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.
The slide deck from the mobile payments webinar of August 16th is now available! Click here to view
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.
- 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.
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?
- 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.
- Let cardholders know how to sign up for transaction alerts offered by your institution or Visa Purchase Alerts.
- Educate your staff about SecurLOCK fraud alerts as well as real-time rules authorization blocks and how to respond to each.
- Consider addition SecurLOCK Equip to your arsenal.
- Request free on-site or webinar training and user guides for your staff.
Contact us for details!
Here are some new scenarios that might be encountered by Advantage Checkcard holders for transaction authorization and posting:
- The merchant terminal may ask for a signature but route the transaction to a PIN debit network.
- When a cardholder is given the option to choose “credit,” the transaction may not be routed to Visa. And, a cardholder may be prompted for a signature instead of a PIN if they choose “debit.”
- Some merchants may not allow the cardholder to choose “credit” to opt out of PIN entry at the terminal.
- The merchant may not ask for either a PIN or signature. The major networks announced this week that a signature is now optional for all chip-enabled merchants. PIN networks have announced that PIN entry would be optional for all purchases. Overall, the number of “No Cardholder Verification Method (CVM)” transactions is expected to grow.
Cardholders with rewards or affinity cards (cards that earn benefits for schools, community projects, etc.) may see the opportunity to earn rewards and benefits dwindle.
At this time, there are only a few merchants using the signature-for-PIN debit option but authorization and routing changes will be made by more merchants as they look to reduce their costs and speed checkout times.
To mitigate a drop in interchange, continue to promote the use of Checkcards and choosing signature at the POS. Many cardholders enter their PIN at POS simply because that is the option initially offered to them by the terminal. And, many cardholders are under the impression that signature transactions are not safe. Remind your cardholders of the security provided to them for their transactions as well as the many things they can do to protect themselves from fraud; see below.
As payments processes make it easier to use a debit card and cardholders feel secure in using their debit cards, financial institutions will benefit from greater usage and increased interchange.
The VRU is an automated system that handles card activation and PIN changes via the telephone.
When a cardholder calls the VRU to change their PIN, the VRU will prevent the cardholder from selecting a new PIN that has repetitive digits (e.g., 1111) or sequential digits (e.g., 1234 or 4321) or that matches the last four digits of their Social Security or Tax Identification number.
If a cardholder attempts to change their PIN to one of these prohibited numbers, the VRU will announce, “Your new PIN does not meet our security standards.” If the cardholder makes three failed attempts, the VRU will direct them to contact their financial institution.
In addition, cardholders can now set a PIN that begins with a zero.
The telephone number for the VRU is printed on all card mailers: 1-877-219-4344.
These changes are effective immediately.
Effective January 13, 2018 surcharges (“Checkout Fee”) on credit and debit card transactions in the European Union are prohibited.
In the United States, confusion about checkout fees still lingers; here are some facts you should know:
1. The surcharge only applies to credit cards; it does not apply to debit cards (Advantage Checkcards for example) or prepaid cards (gift cards for example).
2. Cardholders who use a debit card or prepaid card at checkout and choose the “Credit” button in order to make a “signature” purchase should not be charged the checkout fee. If a store attempts to add a surcharge on a purchase made with an Advantage Checkcard, cardholders should inform the clerk they are using a Debit Card and not a Credit Card and the surcharge is not allowed.
3. The Checkout Fee may not exceed four percent (4%) of the transaction amount and merchants must disclose the actual dollar amount of the surcharge on the receipt. For credit card returns, a prorated share of the surcharge should be refunded as well.
4. Merchants who implement the Checkout Fee are required to post a notice at the point of store entry and at the point sale. Online merchants must post a notice in the first web page that references credit card brands. The disclosure must include the amount of the surcharge and the fact that the fee is being charged by the merchant, not the card issuer.
5. Some merchants will charge a “convenience fee” to the cardholder for using a card for their purchase, for example, taking online payments for rent rather than accepting checks only.
6. Merchants are allowed to require minimum purchases for credit card purchases — up to $10.
7. Merchant are allowed to offer discounts for cash, checks, or other non-credit card means of payment.
8. Several states have laws restricting surcharging; if you suspect a violation in these states, contact the state attorney general’s office.
