EFT Card Control Projects In the Works

In light of new mandates related to EFT transaction alerts, CU*Answers currently has several related projects in the Kitchen.  Keep an eye on this page for discussions about our plans and details as the projects move further along in the pipeline.

Chefs for this recipe:  Heather French and Geoff Johnson


In 2017, CU*Answers launched a major learning project centered around automated service denials triggered by the analysis of fraud data (in other words, saying no to member transactions at the point of contact, based on various fraud triggers).  This project will be much broader than just EFT, but certainly involves this arena as well.  We plan to develop both automated and member-initiated controls for when and what transactions and activities CU*BASE should approve.

As outlined below, components will include simple on/off switches to let the member control when the card is available, tools to manage how the card can be used when it’s on, and optional notifications for members to which members can subscribe.

Remember that CU*BASE can only control activity when we are online to the EFT switches for up-time, real-time approvals.  So our goal here is to provide a disruptively-priced solution (meaning a very low fee to the CU) that covers 98.5% of the time (meaning when we are online with the switch).  To mitigate the risk the rest of the time, the CU could choose to insure against possible losses themselves or pay for extended services offered by their switch.

A Word on Timing

Our plan is to develop a second-to-market solution as an alternative to the current solutions offered by EFT switches.  This would either be an alternative for CUs who have already engaged with providers such as Vantiv or others, or as an option for CUs who will choose not to comply with the mandate.  Like EMV or any other mandate from the EFT providers, there is always a trailing audience wishing to better understand market response and options, waiting until after the first wave of early movers.  We plan to work with them, and see if there is a better alternative for the future.

As a second-to-market solution, ours will not be ready soon enough for credit unions who feel they must comply with the Spring 2017 deadlines from MasterCard or Visa.  We encourage you to evaluate any switch offering that would meet your credit union’s needs.  We do suggest, however, that you keep the term short.

View related slides from the 2018 Leadership Conference

View related slides from the 2017 Leadership Conference

Projects in the Pipeline

Project 1: Card On/Off Controls for Members

This project allows a member to directly turn their ATM/debit or credit card on or off using a mobile or desktop device, via a new function in It’s Me 247 or even over the counter in CU*BASE. This project was kept simple through the use of existing “warm” status codes already in place and used by CU employees for members who ask for a temporary status change, which means no changes with vendors (meaning no certifications needed).

Status:  Project was implemented in the 18.07 releaseView the Card Controls User Guide.

Project 2: Other Card Controls for Members

While the on/off switch is a relatively simple, black-and-white risk mitigation tool, there is other low-hanging fruit to allow members to reduce fraud risk while their card is on.  There are dozens of these ideas, such as do not approve transactions over x dollars, Internet purchases, card not present, geographical/regional controls, etc.  We’ll prioritize based on which ones can be supported with existing data elements, then move on in future phases to more complicated ones such as controls by transaction type (gas station purchases vs. food vs. clothing, etc.) that will require database changes to support.

Status: Still in the design stage.

Project 3: Notifications

Our other major card-facing project will be digging into notifications.  We did spend a significant amount of time speaking with the folks at Ondot regarding their offering around notifications and card controls.  The more we learned regarding the business, processes, pricing, and other considerations, the more we recognized that it made sense to build vs buy.

In the future, the number of direct member contacts and touchpoints like EFT-triggered communications will only increase.  We feel strongly that CUs should not put those communications into the hands of MasterCard, VISA, or other payment vendors:  they should own those touchpoints and the motivations behind them. A more comprehensive and less expensive vendor proposition would benefit all network CUs.

Status as of 12/18/2018: Project #45222 was implemented in the 18.10 release.  



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