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The Realities Credit Unions Need to Hear About EMV

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BY WILLIAM TRAN

Is your credit union one of the holdouts when it comes to EMV transition? It’s not too late to get in the game and the perceived obstacles are surmountable. This list of realities may just spur on CUs like yours that are still contemplating their move toward EMV.

During the long march up to the October 1 Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) fraud liability shift, it may have seemed to some credit unions that the walls standing between them and the EMV deployment process were relatively insurmountable. While we’ve known for some time that the transition to EMV was going to be a massive challenge, many regional banks and CUs have chosen the road of least resistance and have opted not to migrate yet. Reasons for that business decision range from monetary investment to technical complexity to a lack of education and awareness about the ROI of such an undertaking. Fortunately,both perceived and verified EMV hurdles can be overcome. To surmount such obstacles, CUs must be receptive and committed to understanding where they currently stand with EMV, why it is still important to take action and why falling further behind could cost their bottom line.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” CUs need to take a similar mindset. It’s never too late to begin making the move to EMV, no matter how gradual or belated, as long as they are indeed making forward progress.Here are a few realities that should spur on those CUs still questioning their journey toward EMV.

The transition has not passed CUs by. Just because the October 1 deadline has been eclipsed, a CU shouldn’t drop the transition it’s in the midst of,regard a lack of progress as complete failure or decline to begin the process altogether. Think of the October 1 deadline as a “suggestion,” albeit one that could have material ramifications under the right set of unfortunate circumstances. There’s an industry-wide expectation for it to take a couple years for EMV cards to reach ubiquity. So as long as CUs set and stick to a schedule now, they will still be ahead of many competitors.Timing and rate for a deployment should be managed by the CU in a way that makes all stakeholders comfortable rather than rushed. But every day out of compliance with the EMV mandate is another day a CU has to be concerned about potentially covering fraud perpetrated against its members.

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