The Members Group says U.S. is ready for EMV debit cards in new white paper

DES MOINES, IA (October 13, 2014) — In a white paper issued by payments processor The Members Group (TMG), TMG Senior Product Manager Brandon Kuehl says the U.S. is ready for EMV debit cards. Written for community financial institution card issuers, the paper talks through what community bank and credit union card teams should be doing now to prepare their own debit portfolios for an eventual migration to the EMV standard.

Kuehl opens by explaining the two largest factors to have put debit cards so far behind their credit counterparts in the U.S. EMV race – the complexity of the U.S. debit system and regulatory challenges specific to the Durbin Amendment.

“Today, these issues have been mostly resolved,” writes Kuehl, who at the same time cautions issuers that too many roadblocks to issuer revenue exist to begin issuing debit EMV cards immediately.

“Regional PIN networks, PIN processors and most merchants are not yet equipped to accept the U.S. common debit AID [application identifier] transactions,” writes Kuehl. “Therefore, any transactions made with U.S. debit EMV cards today will not likely route to an issuer’s PIN network partner. Instead, they will travel on the global AID rails (i.e. directly to MasterCard or Visa). Any cost savings or revenue the issuer typically enjoys with its PIN network partner would not be realized.”

Still, Kuehl advises issuers to begin the EMV migration planning process. “Building out a team, educating managers and other staff and talking with vendors to determine what that migration process will look like are all excellent tactics to employ yet this year.”

To help its clients prepare, TMG is developing a streamlined program similar to its EMV for credit process. To date, the streamlined credit program has helped more than 80 percent of TMG clients ready their credit portfolios for the EMV standard. The streamlined program supports TMG’s brand promise of ‘making life easier’ for its clients by enabling them to launch their EMV programs quickly, efficiently and with reduced complexity.

Other topics included in the paper are consumer expectations and the user experience relative to EMV cards, as well as the predicted impact of the October 2015 liability shift on debit portfolios.

To download the white paper “America’s Next Step in EMV: Debit Cards,” visit

About TMG
The Members Group (TMG) is dedicated to creating customized, technology-driven card processing and payment solutions for credit unions and community-based financial institutions across North America. Innovations in fraud management, loyalty programs, alternative payment systems and analytic reporting, and the competitive advantages they create, have helped TMG forge a new standard in offering cutting-edge credit, debit, ATM, prepaid card products and a P2P payment solution. For more information, visit

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