.

Credit and debit card fraud Statistics

Global Credit card and debit card fraud resulted in losses totaling to $21.84 billion in 2015. Card issuers incurred 72% of those losses, while merchants suffered 28% of the total loses. The breakdown of the transactions are as follows:

  • Card issuer losses occur mainly at the point of sale from counterfeit cards
  • Merchant losses occur mainly on card not present (CNP) when customers buy online or pick up in a store.

(Source: Nilson Report, October 2016)

Cardholders impacted by fraud % - by country

Country Cardholders Affected (Overall) Change% 2014-2016
Mexico 56 23
Brazil 49 19
USA 47 6
Australia 46 9
India 37 -4
Singapore 36 8
Canada 35 14
South Africa 33 3
France 29 3
UK 29 1
Italy 27 7
Dubai 27 -17
Spain 26 N/A
Indonesia 26 4
Thailand 23 N/A
New Zealand 20 3
Germany 18 2
Sweden 14 4
Netherlands 14 1
Hungary 9 N/A

A direct comparison between the countries is not particularly insightful because of multiple factors that differ between the countries. However, the % of cardholders affected for most countries is surprisingly high and is indicative of the frequency of credit card fraud.

Cryptocurrency investment and debit cards

Bitcoin, Ripple, Iota and over 1000 other cryptocurrencies are currently the focus of huge investment interest. Prices for these cryptocurrencies have increased hugely over recent months as investors speculate with billions of dollars on values increasing.

Cryptocurrencies offer a payment system that is distinct from national currencies (fiat currencies) like the US dollar, the Euro or the Chinese Renminbi.

There are several features of cryptocurrencies as payment systems that are creating great interest. To summarise here, some prominent features include:

  • highly secure integrity of transaction recording using cryptography - computer encoding methods using peer to peer blockchain technology
  • potential for easy use of purchasing power without currency exchange and across international borders
  • potential to carry out transactions anonymously
  • currently independent of government regulation regarding currency issuance, transaction processing and verification

There are many other features that are peculiar to particular cryptocurrencies, which requires extensive examination to fully appreciate. But as a payment system cryptocurrencies appear to have some features in common with credit cards and debit cards.

Several cryptocurrencies have released cryptocurrency debit cards. These cards record your cryptocurrency account balance or digital wallet balance. Transactions using these cards operate in the same way as conventional debit cards, and can also include conventional currency transactions using national currencies like the US dollar.

When a purchase is made using the cryptocurrency debit cad, the Bitcoins, Litecoins, XRPs or other cryptocurrencies are converted to fiat currency at a rate dependent upon the current price for each coin.

These debit cards still require a BIN number and will be recorded on the BIN list. VISA have already issued debit cards with crypto-purchase capacity.

It is unclear to what extent cryptocurrencies will feature in payment systems in the future. Their appeal as an investment option is quite apparent. Their investment potential is clearly affected by the dramatic fluctuations in the market and is quite similar to share prices on stock market exchanges around the world.

Cryptocurrencies are currently available through debit cards and the amalgamation of these technologies will provide added convenience for many customers.