Why American 1 Credit Union decided to decline credit and debit card transactions from Wendy’s

Bold move pays off positively for the Jackson, Michigan-based credit union

Wendy’s restaurants, long known for its “biggie size” servings, might now be better known as a frequent target of “biggie-sized” data breaches resulting in massive credit card fraud.  Since the fall of 2015, according to one industry source, 1,025 Wendy’s point-of-sale systems in the United States were infected with malware during a five-month-long period.   While Wendy’s said they removed the malware, data breaches continued to reoccur in a number of locations including Jackson, Michigan, the hometown of American 1, a leading credit union in the region that vigilantly monitors member accounts for suspicious activity. American 1 says that to date, they have reached approximately $600,000 in fraud (about 150,000 doubles with cheese!) related to the Wendy’s breach leading to a decision that the credit union never imagined that they would have to undertake.

In a bold move, American 1 elected to decline Wendy’s transactions made by members on their American 1 credit and debit cards until they felt the fast food chain and the franchisee had fixed the problem.  The decision to take this course of action was not taken lightly and involved approval and support by its board of directors.  In addition, members had to be made aware so they would not be taken by surprise when their American 1 card was declined at Wendy’s.  Since American 1 made this move, they have slowed the bleeding to a trickle and have received very positive response from their members as well as media coverage in local, national, and business news outlets.  What American 1 accomplished has prompted CSCU member credit unions to ask the question:  “Should we also decline Wendy’s transactions?”

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