Credit unions starting the process of deciding when and how to convert their card portfolios from cards with magnetic stripes alone to cards with smart chips may find a new white paper from Card Services for Credit Unions a useful guide.
The major card brands have announced they will support the new cards, which are widely used in other countries, on a staggered schedule which is supposed to culminate in late 2015.
EMV: Background and Implications for Credit Unions, co-authored by CSCU and First Annapolis Consulting, outlines the EMV roadmap including timelines and key dates such as the fraud liability shift set for Oct. 1, 2015.
The paper also reviews implications for issuers and other stakeholders and analyzes considerations around various card issuance strategies.
“Proper planning of the optimal time and method to review cards is perhaps the most important consideration for credit unions as they approach their EMV decision-making process,” said Robert Hackney, president of CSCU in Tampa, Fla.
“Credit unions have several options for EMV conversion dependent upon their individual fraud characteristics, membership and products, status of EMV enabled terminal deployment as well as financial and human resources that can be committed to an EMV implementation,” Hackney said.
As the paper makes clear, the move to smart chip enabled cards is challenging for many credit unions because, in part, it requires they have a good deal of data about their card programs in order to decide which smart chip implementation strategies makes the most sense for their credit union and members.
For example, a credit union located on a border or with a lot of members who travel overseas might want to be one of the institutions that move more quickly to implement smart chip cards which their traveling members may be able to use more easily overseas. On the other hand, credit unions which delay implementing smart chip enabled cards too long run the risk of raising their fraud risk significantly higher as other cards become more difficult to compromise, the paper said.