PSCU First To Launch Prepaid EMV Cards

EMV cards, which are essential for international travelers, include tiny electromagnetic chips, but also carry the standard magnetic stripe for use in the U.S.

PSCU says it will be the first to issue VISA Prepaid EMV cards in the United States. Several PSCU credit unions will begin issuing the new cards later this summer and more than a dozen credit unions plan to deploy prepaid EMV cards this fall.

Prepaid EMV cards deliver full debit card functionality and are designed for credit union members who are working, traveling, living or studying in Canada and Europe and other regions where EMV technology is the preferred method for payment processing. These versatile cards also contain a magnetic stripe for use in the U.S.

“We’re on a mission to keep credit unions in front of the demand curve,” said Michael Kelly, PSCU CEO & President. “That means decisively seizing emerging technology opportunities to give our credit unions a leading role in the payments market. We are the first financial services provider to launch Prepaid EMV cards in the U.S., and we’re empowering credit unions to attract more members and reach consumer segments that need both domestic and international spending power.”

Users of VISA Prepaid EMV cards avoid the inconvenience of purchase declines at merchants that only accept EMV cards. Cardholders also gain stronger security with enhanced card authentication, cardholder verification and transaction authorization. Secure data storage on the chip and issuer-specific keys make the card nearly impossible to counterfeit. The PIN authenticates the cardholder and acts as a second level of security in case the card is stolen. While magnetic stripe authorizations contain the same encrypted code for every transaction, EMV chip authorizations are processed using unique encrypted data codes specific to each transaction.

Chip authentication is proven to reduce transaction fraud and positions credit unions to avoid VISA’s liability shift to issuers, which is scheduled for 2015. These fully featured cards can be personalized or non-personalized and sold in branch or on a website. Value can be loaded onto the cards from a web site, IVR, branch, using debit/credit cards, account transfers from checking/savings accounts or through direct deposit.

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