Advantage User Guide Updated

Two sections of the Advantage User Guide have been updated: ATM Services and ATM Cash Balancing. Updates include additional detail to instructions as well as the ATM Cleaning, Security and Compliance Checklist.

The Advantage User Guide – which also includes the updated Table of Contents – was mailed to member institutions July 26th. Please contact Karen Powell at 605-335-5103 or [email protected] with questions.

Visa SRC to replace Visa Checkout

Starting in September in the United States, Visa will transition Visa Checkout to Visa Secure Remote Commerce (Visa SRC). Visa Checkout is Visa’s current mobile wallet that allows a cardholder to register a card they can access when making an online purchase. The online wallet makes the checkout experience easier and faster for the cardholder because they do not have to enter their shipping or payment information on each merchant’s website.

Visa recommends that issuers make the Visa Checkout to Visa SRC changes visible on your websites, in mobile applications and in other marketing collateral close to September.

This icon will appear on merchant websites to indicate “Click to Pay;” consumers can click on the icon to pay with a debit card, major credit card or an alternate payment type such as PayPal.

  • If your institution does not participate in tokenization, a consumer’s identity will be protected with one-time passcodes (initiated by Visa at this time).
  • If your institution participates in Visa Tokenization, tokens will be requested by merchants that utilize Visa Token Service.

If you have any questions about Visa SRC, please contact Karen Bos-Carey at 605-335-2937 or [email protected]


Signature vs PIN transactions

When a cardholder makes a purchase at a merchant, they may be asked to authorize the purchase with a signature or PIN. In many Point-of-Sale (POS) scenarios, the cardholder is not immediately presented with a choice regarding the authorization method.

Choosing Credit at a Merchant (Signature Transaction)

•     If you are using your debit card at a PIN pad terminal, you may still be able to sign for your transaction. On some terminals, you may be required to swipe or insert your card without being offered the choice of CREDIT or DEBIT. If you are prompted to enter your PIN, you may press CANCEL to sign or tell the cashier you want to sign for your purchase.

•     When you press CREDIT for a Visa debit transaction, you do not pay a credit card fee or interest. Your Visa debit card still works like a debit card, not a credit card.

•     If you use your PIN for debit transactions, you may not receive the same security protections available for transactions processed by Visa.

•     “Visa Debit” vs “US Debit:” Visa Debit means that the transaction will run on the Visa’s network as a “credit” (for most purchases) while “US Debit” means it will run on a debit network (NYCE, Pulse etc.).

Transaction Security

•     There are arguments on both sides as to whether choosing Debit or Credit is better than the other; however, both transactions are safe options. Keep in mind, Visa transactions are covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy which means cardholders are not held responsible for fraudulent charges.

•     All Advantage Checkcard transactions are covered by industry-leading fraud management which offers continuous fraud monitoring that deters and detects suspicious activity on Checkcards.

•     All consumer debit card transactions are covered under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) aka Regulation E.

The Checkcard holder has the option to choose credit or debit even when the first prompt might say, “Is the amount ok?”

FIS Fraud Forum Recording Available

Fraud continues to evolve as perpetrators saturate the financial industry with new and innovative ways to bypass prevention measures. Each quarter, FIS presents a discussion on fraud trends, mitigation solutions, industry data and more. The April 24 forum included an overview of the upcoming Fraud Product roadmap and a discussion of the fraud trends observed in FIS Fraud Alert Management.

A recording of the latest FIS Card Fraud Forum is now available at the below link. The password for the recording is FISrecording2019.

April24 FIS Card Fraud Forum Recording

For information about SecurLOCK products contact Kirsten Church at the Advantage Network at 605-335-5118.

Direct Access to CMSe will not be available after May 21

As a security enhancement, CMSe (Cardbase) will be accessed only through the Web Application Portal.

To access the Web Application Portal, use this URL and save it to your favorites.

After May 21, 2019 you will not be able access CMSe directly. In addition, users should use the Web Application Portal to access StarView for their daily and monthly reports.

