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How the war in Ukraine is affecting many financial industries

Powell: Fed to proceed cautiously with rate hike amid Ukraine dispute

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the central bank still plans to raise interest rates despite the “very uncertain” economic effects of the war in Ukraine. “Ultimately we will continue, but we will proceed with caution as we learn more about the implications of the war in Ukraine,” Powell told the House Financial Services Committee. In an unusually clear comment, the senior central bank official added that he backs raising short-term interest rates by 0.25% at the upcoming March 15-16 policymaking meeting. . the central bank to raise interest rates more aggressively through a “double” interest rate hike of 0.50%, which had not happened since 2000. [Yahoo Finance]

Ukraine has raised over $54 million as Bitcoin donations pour in to support war on Russia

Donations of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum are pouring into Ukraine as the war with Russia enters its second week. Since the February 24 invasion of Moscow, more than 102,000 crypto-asset donations, totaling $54.7 million, have been made to the Ukrainian government and Come Back Alive, an NGO that supports the military. Accepting donations in crypto is new for the Ukrainian government. Until Saturday, all donations had to go through traditional payment channels, but on February 26, the government decided to get creative. [CNBC]

Visa and Mastercard block Russian financial institutions after sanctions

US payment card companies Visa and Mastercard have blocked several Russian financial institutions from their network, complying with government sanctions imposed following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Visa said it was taking swift action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions, adding that it would donate $2 million for humanitarian relief. Mastercard also pledged to contribute $2 million. In 2021, around 4% of Mastercard’s net revenue came from activities inside, inside and outside Russia. Meanwhile, business within, inside and outside Ukraine accounted for 2% of its net income. [Reuters]

75% of Americans have missed credit card payments due to Covid-19

A new survey has found that Covid-19 has added pressure on the personal finances of many households. In fact, more than three-quarters of respondents admitted to making a late credit card payment during the pandemic or missing a payment entirely. If you’re one of the many Americans who aren’t aware of the benefits included on their specific card, you’re not alone. According to our survey, only 29% of cardholders strongly agree that they understand the benefits of their card. Forty percent of cardholders are dissatisfied with interest rates according to this survey, making it the number one source of frustration when it comes to credit cards. [Forbes]

Paceline Introduces Cash-Back Credit Card That Doubles Your Workout Rewards

Paceline, an app that rewards you for your physical activity, announced that its Paceline Visa Signature card is now open for applications as the first cashback credit card that “connects your health and finances through its wellness platform. be unified”. This unique card not only rewards you for spending more, but rather inspires you to seek better health and finances together. And so far, the app has proven popular as more than 500,000 Paceline app users have logged over 2 billion workout minutes and redeemed $4 million in rewards.. [CNBC]

Few Americans have a credit card balance of $0 every month

As credit card debt among Americans continues to grow and paying with plastic becomes more common, a new survey of credit card usage from Lantern by SoFi finds that only 13% of respondents have a balance $0 month over month. The most common credit card balance people carry ranges from $1 to $2,500, with 40% of people reporting carrying this amount monthly. A small percentage (7%) reported having a balance of $10,000 or more. SoFi also reported that women were 1.5 times more likely to have a zero balance on their card than men. In fact, 16% of women said they had “no regrets” about their credit card purchases. [Fox Business]

Consumers Prefer Physical Gift Cards, Despite Digital Growth

Physical gift cards are still preferred by just over half (54%) of consumers, according to new research from payment company Fiserv, despite the rise of digital cards. This is similar to data from a 2019 study which also showed that physical gift cards were preferred by both buyers and recipients, although more of those who gave than those who received had a preference for the gift card. tangible map. But just as the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated payments innovation, it has fueled the rise of digital gift cards: in the past two years, 48% of consumers surveyed said they had purchased more digital gift cards than physical cards. About 37% have stored a gift card on a mobile app, and a third load the gift cards they receive into their mobile wallets. [Retail Dive]

JPMorgan’s secret project aims to push the bank deeper into the growing private enterprise market

JPMorgan Chase is preparing to go all-in on private companies. Over the past year, the bank has quietly hired programmers and created products for a new fintech company that aims to provide a range of services to start-ups and investors around the world. The company is known internally by the code name “Project Bloom” because of its focus on helping private start-up companies grow. CEO Jamie Dimon is investing aggressively to help his bank battle fintech companies, and executives see an opportunity to create a winner in private markets before startups can dominate the space. A key part of Project Bloom is a digital network for JPMorgan clients that will connect start-ups with investors, helping them with fundraising. [CNBC]

Most Small Banks Avoid the Buy Now Pay Later Market

An overwhelming majority of small banks are avoiding the buy now, pay later market, according to American Banker, citing an IntraFi Network survey showing that 81% have little or no interest in it. The publication reported that only 2% responded that they currently offer BNPL or plan to do so. Fourteen percent said they were interested in getting started, but wanted to do so by partnering up. [Business Insider]

94% of Mexican consumers use mobile banking

A recent report found that 94% of Mexican consumers use mobile banking apps or online banking, even though the country has a large unbanked population. The report also shows that alternative mobile payment services – those not tied to traditional bank accounts – are even more popular in Mexico, with 96% of respondents using them. These results indicate that smartphones are likely to continue to play a major role in Latin America’s online banking ecosystem, especially as social commerce (purchases made using apps or social media platforms) also increasing in the region. The report notes that half of all consumers surveyed in the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico have made purchases from social commerce, a sign that this channel could also see substantial growth in the coming years. [PYMNTS]

How to Prepare for Buy-Now-Pay-Later Purchases Showing Up on Credit Reports

People using buy-it-now and pay-later services such as Klarna and Afterpay take note: these purchase and payment records will soon appear on credit reports. Equifax said it would begin recording the popular “paid-in-four” installment loans, which have attracted millions of buyers but have largely not been tracked by traditional credit-reporting methods. The move is part of a broader effort by the three major credit bureaus to provide lenders with a broader view of a borrower’s financial obligations. [The Wall Street Journal]

Credit card application rules by issuer

While the number of credit cards has increased with the generosity of welcome bonuses, issuers have also made these cards harder to obtain. There is a litany of rules regarding endorsements, eligibility for welcome bonuses, and how many cards you can have. Navigating all these rules can be confusing and quite stressful. Here’s an overview of all credit card enforcement rules broken down by issuer. [Bankrate]