There will be changes in 2013 for those who use credit cards. Some of these changes will come because of changes in the law, but most of them will come through changes in consumer behavior and the free market making adjustments to this. Many of the changes for 2013 will be a continuation of growth for certain types of credit cards.
One example of this will be with secured cards. These types of cards are for those people with bad credit. They can easily be obtained from certain financial institutions with the deposit of a minimum amount of money into an account. This money provides the security needed for a certain amount of credit. Although their popularity has dwindled in the past this figures to change. As the employment picture begins to improve, this type of credit card will begin to be more useful to consumers in 2013. A secured credit card is an alternative to high interest and high fees charged to those with bad credit.
One area of credit card use that will show spectacular growth will be with prepaid cards. Although not a true credit card, they are used in the same way a credit card is used. They have been growing rapidly for the last five years and will continue to grow in 2013. They are being used by a wide variety of consumers including those who have used a secured credit in the past. Because they are prepaid, anyone can use a prepaid card and anyone can buy one.
With the recession slowly waning, the availability of credit to the consumer is slowly increasing and will continue to do so in 2013. This will be especially true with credit cards. Although credit limits for most consumers will be lower than they were during the recession and interest rates are higher now, there is a better chance in 2013 of being issued a new credit card than in the last few years.
The big change for 2013 will be in credit card transactions fees charged by merchants to their customers. In the past, merchants were not allowed to charge higher prices to those customers using a credit card versus those using cash. This may change in the early part of the year. In a settlement between retailers and the top two credit card companies, beginning in 2013 a retailer will be allowed a surcharged for credit card use. With so many people using their credit cards for cash back, a surcharge has the potential of canceling out any money made from an individual’s credit card cash back program.
There is the potential for merchants to keep this charge low due to competitive reasons, but for many retailers, they may simply charge more. In some cases, where the swipe fees are higher than average, certain credit cards may not be accepted at all. With no incentive for cash back, many consumers may switch to debit cards or cash. It remains to be seen who will pay the bulk of credit card transaction fees in 2013, the consumer or the merchant.