Choosing Visa alerts that will improve your credit union card services

EMV acceptance at ATMs is not the only looming deadline for October 2016. Effective October 14, 2016, Visa Rules will require all U.S. issuers of consumer class Visa credit, debit and reloadable prepaid cards to provide an option to enroll in transaction alerts to their consumers. These alerts will enable cardholders to quickly identify suspicious purchases on their accounts when the chosen method of notification is received (text message, email, or in some cases, in-app push notifications on smartphones). The motivating factor behind this rule is Visa concluded that alerts are a proven method to mitigate fraud after conducting an internal study that found transaction alerts can reduce fraud by up to 40%.1

The alerts, while perhaps cumbersome, are generally perceived as a win for consumers. The alerts are designed to send a message every time a transaction is made with the Visa card.  There have been consumer complaints that the alerts can be distracting, and in cases where joint accounts are held, the element of surprise birthday gifts between spouses diminishes, for example. For the most part, though, in a world of ever increasing fraudulent activity, consumers stand to benefit from these credit union card services.

The rules will not require a consumer to participate in the program, but does require that Visa issuers at least offer the option.

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