BY VADIM KAGAN
As the United States transitions to EMV implementation, does your credit union have a clear understanding of what’s needed to guarantee success? Regardless of your CU’s size, a number of considerations apply. Read on to find out what may be missing from your EMV migration plans.
Countries around the world (standouts include Canada, Australia and the U.K.) have been reaping the benefits of EMV for years. With the United States making the shift this year, there is a unique advantage in seeing the results and benefits from successful moves to EMV. There is also benefit in having a clear view into what’s needed to guarantee that success.
For financial institutions of all sizes, the pressure is on to prepare for the fraud liability shift taking effect in slightly under six months. It’s been widely documented that the top 10 or so large national banks are well on their way to implementing EMV. Many of their customers have already received chip- protected cards in the mail. It’s a bit of a different story for the majority of U.S. credit unions and community banks, which often are more resource constrained and may be slightly behind on their migrations.
On the path to EMV, there are a number of considerations that pply to all financial institutions. Some are more complicated and time consuming than others, including updating profiles, manufacturing cards, customization, issuance, personalization and even altering ATMs. With those realities in mind, some credit unions are taking a “wait and see” approach and planning to make the migration within the next two to three years. However, ensuring that all bases are covered sooner rather than later is key to avoiding liability for future fraud. It is also critical to securing and retaining every valuable customer. To that end, it might be helpful to point out a thing or two missing from many CUs’ EMV migration plans.
Since we’re well aware of the many tangible benefits EMV technology has to offer – from preventing cloned cards to universal card acceptance across the globe – it’s easy for CUs to fall into technology-centric migration strategies. These include complex but integral back-end infrastructure adjustments and other technical and compliance requirements that focus on relationships with payment acquirers and merchants. That coordination, planning and execution is undoubtedly essential, but there is another part of the equation that often gets overlooked: consumer education. Just as important as the technical factors, the knowledge and awareness building it takes to drive member understanding as well as comfort with and acceptance of EMV cards is also the responsibility of the financial institution. While awareness building takes serious time and investment, it also presents an opportunity to provide engaging and informative resources to current and potential cardholders and to build your member base. By executing consumer education tactics now, credit unions and small banks can be sure their cardholders are prepared. They can also take advantage of significant business benefits in the ramp-up to EMV.