New 'Mastercard Installments' Program Helps You Buy Now, Pay Later

A rumor we heard of in July was that Apple would launch “Apple Pay Later” to let people pay for purchases in installments, like Apple Card customers enjoy. This was not announced at the iPhone 13 event, but in the meantime, Mastercard customers can use a similar service.

Mastercard Installments enables consumers to digitally access BNPL offers, either pre-approved through their lender’s mobile banking app or through instant approval during checkout. Pre-approved installments can be used directly on a merchant’s website, and can be stored in digital wallets including Click-to-Pay, to then be used online or in-store wherever Mastercard is accepted. Instant approvals during checkout will be available through Click-to-Pay shortly after launch.

Mastercard Moves to Phase Out Use of Magnetic Stripe by 2024

Mastercard announced on Monday a plan to phase out usage of magnetic stripes on its cards, and says it is the first payments network to do so.

Based on the decline in payments powered by magnetic stripes after chip-based payments took hold, newly-issued Mastercard credit and debit cards will not be required to have a stripe starting in 2024 in most markets. By 2033, no Mastercard credit and debit cards will have magnetic stripes, which leaves a long runway for the remaining partners who still rely on the technology to phase in chip card processing.

Was Facebook’s Libra Planning to Make Money in Dirty Ways?

I know that’s kind of a clickbait headline but it’s from a quote by Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, who dropped out of Facebook’s Libra organization after “multiple red flags.” Emphasis mine:

One reason was Libra’s leaders wouldn’t commit to abiding by laws around knowing their clients, money laundering, and data management, he told the newspaper.

“Every time you talked to the main proponents of Libra, I said ‘Would you put that in writing?’ They wouldn’t.”

It was also unclear to Banga how Libra would generate revenue, stoking his fears that it would make money in unscrupulous ways. “When you don’t understand how money gets made, it gets made in ways you don’t like,”

Facebook profiting off of money laundering?

Comparing Apple Card's Privacy to Other Credit Cards

Geoffrey Fowler compared an Amazon credit card with Apple Card to see which one is more private. The knee jerk response is to say Apple, and it’s true that Apple does have more privacy than others. But when it comes to the Apple Card, that privacy only appears under certain circumstances.

Despite a federal privacy law covering cards, I found that six types of businesses could mine and share elements of my purchase, multiplied untold times by other companies they might have passed it to. Credit cards are a spy in your wallet — and it’s time that we add privacy, alongside rewards and rates, to how we evaluate them.

Bottom line: Neither Apple nor Goldman Sachs collects or shares your data. But retailers and card networks like Mastercard can still collect and sell your purchase data.

Does the Apple Card Count as a Mastercard World Elite?

Redditor u/mdhardeman did some digging into the Apple Card. After running a test transaction they found that the card was listed as a Mastercard World Elite.

The Mastercard World Elite consumer credit cards are significantly more expensive to accept than a plain Mastercard credit card or basic rewards card. In exchange, the theory goes, Mastercard ensures that those cards only make it into the hands of premium consumers who, on average, spend more on many purchases and have a larger amount of disposable income. In exchange, Mastercard demands the higher reimbursement for the card issuers to be able to fund a benefits package that will attract heavy spenders to their World Elite card products.

Mastercard Benefits for Apple Card Customers

While Apple is busy rolling out its credit card to customers, Mastercard shared some benefits you’ll get with the card. Both companies clearly prefer Apple Card to be your default payment method, and maybe these extra features will entice you. Here is one:

Mastercard ID Theft Protection

A complimentary service that will alert you about possible identity theft by monitoring the surface, dark and deep web, searching for compromised credentials and potentially damaging use of your registered personal information.2 To enroll, visit applecard.idprotectiononline.com.

More Details on Mastercard's Universal Digital ID

Late last year Mastercard announced its idea for a universal digital ID. We have a bit more information on that.

Mastercard envisions a platform in which consumers have control of their identity information and it is stored locally on their devices, rather than in a centralized system that Mastercard would need to defend. The ID would be set up through a bank or other participating institution that already holds identity information about the individual. And people would manage their enrollment and interact with their universal ID through that institution’s secure mobile app.

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