According to Betanews.com, 265 million Visa credit and debit cards in the hands of U.S. consumers now feature EMV security chips. Businessinsider.com reports that more than 67 percent of MasterCard’s consumer credit cards nationwide are now embedded with EMV chips, an increase of 51 percent since October 2015. The article goes on to report that today EMV chip cards are accepted by more than 1.2 million national merchant chains, such as Walmart and Target – and more than one million regional and local U.S. merchant locations as well.
So, clearly EMV technology is making inroads across the U.S. consumer landscape, benefitting credit unions and their members everywhere. Widely recognized as one of today’s important weapons in the fight against card fraud, EMV security technology effectively prevents fraudsters from creating counterfeit EMV cards using stolen card data– all of which promises to dramatically reduce U.S. card-present fraud in the future.
And by now, your members are getting accustomed to dipping instead of swiping their cards at the point of sale. However, their experience with EMV may be less than ideal as checkout has suddenly become a lengthier, more cumbersome and frequently more confusing process.
That is where you, as a credit union, can help. Educating members about EMV – and setting their expectations as consumers – can help them understand why this technology is so essential to their wellbeing going forward.
Here is what your members need to know:
- EMV transactions are well worth the wait. While your members may be aware that EMV chips are there to protect them, they may not appreciate the additional time and steps it now takes to check out. Remind them that security breaches of the likes we have seen in recent years can be very damaging to consumers – and much more inconvenient than the extra seconds involved in EMV transactions.
- EMV payment terminals are not all the same. Magnetic stripe transactions tend to be consistent (and effortless) regardless of the merchant, but this is not the case with EMV. New EMV payment terminals come from a range of manufacturers and in a variety of models, and can be customized with different features and functionality. Plus, implementing the new terminals requires integration with the merchant’s own, unique back-end systems. Your members should continue to expect a learning curve at the point of sale as their experience can vary greatly from merchant to merchant.
- Full U.S. migration to EMV will likely take years. That is what happened across Europe and Canada, and there are no short cuts here, either. Explain to your members that updating the millions of payment terminals nationwide is a highly complicated undertaking – but we will get there eventually.
- EMV is the global security standard today. This is important for members to understand because eventually there will be no other way to pay internationally with a physical card. In countries that have successfully converted to EMV, merchants are already beginning to phase out magnetic stripe readers from their payment terminals. Make sure your members know to always carry EMV-enabled cards when traveling abroad.
- ATMs are converting to EMV. Most networks have announced liability shifts on ATMs, with MasterCard’s the earliest, in October 2016. The liability shift dates are when more liability for ATM card fraud will shift to ATM operators in the U.S. that have not yet upgraded to EMV technology. This new mandate is contributing to financial institutions bringing their ATM fleets into EMV compliance.
- EMV prevents card fraud – but not all fraud. And because EMV technology makes it so difficult to commit card-present fraud, many fraudsters are focusing their efforts elsewhere. As an industry, we are seeing a rise in card-not-present fraud, and this trend is expected to continue. Remind your members to be vigilant with online transactions and to monitor their accounts closely.
- Members can – and should – play an active role in card security. Let your members know that – as effective as EMV is – the best way for them to prevent fraudulent transactions is with a tool for card controls and alerts. Available as mobile apps, these solutions allow your members to specify exactly how, when, where – and with which merchants – their cards can be used. If a fraudster attempts a transaction outside these parameters, the member is alerted and the transaction is automatically denied.
As a credit union, you remain committed to providing your members with fortified security solutions that protect them at every turn, while also ensuring a consumer experience that is in step with today’s digital world. EMV education is a valuable service you can provide to members to help them understand the technology and embrace the many changes that go along with it. EMV is here to stay – and that is a good thing for us all.
CO-OP has made available a suite of customizable member education and marketing materials to help in your EMV transition. Visit the CO-OP Marketing Portal to access these materials today.