The links you see when you sign in are for web-based applications you are set up for. If you are missing a link or wish to be set up for an application you currently don’t have access to, contact Karen Powell at 605-335-5103.

Web Application access is also available via a link on the bottom of members homepage of the Advantage website.

Visa No Longer Requiring Signed Dispute Forms

Visa has updated their dispute process and no longer requires a cardholder signature on the dispute form when submitting the dispute.

It is important, though, to still obtain as much information as possible that pertains to the dispute to increase the possibility of the dispute being successful.

You may still have the cardholder sign a form for your own records at your financial institution.

If you have any questions, please contact Adam at the Advantage Network at 605-335-5104 or [email protected]

ATM Skimming: Actions You Can Take to Protect Yourself

  1. Do a quick scan. Before using any machine, take a look to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with. If the card reader seems loose, crooked or damaged, if the graphics aren’t aligned, or if part of the machine is a different color, don’t use. If there is another machine nearby (such as two ATM machines next to each other) compare them to see if there are obvious differences. For example, if one machine has a flashing slot to insert your card and the other doesn’t, that may be an indication that there is something wrong. 
  2. Be wary of non-bank ATMs. FICO reports that 60% of skimming occurs at privately-owned ATMs. These are typically cash-dispensing machines and tend to be located in convenience stores, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, or check cashing establishments.
  3. Check the keypad. If the numbers are hard to press or feel too thick, it might have a false keypad installed and you should move on to the next machine.
  4. Block your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand in case a camera is recording your number.
  5. Stay in public view. Always try to use machines that are in public view with security monitoring – these machines are less likely to be tampered with. For additional protection, use a machine inside the store or an ATM inside your bank.
  6. Check your account regularly. Technology is advancing and so are skimming devices so the best thing you can do is monitor your account. Rather than wait for your monthly statement, check your account regularly using online and mobile banking. This way, if anything were to happen, you can catch it immediately and report it to your bank.
  7. Sign up for alerts. See what type of fraud alert system your card provider has in place and take advantage of it.
  8. Above all, trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, or if you’re in doubt about the authenticity of a machine, use a different machine or payment method.

Welcome, Kirsten!


My name is Kirsten Church and I am the new Advantage Network Supervisor. I look forward to understanding your needs to continue to improve EFT Services, Marketing, and continuing to provide the highest level of customer service. Our goal is to grow our services offered to you and to ensure your institution is offering products that meet your cardholders’ needs in today’s market.


When you are trying to access the website using the Chrome internet browser you may be presented with a security warning such as the example here. This may happen when the full URL is not entered; type in the full website address ( and try again. You may also try to use Internet Explorer to access the site.

The website IS secure; here’s the Privacy Statement from the website: We take the security and privacy of your personal information very seriously; that’s why the Points2U website is fully encrypted and why a password is required to access certain aspects of the Points2U website.


2018 Holiday Hours and Card Production

The Advantage Network will be closing at 1pm on Monday, December 24th.  

Reports and posting files will be available at their normal times.

Daily card production will not occur Christmas Eve. Cards in the December 24th card production file will be processed Wednesday, December 26th. 

Also, daily card production will not occur on New Year’s Eve. Cards in the December 31st card production file will be processed on Wednesday, January 2nd.

Happy Holidays!

Fraud and Disputes Webinar Encore

Advantage has scheduled an encore presentation of our “Dispute and Fraud Training” webinar. The encore webinar has been scheduled for Friday, November 2nd at 10am CT.

The revised “Cardholder Statement of Dispute” can be found on the members site under “Forms, Manuals and Marketing Materials.”

The presentation slide deck has been emailed to all member institutions. If you have not received a copy, please contact Adam Lamprecht at 605-335-5104 or [email protected]

Action Required! Contactless card enablement project

The Advantage processor, FIS Global, is instituting a Mass Contactless Card Readiness and Enablement Program that includes all Advantage member institutions unless institutions individually opt out of the opportunity.

