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Posted: Apr 28, 2016
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Author: Paul Castner

With the dust settling a bit from CSCU’s Solutions Conference 2016, several overarching themes were front and center throughout the conference.  However, none were in the spotlight as much as the presentations and dialog regarding the need for credit unions to up their games when it comes to creating and deploying digital payments strategies.

During a key breakout session jointly hosted by CSCU’s Tom Davis, Senior VP Finance and Technology and Lou Grilli, Director of Payments Strategy, the main message for credit unions was to think of credit cards in terms of “top of phone” rather than the traditional “top of wallet.” Today, credit union members are already paying for goods and services using digital and mobile wallets.  If a credit union’s card is not enabled in these wallets, then members are using some other financial institution’s card. Grilli cites industry statistics to prove the magnitude of the opportunity including the fact that 3.5 percent of eligible purchase transactions are already made using Apple Pay.  More than 70 financial institutions in the U.S. now support Samsung Pay with that number increasing almost daily.  And, there are currently 11 million Visa Checkout users with 1.5 million new Android devices added each month.

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Posted: Apr 19, 2016
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Author: Paul Castner

Bon voyage! The CSCU Solutions Conference 2016 (SC16) sets sail at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club in Orlando.  With more than 300 attendees, 30 breakout sessions, 3 keynote speakers, and the partners’ solutions showcase, SC16 is shaping up to be the biggest and best CSCU conference to date for credit unions. Importantly, SC16 is an industry leading educational event that will deliver timely and relevant thought leadership insights and information to help credit unions navigate through the many changes going on in the world of payments.

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Posted: Mar 29, 2016
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Author: Lou Grilli

Loyalty programs are undergoing changes on all fronts. American Express announced a new mobile app that will allow membership rewards to be used at the POS, presumably at a devalued exchange rate. Starbucks changed their long-standing rewards program by issuing “stars” based on dollar spend, rather than the number of transactions, causing some consternation among Frappuccino and Oprah Chai aficionados. The way credit and debit card issuers who offer loyalty programs view rewards is also coming under scrutiny.

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Posted: Feb 19, 2016
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Author: Lou Grilli

10 Steps Credit Unions Should Take To Keep Member Data Safe

Taken at face value, mobile payments are considered more secure than credit cards, even more secure than EMV chip cards. Unlike chip cards, the payment credentials stored on the phone or watch are tokenized, whereas the chip card has the actual card number on the chip. Also, the phone requires an additional authentication (a fingerprint or a passcode) which the card does not require. This is the current case with Apple/Samsung/Android Pay. But there are other forms of payments both in the market and in start-ups whose focus is not on security. These start-ups are working on merchant-specific payment and loyalty apps, on-demand service apps, pay-at-the-table apps, and the vulnerability of these new forms of payments are driving increased security concerns.

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Posted: Feb 18, 2016
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Author: Lou Grilli

Part 3 of a 3-Part Series

More on Tokenization

This is Part 3 of the 3-Part series “Tokenization, Encryption, EMV, and Biometrics: The New Superheroes of Payments Fraud.”  In Part 1, we reviewed tokenization, its background, and how it is now being used in mobile wallets.  In Part 2, we provided a deeper understanding of EMV and its use of encryption to protect payment credentials and we covered how NFC technology fits into the payments picture. In Part 3, the final installment of the series, we will look more closely at tokenization, the protection of payment credentials and some of the potential problems it will present the merchants.

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