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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 8 December 2016

Daily briefing - 8 December 2016

It prompted questions about "the return of the premium card" and gave Amex an awful fright, but now it seems that JPMorgan's Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card will have serious acquisition costs for the bank due to the lavish rewards offered. Quartz reports that Jamie Dimon told investors the cost of the new card could cause a $200 million drop in profits in the fourth quarter: "The Reserve became an overnight hit among credit-card enthusiasts when it debuted — so alluring it took on coveted-gadget status with unboxing videos as well as thousands of comments on forums and Reddit posts. It was so popular Chase actually ran out of the metal that's embedded in the cards, a touch to make the Sapphire Reserve feel heavier, and thus more special, than regular credit cards." The card appears to be popular among 'churners' who pick up cards mostly for the benefits, and then move on to another card in short order.

The Wall Street Journal writes that Greece, not Italy, remains the biggest threat to the eurozone. Indeed, Greece has barely featured in the headlines ever since the UK took on the mantle of 'biggest threat to Europe', to be then followed by Italy. Some papers are arguing that Turkey is the biggest threat to the European economy, but Turkey is not in the EU, so we're back to Greece. Greece, the EU and the IMF are at an impasse over the next phase of Greece's bailout program. WSJ.com observes: "The IMF won't join the program until the eurozone agrees to put Greece's debt on a sustainable footing, but the eurozone won't know how much debt relief Greece needs until Athens and its creditors agree on what Greece's long-term budget targets should be — and the policies to deliver them."

Sorry, Jack Dorsey, but this doesn't ring true: "Many people hate the new chip cards because of the time it takes to process transactions," he told the Code Commerce conference in San Francisco. We thought this whole cashless lark was going to be all frictionless and fast, and then it turns out that your chip card takes many, many seconds to work? CNBC reports that "Apple and Square have announced a new partnership that will allow people to add money stored on Square's virtual card, an app called Square Cash, to their Apple Wallet". The goal of the partnership is to push Square users towards Apple Pay and vice versa.

Ireland quietly joined the world of mobile payments as Android Pay was switched on for AIB and KBC bank customers who are users of Android phones. Many Irish stores that are part of British chains (such as Boots) have had Apple Pay badges on their terminals for over a year, but Android Pay has beaten Apple Pay to the market. "'We feel it's going to provide Irish users with a lot of choice in using their device and being able to pay," said Pali Bhat, global head of payments products for Google. "We expect Irish users to start adopting mobile payments en masse.'" That, of course, remains to be seen.

The US regulator is set to downgrade Wells Fargo under the Community Reinvestment Act, according to an exclusive report from Reuters. The bank has not been re-rated since 2008, when it received an "outstanding" tag. It may be a coincidence, but it appears that regulators are casting a sterner eye on Wells Fargo since the fake customer account scandal that went public in September. Reuters writes: "A downgrade on the bank's community service score could further tarnish the reputation of the San Francisco-based lender at a time when it hopes to move beyond the scandal. Wells Fargo may win an appeal to the downgrade through an independent arm of the regulator but no decision has yet been made, said sources familiar with the process."

UniCredit to sell controlling stake in Poland's Bank Pekao
Italy's bank crisis isn't Matteo Renzi's problem any longer

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