Industry Consensus: EMV is Needed… and Soon

In recent years merchant groups and issuer processors have been at odds on a number of issues—namely interchange rates and network routing. However, one thing that merchants, processors and issuers alike agree on nearly universally is the need to implement the EMV chip technology in the United States.

EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, uses an embedded microchip to validate the card, the consumer and the payment transaction, which greatly improves our ability to combat fraud. Mastercard has already joined Visa to push for adoption of the EMV.

The EMV system increases security on two levels. First, the solution being issued is more secure than traditional mag-stripe technology, as it negates the risk of card-skimming and other common forms of card fraud. And secondly, the means by which it is issued is infinitely safer than posting new cards and PIN numbers.

As well as reducing the amount of fraud, credit unions also stand to benefit from making their card “top-of-wallet” or first in the pecking order by emphasizing the enhanced features with EMV as a means to increased transactions. Given the fact that U.S. consumers average 5.4 cards in their wallets, ensuring a loyal credit union relationship is key to retaining the member in the long term.

The U.S. adoption of contact and contactless chip technology is critically important to all key stakeholders—issuers, acquirers, and merchants alike—by preparing the industry for the arrival of Near Field Communication (NFC)-based mobile payments. This will happen sooner than you might think. In a little more than three years, Oct. 1, 2015, Visa will shift the financial liability for card-present counterfeit fraud losses from the issuer to the party that is the cause of a chip transaction not occurring, in many cases the merchant.

MAP is already putting the tools in place to ensure its client credit unions can make a smooth transition to EMV. This year, it launched MAP Plastics for two reasons: to provide a world-class solution for credit unions to drive growth and improve service to their members, and to provide a more affordable solution than what is available on the market today.

Just this past week, the MAP Plastics card production partner, Oberthur Technologies, announced that it shipped more than 2.5 million EMV cards to U.S. financial institutions in 2011, making it the largest EMV provider in the nation. Oberthur Technologies currently has 15 active EMV programs in the U.S. and is widely considered the best EMV solution on the market today. To assist credit unions in bridging the technical hurdle associated with an EMV migration, MAP is offering a fully integrated EMV migration solution and management program based on best practices gained by Oberthur Technologies’ experience with hundreds of EMV projects worldwide.

For more information about implementing an EMV Program in your credit union, contact Bryan Elder, MAP national sales executive, at 866.598.0698, ext. 1624, or


Strategic Link is the NWCUAs wholly-owned service corporation, providing the Associations member credit unions with exclusive high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. To learn more about how the Association’s partnership with MAP can benefit your credit union, contact Director of Strategic Partnerships Craig Reed: 206.340.4789,

Posted in Around the NW, Community Impact.