EMV: Finally in the Cards?

EMV: Finally in the Cards?

EMV: Finally in the Cards?

Michelle Thornton at THINK 14At last week’s THINK 14 conference, Michelle Thornton, Manager, Core Products at CO-OP Financial Services, delivered an update on EMV for credit unions. High profile data breaches in the news and recent agreements on U.S. Common Debit AID (application identifier) have put EMV back in the spotlight. But even as the answers change, the central question remains: What should credit unions be doing now around EMV?

According to The Members Group, credit unions are already starting to gear up for EMV conversion on their credit cards. Of 43 credit unions TMG surveyed in April, 24 wished to start an EMV project within the next 12 months; an additional 11 indicated a target of 2015. A total of 27 said they already had a reissuance plan.

Thornton advocates a multi-stage approach:

Learn as much as you can now. Educate everyone, whether their role is strategic, technical, operational or member-facing.

Gather data. Good to know: How many use your credit, debit and ATM cards internationally? How many international travelers use your ATMs? And how many transactions are done at big-box retailers, since they’ll be the likely first adopters of EMV terminals?

Plan for credit first, then ATM, then debit.

Get your ducks in a row: Ask your ATM manufacturer what plans are in place for converting your fleet. Calculate costs for each phase of your rollout.

CO-OP’s multistage strategy is already in motion – and being updated constantly. In a nutshell:

  • EMV is available now to CO-OP full-service credit processing customers, thanks to our partners at The Members Group.
  • CO-OP is in beta on EMV for in-house credit. Stay tuned.
  • We are certified with Visa and MasterCard on debit, and will be ready to roll on the Common AID as soon as final network and technical details in the industry are cemented.
  • EMV solutions currently focus on contact and online PIN capabilities. Dual interface (including offline authentication) is still in the works and not recommended at this time.

Thornton expects EMV to become the new normal, but not overnight. “Expect the process to take up to 10 years,” she says. It’s important to develop a strategy and get started now, but don’t let haste make waste. Particularly on the debit side, critical issues remain to be worked out. Credit unions can look to CO-OP for EMV help and for information that’s both current and complete on how to proceed. EMV is in the cards, but its implementation shouldn’t be in a hurry.