Post-EMV, Affinity Plus reports reduced fraud, improved satisfaction

January 29, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (1/29/16)--Four months after its conversion to EMV chip-enabled debit and credit cards, Affinity Plus FCU reported a 64% reduction in fraud and a high measure of member satisfaction.

The St. Paul, Minn., credit union additionally reported a 48% drop in disputed charges--a reduction especially significant considering the typical spike in fraud during the holiday shopping season.


Click image to enlarge. (Affinity Plus FCU Graphic)

"Based on our preliminary data, the reduction we have seen in fraudulent activity--combined with the overwhelmingly positive member sentiment and support we've received--makes this a win," said Affinity Plus President/CEO Dave Larson.

Affinity Plus converted 59,000 new credit cards and nearly 118,000 debit cards last fall to the EMV chip technology. Card issuers are responsible for issuing the chip cards, while merchants are responsible for adding EMV capability to point-of-sale systems. Starting Oct. 1, all liability for card-present fraud shifted to the least EMV-compliant entity.

In December, the credit union sent educational materials and a survey to its card-carrying members. In less than 10 days, 3,000 members responded to the satisfaction survey, which ranked three questions on a scale of 1 to 10.

  • How smooth was the Affinity Plus credit and debit card conversion to offering cards with EMV chip technology, where 10 equals smooth and 1 difficult? 9.03.
  • Do you feel that Affinity Plus takes member security seriously, where 10 equals yes and 1 equals no? 9.59.
  • Knowing that EMV chip technology encrypts personal card information when shopping at retail outlets that are equipped to accept this technology, do you feel more secure using your credit or debit cards, where 10 equals yes, I feel more secure, and 1 means no, I do not feel more secure? 8.24.

"Based on the volume of responses we received in such a short time, we most certainly have an engaged membership, and they are willing to give us their input--they speak and we listen," Larson said. "Our members truly believe that we consider their security to be a top priority."

While EMV chip technology and tokenization provide additional layers of security for consumers, they are not a cure-all. The Credit Union National Association continues to press Congress to make sure that all the players--including retailers--in the payments system are beholden to the same strict standards as credit unions and other financial institutions.