Petal is a new company that provides credit cards to those who have not yet built up a traditional credit history. Instead, it uses data like how much money a person makes and spends in a month to determine what their credit limit should be.
One of the company’s co-founders, Jason Gross, explains that using a customer’s bank account history as a basis allows Petal to offer better credit limits that are often 10 times higher than competitors’ rates.
Annual Percentage Rates fall between the industry standard 14-25%, but the company has no fees of any kind, including late fees. Instead, the company generates money through interest payments and charging vendors when a customer uses their card.
Why It’s Hot:
Younger people who don’t have a credit score yet finally have a credit card option that doesn’t penalize them with high rates and fees. As Gross has noted, this is especially important since this group is disproportionately made up of minorities and immigrants who often suffer without a credit score to help them qualify for financial products.
Late last week, MasterCard announced an initial pilot for new payment security systems for verifying cardholder identity: a selfie.
Instead of entering pin codes, users can either perform a fingerprint scan or take a selfie. Why consumers would want to be bothered to extend their arm and flash a selfie with other customers waiting in line is beyond me, but MasterCard thinks the move will help them appeal more to youths.
To avoid scammers using existing photos, MasterCard built in a user flow that requires cardholders to blink while taking the selfie scan.
The move is part of a broader company commitment to exploring new verification methods that help cardholders avoid having to remember multiple pin numbers and decrease account hacks.
Why It’s Hot
MasterCard’s selfie scan is just one example of how the company is evolving its business practices to better meet customer needs and reduce their experience pain points. Sure, a fingerprint is a more likely biometric technology to put into practice, but facial recognition offers an alternative and other tech explorations show that companies like MasterCard are racing to better serve customers… not themselves.
Are you irresponsible and keep losing your credit cards or gift cards? Maybe your back aches from the massive wallet you carry in your back pocket? Or maybe you’ve always wished for the day that your credit card could connect to your phone? Well, you’re in luck. Stratos, Inc. announced the launch of the Stratos Bluetooth Card, an all-in-one “smart” credit card. The card features Bluetooth connectivity and can be used everywhere you’d expect, like at ATMs, restaurants and gas stations. The card, which will start shipping to consumers in April – will be able to load everything from debit to credit to gift cards onto on single, small card. All one needs is a smartphone, a Stratos card, and a Stratos Reader. Members will swipe their various cards through the reader attached to their phones. Once the cards are loaded, swipe the Stratos Card through the reader and then designate three “favorite” cards that can be easily and quickly accessed.
Why It’s Hot:
As the increase in land grab for mobile payments continues to rise, this turns that on its head and nods to a consumer behavior that already exists and is familiar with the majority of the world. There is no need for retailers or payment systems to re-haul their current technology since it is already in place. Meaning this is much easier and quicker to implement without having to educate users on a new behavior or even train staff on new technology protocols.