HOUSTON - Over the weekend of October 17, 18 and 19, while very few of their card issuing credit unions or cardholders realized it, the PULSE EFT Association moved its transaction switching in-house, moving it from an outside provider to a new "world class" facility at its new Houston headquarters. PULSE took the action to move more into line with other ATM networks that have banks as members or customers, explained Warren Coles, Executive Vice President for Operations for PULSE. Other national credit union owned networks like Credit Union 24, based in Florida, and CO-OP Network, based in California, outsource their transaction switching, said Coles. But Networks such as STAR, which is owned by Memphis based Concord EFS and NYCE, which is owned by Denver based First Data Corp., process their transactions in house. The actual work of moving the switch took only a few days, but it was the result of months of cooperation between PULSE staff as well as the staff of issuing credit unions and debit card processors, Coles explained. In order to make it work, PULSE got several card processors to volunteer to use the new switch for several hours and then go back to the old one so that PULSE staff could evaluate the time they had spent on the new switch and debug any problems. Then, on the crucial weekend, PULSE brought its more than 120 card processors over, breaking them up into groups of three and four, so that the length of time any one cardholder might be inconvenienced would be as short as possible. "I suppose there might be some cardholders that experienced a time when they tried to use their card but could not during the switch," Coles said, "but we are confident that if they tried to use it again right away, the transaction was completed." PULSE is a member owned EFT and ATM network with 4,300 bank, credit union and thrift owners. There are more than 200,000 ATMs in the network, 3.2 million point of sale terminals more than 90 million Americans carry a PULSE branded card, the Association said. -email@example.com
PULSE Quietly Takes its Switch In-house; Credit Union Cardholder Downtime Minimal
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