You must respond with your choice to opt in or opt out by October 18, 2018.  See below for details.

Please email Karen Bos-Carey at [email protected] no later than October 18th and indicate your choice to opt in or opt out.

Requests to opt in or opt out must be in writing. Your choice to opt in will be taken as agreement for Advantage to pass your choice to FIS and begin the enablement and billing processes.

The cost of FIS preparing your institution for enablement at this time is a deeply discounted $5,000: $3,500 to be included in the November 2018 invoice and $1,500 to be billed in 2019. This does not include any network pass-through or other related fees or card costs. If you decide to opt out of the mass enablement program, the future cost of readiness and enablement is estimated to be about $20,000.

If you choose to opt in, FIS will prepare the necessary paperwork and certification so your institution is a step ahead when you are ready to issue contactless cards. The enablement process will be completed during the second or third quarter of 2019. There is no mandate to issue contactless cards and no immediate deadline for beginning to issue contactless cards after enablement.

FIS is offering free webinars about the value of the mass contactless card enablement on October 4, October 11 and October 18 from 1-1:30p ET. Click here for information and to join the webinars.

You may also want to read a report about contactless cards from AT Kearney called It’s Time to Cash in on Contactless Cards and the FIS Success Guide: Making the Case for Contactless Payments.

If you have any questions, please contact Chuck Parsons at 605-335-5266 or Karen Bos-Carey at 605-335-2937.



FIS to present ATM updates webinar October 4th

The Advantage Network is pleased to announce a webinar scheduled for Thursday, October 4th at 10a CT on ATM products and services, security and Windows 10 implementation. The webinar will be hosted by FIS Global, the processor for Advantage ATMs.

All Advantage member institutions who own ATMs are encouraged to attend. More information and webinar log in information will be sent prior to the webinar.


Social Media Solution Introduced

Social media has become a mainstream marketing and communications tool. In fact, studies have shown that it’s probable that your cardholders already have used social media to research or discuss your institution. Whether you are actively using it to market or not, you are participating in social media. If your institution has not yet defined its social media strategy, now is the time to act.  

The FIS™ Social Media Solution can be used in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model or as a broader service offering that allows you to select from a spectrum of choices. 

COMPLIANCE CONSULTING assesses your social media risk profile and develops a risk management program tailored to your company’s size, activities and risk profile. 

MARKETING CONSULTING assists you with creating and maintaining effective social media programs. 

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING provides the resources you need to engage appropriately with customers and respond in a timely manner.

For more information please contact us at 605-335-5113.

Bring Real-time Payments to Your Cardholders

  • Attract and retain a younger demographic.
  • Increase cash flow for business accounts.
  • Implement tokenized transactions.

Explore the possibilities available with the FIS “Real-Time Payment Incubator.”

For financial institutions, revenue is realized from increased card-based payment volume and operational expenses are reduced as other payment methods are streamlined or replaced.

FIS Global, the processor for The Advantage Network, now offers a “Real-Time Payment Incubator” to Advantage member institutions. Explore the possibilities available for offering real-time payments solutions to your cardholders with no up-front costs, a short implementation timeline (4-6 months), and innovative strategies that take advantage of a variety of products and solutions.

For more information about the Real-time Payment Incubator contact us at 605-335-5113.


Tips to mitigate online fraud

Counterfeit card fraud has decreased by 66% as more merchants accept – and more cardholders use – Chip cards. However, in response, online fraud has increased 26%.

How can a financial institution mitigate online fraud for their cardholders?

  1.  50% of fraud is found by the cardholder. Help them reduce the chances of fraud on their cards by providing them with this information: Protect-yourself-from-fraud.
  2. Let cardholders know how to sign up for transaction alerts offered by your institution or Visa Purchase Alerts.
  3. Educate your staff about SecurLOCK fraud alerts as well as real-time rules authorization blocks and how to respond to each.
  4. Consider addition SecurLOCK Equip to your arsenal.
  5. Request free on-site or webinar training and user guides for your staff.

Contact us for details!