Implementing Apple Pay

CUs can have their cards ready in about two months.

March 1, 2015

Enrolling in Apple Pay is taking longer than experts thought, says Michelle Thornton, manager of core products for CO-OP Financial Services.

Still, if motivated, credit unions can have their cards ready in about two months, she says.

That’s in line with the Apple Pay implementation timetable at National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIFHCU) in Rockville, Md.

Tom Poe, NIHFCU’s vice president of remote services, says NIHFCU leaders have spoken to numerous other credit unions about their Apple Pay experience. “Be patient,” he advises.

“We definitely spent a lot of time on front-line staff education and training, as well as educating members. Members will have a lot of questions on the security aspects, as well as what merchants are participating,” he says.

The two biggest hurdles to clear, Thornton says, are:

1. Submitting the card art correctly to Apple; and

2. Readying the call center to handle Apple Pay questions.

Another issue that delays some credit unions, Thornton says, is tion’s cards need to be eligible. If credit unions work with multiple card processors on their debit and credit cards, they have to be ready in concert.

Working closely with your card processors is key.

“We worked most closely with our processor, First Data, on the implementation. The entire process took about seven weeks, to launch, I think it was relatively smooth sailing,” Poe says.

FAIRWINDS Credit Union also worked with First Data, which coordinated directly with Apple and Visa on their behalf.

“We didn’t encounter any real issues other than the normal instances that occur as an ‘early adopter’ that you just work through,” says Mathy Hogan, FAIRWINDS’ executive vice president of eBusiness.