ATMs remain an important part of any financial institution, and that extends considerably to credit unions. As these particular businesses focus on supporting the local community, they have to cater to their members first to make that a possibility. People simply like having the convenience of withdrawing cash for small purchases anywhere they go. They also prefer feeling secure about their withdrawals. This is why an increasing number are looking for the institutions they bank with to add chips to their cards that use the EMV standard developed by Visa and MasterCard. Credit unions are increasingly seeing the importance of this need and are moving toward upgrading their ATMs and issuing new cards to serve this purpose.
Credit unions have been slow to embrace EMV in comparison to larger banks. However, they are aware of its importance and the implications of not complying. As part of a multi-phase transition process, financial institutions are expected to upgrade their ATMs to the EMV standard by Oct. 1, 2016 in order to avoid taking on chargeback fraud liabilities previously handled by Visa and MasterCard. Concurrently, upgrading ATMs requires the issuance of new cards with the chip embedded.
One of the leading credit union service organizations has been accelerating the EMV transition process. PSCU, which represents more than 800 credit unions, is moving forward with issuing EMV-based debit cards to credit union members throughout the country starting in June 2015, according to ATM Marketplace. The move makes them the first CUSO to deploy EMV debit to members. The organization has been a trailblazer in EMV previously. It was the first to deploy the chip in 2011, and was also the first to issue prepaid cards with the standard. As of June 2015, it has issued more than one million EMV credit cards to members.
While the prior successes were important, EMV debit cards are an important milestone for credit unions. Given that more people are relying on ATMs for cash withdrawals and using cards to complete regular transactions at retailers and restaurants, having a secure standard that ensures that their card data is safe is imperative. The EMV standard, having been universally accepted since the mid-2000s in Europe, provides a basic layer of security that prevents hackers from accessing critical data. Credit unions shouldn't wait to upgrade ATMs to support the standard and move to provide new cards to members.
August 31, 2015