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The Road To EMV Is Paved With Partnerships

Reduced fraud costs and member satisfaction are leading reasons to offer EMV cards ahead of the October 2015 liability shift deadline.

The most important reasons to move forward with getting EMV cards into your members’ wallets are member satisfaction and reduced card-present-fraud costs. EMV won’t prevent all card fraud but it has proven to substantially reduce card-present-fraud in other markets.

It is likely that your members who travel internationally have experienced some challenges using their credit card. These members may also be your higher income, higher transacting, and most profitable members. Empowering them with EMV cards will make transacting hassle-free and in turn, create more appreciation for your services.

PSCU’s experience as a seasoned EMV program implementation and migration partner for its member-owner credit unions reveals several insights and lessons about the EMV planning and implementation process:

Credit unions should budget for higher expenses in the transition to EMV. Larger credit unions with massive card bases benefit from reduced card production costs due to their scale and purchasing power; smaller credit unions may feel more of a financial impact. But the aggregate buying power of a CUSO helps keep those costs as low as possible.

Credit unions initially faced challenges associated with member-selectable PINs and were using system-generated PINs for their EMV cards. However, EMV PIN Now is available so the ability to provide cardholder-selected PINs is no longer an obstacle.

Member education is important to indoctrinate cardholders to a new way of performing a transaction inserting the card rather than swiping. People have been swiping cards for 40 years, so although it’s an apparently simple change, it still represents a departure that can cause some confusion and questions.

Most credit unions use statement insert messages as the primary communication vehicle to advise members on how to use the EMV cards. Other credit unions have broadened their educational outreach with more instructions on their card carriers.

Older credit union members (baby boomers, for example) are more likely to need coaching in how to use the new cards; millennials not so much because of their familiarity with new technology in general.

Although fraud loss reduction has been difficult to quantify with the EMV cards, members’ perception of card security has been enhanced. Converted credit unions point to numerous compliments from their international traveling members who are happy to have the technology in their wallets.

Internal communications about EMV within the credit union is essential to educate the credit union’s board and executive team as well as deliver cross-divisional education to staff to ease the transition to EMV.

Be prepared to field some inquiries from members about the new cards and why they are receiving them. Although most credit unions have not reported a flood of questions, they did have some members asking What is this new card?

Repetition, like practice, makes perfect. The use of implementation templates, for example, has streamlined and shortened the time to deliver cards to members. Also, Visa and MasterCard are removing themselves from the certification process and instead empowering EMV-experienced processors and CUSOs, like PSCU, to perform that task.

PSCU’s experience with implementing dozens of EMV card programs for its member-owners offers an encouraging outlook for other credit unions planning to make the move to EMV. With each EMV migration all parties in the loop build on their knowledge base, tools, and processes, making it easier for the next migrations to go smoothly. The power of collaboration and partnerships in complex EMV migration cannot be overstated; virtually every one of PSCU’s member-owners that has taken the journey to EMV card issuance has benefitted from the lessons learned from peers, transaction processors, and CUSO partners.

About PSCU And EMV

PSCU is an industry leader in EMV implementation and production technology. The CUSO has been recognized for several firsts in the EMV landscape:

First CUSO to market with credit and reloadable prepaid EMV cards

First CUSO with a credit union to process Maestro EMV ATM transactions

First CUSO to process an international EMV card ATM transaction

PSCU currently has migrated 24 credit unions that are now issuing EMV cards to members; another 110 are in their implementations and certification pipeline for migration and card issuance prior to the liability shift on Oct. 15, 2015.

PSCU expects all of its credit and debit card-issuing credit unions that want to issue EMV cards will have the opportunity to do so by year-end 2015.

Arthur Harper is director of card payments solutions at PSCU.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
September 8, 2014

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