The payments landscape was on the rise in in the past year with the launch and adoption of several new virtual wallets.
From Apple Pay and Android Pay, to Samsung Pay and LG Pay and others, consumers will be faced with more choices in the year ahead. It is likely to become increasingly confusing and fragmented as retailers ramp up their efforts to influence buying decisions, and credit unions need to respond.
What used to be a smooth, routine process has become more complex as consumers evaluate whether to swipe, dip or tap when making a purchase.
Credit unions need to ensure their cardholders are educated on all available payment-enabling tools that add value to the member relationship, focusing on capturing the transaction and being the card of choice. As member behavior continues to shape the market structure for payments, it is vital that credit unions help their members evolve and understand how things are changing.
Credit unions, banks, payment processors and card issuers spent hundreds of millions of dollars making sure new EMV technology was in the hands of consumers prior to the deadline.
The merchant community, on the other hand, has been dragging its feet, spending time lobbying the government to mandate PIN transactions, thereby lowering interchange costs. While EMV will no doubt have a positive impact on card present fraud over time, it will be some time before the full benefit of EMV is recognized in the U.S.
The overall threat for data breaches remains high as the industry continues to experience small breaches on a regular basis. Data is still being targeted by fraudsters. The difference is that they have now largely turned their ill intentions to smaller and regional merchants that may not be as secure as larger merchants. In order to truly mitigate payment card fraud, all players in the payment process cycle need to come together.
In the meantime, fraudsters will turn their attention to card not present fraud. A large, looming issue for credit unions in 2016 will be developing ways to combat card not present fraud.
This could be through the one-time use of account numbers (or tokens), tokenizing merchants with accounts on file (like Amazon, iTunes, etc.), cloud services (like VISA CheckOut or MasterCard MasterPass) or revolving PINs. Credit unions will also need to determine how to get members to use these new approaches given they have $0 liability for fraud losses.
Chuck Fagan is CEO of PSCU.