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DENVER – Signature debit transactions bring credit unions more revenue from higher interchange but they cost more too. That is the conclusion of a report from First Data Corporation, a leading card processor and the parent company of the STAR network, a leading ATM and EFT network. While the “POS Debit Issuer Cost Study” found that card issuers should pay attention to both their credit and debit cards, the study found that fraud losses from signature debit cards run four times more than those for their cousins in which the cardholder uses a personal identification number to validate the transaction. “This study clearly illustrates the value that PIN debit transactions bring to financial institutions of all sizes,” said Debra Janssen, president of First Data Debit Services. “Consumers prefer to use PIN debit at the point-of-sale and merchants like the added security and guaranteed funds of PIN debit. That said, financial institutions should take a close look at their investment in signature rewards and other programs, which are designed to drive transactions to signature debit over PIN.” The study evaluated processing, overhead, back-office and other costs from 11 financial institutions which ranged in size from those with more than 500,000 active debit cards to those with fewer than 100,000 active debit cards.

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