Tips for Managing Members’ Compromised Cards


Fraudsters are always looking for a new way to take what is not theirs—cloning debit and credit cards is just one of those ways. In the race to create more convenient tools and services, corresponding security features often lag behind, creating windows of opportunity for bad actors to take advantage. When product and security don’t line up, compromised card situations can happen.

When a member gets a notification that their card has been compromised, it is disheartening for them—there is an immediate feeling of frustration and inconvenience. Have their funds been depleted? How can they access their money? How long will they need to wait to get a new card? Where is their local branch? When will they be able to get there? What about the automatic payments attached to the card? There are a lot of questions that come up and overwhelm them at that moment.

Typically, that is when the member takes charge of the situation. They contact their credit union to see if the card has been closed and discuss their recent activity to determine if any fraudulent transactions have been processed. As a credit union, when your institution has been notified of a compromised card situation, there is a lot to do in a short amount of time.

First, your credit union should advise the member, if possible, to go to an ATM or a branch location and pull out any cash that they may need until they get their new card. Also, you can offer the member an instant card issue (if you have one) or any other services that may help the member to gain access to their funds quickly. The next step will be to address the issue at large and determine the extent of the breach by working with the card vendor and getting a list of cardholders and gathering policy and procedures for this type of situation. Contact your core processor to see how they can assist with the process.

Once you have spoken with your card vendor and your core processor, you can formulate an action plan that best suits your credit union and offers the best service to your members. Notifying your members will be key. Let them know of your plan and how you are going to get them connected to their money again as quickly as possible. Credit unions are implementing new services all the time, what services do you have? What services do you have in the works?

There are many services that are helpful for members, especially when compromised card issues arise. Instant Card Issue is a service where a new card can be printed on the same day and used right away. With digital issuance services, members can request a new card online any time of day or night and it can be used immediately when paired with push provisioning, which refers to the ability to “push” the newly issued card number to a mobile wallet provider, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.

Thorough communication and acting quickly are the most important elements when navigating compromised card situations. Use multiple communication avenues to alert your members, some to consider are email notices, notices in the mail, or website announcements. Promptness as a member can help you avoid fees or embarrassing situations where your card is declined. Acting quickly as a credit union will show your members that you care, limit the damage, and will increase the loyalty your members have for their credit union.


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