The credit card industry is a complicated mess.
The number of people who have problems finding their card, and how they solve them, has grown steadily over the past several years, as consumers have become more adept at online shopping.
But there is a key difference: The credit cards industry is based on trust.
That’s not always the case with online payments.
And the issue has emerged as a major concern among the consumer credit bureaus, which rely on card issuers to report credit card activity to the government and, in turn, the Federal Trade Commission.
Credit card companies typically have the burden of proving fraud to the credit buster, but they don’t necessarily have to prove that the consumer has actually used their card.
Instead, they are encouraged to suggest that the problem is a result of a mistake by the issuer or a software glitch.
But those tools aren’t always helpful.
Consumers often find that their credit card statement has been modified, or that their payments have been canceled, even after they’ve used their cards.
And there are cases in which people have been charged for unauthorized purchases, even when they haven’t done anything wrong.
A lot of people have experienced the frustration of being charged for transactions that have been completely innocent, or of being denied a payment because their card company said they weren’t eligible.
And a recent study by the Pew Research Center found that while about 30% of credit card fraud involves credit card companies, the actual percentage of fraudulent activity is about a third.
For the industry, this issue has become a major source of contention.
The industry is divided on how to fix it.
Some are pushing for changes to the way credit card transactions are reported.
Others want to simply scrap the card system altogether.
And some credit card issuees have lobbied hard to have their credit reports updated annually, in part because of concerns about fraud.
But for the credit card bureau, the stakes are even higher.
A major problem in the industry is that consumers don’t know where their card is being used.
They’re not even sure whether the person using their card has actually paid for the item.
And when they do, they can find themselves out of pocket, and paying off an amount they don´t have, for an unknown amount of time.
“It’s a really difficult situation for the industry,” said Steven D. Zavos, president and chief executive officer of the Credit Card Industry Association, which represents card issuaries.
Credit Card Industry Insights, a group of credit burer executives, estimates that there are roughly 7 million credit card accounts in the U.S., representing about 10% of all credit card users.
The industry spends about $500 billion annually on card processing fees, and a third of all cardholder data is stored on companies like Experian.
The problem is not just that consumers are being charged wrong.
They’re being charged fees for transactions they never intended to pay for, said Steve Bailenson, chief executive of the American Bankers Association, a trade group.
Some consumers also report a surge in their card fraud rates because their credit cards are no longer being used to make payments, he said.
Some merchants are offering a “cashback” program in which consumers can get a small fee back on their purchases if they use their credit or debit cards for at least one day, Bailensen said.
The American Banker Association has even put out a guide to help people figure out how to do this.
But the problem persists because the credit cards companies don’t report what happens to the transactions when they are processed.
That means people who get charged for something they never signed up for may end up paying more money than they would have had to if they simply paid the transaction by cash, said Paul Tovar, executive vice president of the Federal Credit Union Administration.
The solution is simple, and it has bipartisan support: The Federal Trade Commissions (FCA) would require the card issuors to report to the FCA any transactions that are reported as fraudulent.
The commission has been studying the issue, and is expected to issue a rule soon.
But critics say it would be a big step backward.
“You have to start by making it easy for consumers to access the information,” said Roberta Lee, director of policy and communications at the Consumer Federation of America.
“That would be one way to help consumers understand what’s happening.”
The problem isn’t unique to the card industry.
About 40% of consumers are either unaware or unsure that their card accounts are being used in fraudulent ways, according to a survey by credit-monitoring website CreditCards.com.
And while consumers are aware of the issue on some credit cards, they don�t necessarily realize that other cards in their names are also being used for fraudulent activity.
The FCA said it has received more than 5,300 complaints about misuse of card accounts over the last two years, and has been working to