Cart Abandonment Is Suprisingly High; FTX Collapse May Led To Crypto Regulation

Six in ten consumers abandon online shopping out of sheer frustration

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

Among six proposals to regulate cryptocurrencies, one is superior

In the wake of billion-dollar losses suffered by investors from the failure of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and other cryptocurrency crashes, how to regulate cryptocurrencies is a hot topic for the new Congress to address. Competing proposals for you to consider range from outright banning cryptocurrencies to giving them government backing, suffocating them with regulatory red tape, and letting them fail or succeed on their own. Some urge that crypto be simply banned. [The Hill]

Credit card debt puts pressure on millennial borrowers, Gen Z Paycheck-to-Paycheck

credit card debt it’s harder for younger consumers to navigate 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 history in the US currently have debt in collection. In addition, according to the Institute, young adults are particularly vulnerable to delinquencies on credit cards, auto loans, and retail 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 the 1.8% of boomers are behind on payments like that. [PYMNTS]

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

Inflation and the higher cost of living are taking a toll on the finances of middle-class households, and many people are turning to credit cards to make up for shortfalls in income. More than half of middle-income Americans (75%) say their income is falling below the cost of living, according to a Primerica quarterly survey. And 37% reported taking on more credit card debt, the highest rate since Primerica began tracking the data. Additionally, 21% of those surveyed said they only make the minimum payment on their balance each month, another record in the survey’s history. [Fox Business]

US retail sales grow 7.6% in the holiday season

US retail sales rose 7.6% between November 1 and December 24, spanning most of the holiday season, as deep discounts lured bargain-hungry consumers, it showed a Mastercard report. The increase is higher than the 7.1% growth Mastercard had forecast in September, when it anticipated consumers would shop through October for early deals. However, this year’s holiday retail sales growth is less than last year’s 8.5% increase, as decades-high inflation, rising interest rates and the threat of recession returned to cautious consumers. Retailers including Amazon and Walmart have offered deep discounts over the holiday season to get rid of excess stock and bring inventories back to normal levels. [Reuters]

FTC orders Mastercard to open debit transactions to competing payment networks

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Mastercard to start providing competing payment networks with the information they need to process debit card payments. In a proposed enforcement action, the FTC said that Mastercard had allegedly violated a provision of the Dodd-Frank law known as the Durbin Amendment by prohibiting merchants from routing transactions through alternative networks. The action targets “tokenization,” the technology that underpins mobile payment apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. According to the FTC, Mastercard has historically blocked competing networks from accessing its token vault. That means that every time consumers chose to pay with a mobile wallet, merchants had to route transactions through Mastercard or Visa and pay the company’s transaction fees, which are often higher than those of its competitors. [Engadget]

ZELF Launches Anonymous Visa Debit Card with Crypto Recharge

US fintech company ZELF has introduced an anonymous Visa debit card that can be used at any of 80 million Visa locations worldwide. ZELF’s latest initiative will allow users to open a US dollar checking account with just their name, email and phone number, saving them from having to provide documentation such as a social security number and proof of address. According to the fintech company, prospective customers can open a checking account and have an anonymous virtual debit card, which works with Apple Pay and Google Pay, in 30 seconds. ZELF’s collaboration with Visa aims to prioritize the privacy and security of users when it comes to transacting with cryptocurrencies. [Coin Telegraph]

How to make holiday returns with Buy Now, Pay Later

Shoppers who used to buy now, pay later to help finance gifts this holiday season may soon be in for a nasty surprise: returns can be more challenging than when buying in-store with cash or credit card. Returns and disputes are a common concern among Buy Now Pay Later users, according to a September 2022 report by the CFPB, and dispute resolution is the top Buy Now Pay Later related complaint in the Buy Now Pay Later database. CFPB consumer complaints. But making a seamless return with Buy Now Pay Later isn’t impossible if you know the process ahead of time. [Associated Press]

What to do with gift cards you don’t want

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

Don’t let Amex Platinum lifestyle benefits distract you from its 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 card’s $695 annual fee doesn’t sound too bad. At least, that’s the way the card is marketed. The Amex Platinum has been packed with so many perks and obscure credits that it’s technically possible to get many thousands of dollars in value every year from its perks, though, for most of us, it’s virtually impossible to do so. Let’s remove the distracting perks that come with this card and see what Amex Platinum is worth to the average customer. [Business Insider]