9. Cardholders may report merchants charging excessive Checkout fees, or surcharging debit or prepaid card transactions, or setting minimum debit purchase requirements by going to this website and filling out the “Report a Merchant Violation” form: www.visa.com/checkoutfees.
10. For FAQs and information about credit cards and debit cards visit www.knowyourcard.org.
Contradicting proclamations that the world will become cashless and fully digital in the near future, cash is still the most commonly used form of payment according to the Cardtronics 2017 Health of Cash study:
- Cash and debit are more frequently used for in-store purchases.
- People still mostly prefer to give and receive monetary gifts with cash.
- Cash payment is preferred in fast food restaurants and bars.
- 68% of people use cash for purchases under $10.
- Cash leads in charitable giving and checks remain a leading form of payment in this area.
- 68% of those surveyed prefer cards or digital payments but specifically keep cash in their wallet as back-up form of payment and use it regularly.
- Survey participants said they use cash because they value these attributes in payment methods: Convenience, Safety, Ease and Privacy.
- Participants revealed that using cash helps them stay on budget because it “feels more real than other forms of payment.”
This is good news for ATM owners, who earn surcharge and network fee income on transactions at their ATMs. Beyond dispensing cash, each ATM also
- generates income and reduces teller expense while providing convenience to cardholders and other ATM users.
- serves as a public-facing representative of your financial institution.
- is a marketing tool you can brand with external signage and customize with screen messages and graphics.
How can you maximize the potential of your ATM(s)? See below for some suggestions from Advantage.
1. Purchase an ATM that best serves the needs of your institution, your cardholders and the public according to location. Will a cash dispenser suffice or will you install a full-service ATM or even an ITM (Interactive Teller Machine)? What telecom method will you use? Will it be located indoors or out? Has the location been predetermined or are you contemplating a move or addition of an ATM?
2. Monitor “up” time so the ATM is available for use by providing software updates and equipment maintenance as needed. Fill cash regularly; use Self-Service Gateway to look up cash balances. Review and update your fault response process including contact information and contact timeframes.
3. Perform exterior maintenance to keep the ATM clean and approachable. Make sure the area is well lit.
4. Consider upgrading your ATM to attract more usage by adding services such as Fast Cash, Cardholder Preferences or Cardless Cash.
5. Review data available to understand and influence cardholder behavior, increase usage and enhance profitability. Here are some questions you can ask in your research:
- Is the surcharge at each ATM appropriate? (Surcharges can be set individually for each ATM.
- Are your cardholders using your ATM(s) or foreign ATMs?
- Are service fees for your cardholders using other ATMs appropriate? Your estimated average cost per transaction as an issuer for your cardholders using
– an Advantage ATM: $0.533
– an Allpoint ATM: $0.778
– your ATM: $0.06.
6. Evaluate the location of your ATM(s). Is an ATM in the right location but needs more promotion?
7. Do you market and promote your ATM locations? Advantage locations? Allpoint locations? Use StarView Settlement Manager reports to assist your research.
- 3242E-04: Monthly Acquirer Summary by Terminal. “Not On Us” transactions are Advantage cardholders.
- 3242E-08: Monthly Acquirer Summary- all Terminals. “Not On Us” transactions are Advantage cardholders.
- 3245E: Monthly Surcharge Totals (Acquirer report; all ATMs listed individually)
- 0431E: (Issuer) Daily Foreign Surcharge Report. Surcharges your cardholders paid for withdrawals listed by card number; does not include Visa transactions. (Used to target cardholders who are not using your ATMs.)
- 3212E: Monthly Issuer Summary. “On Us” transactions are your cardholders at your ATM(s)
- 3471E-00: Monthly Foreign ATM Usage Report. (Top 10 or 25 foreign ATMs your cardholders used.)
8. What factors can you consider to determine profitability of your ATM(s)?
· Income and expenses reported on Advantage invoice
· Quarterly statistics provided by Advantage
· Operating Supplies
· Cost of Cash
· Communication Costs
· Security/Alarm Costs
· Personnel Costs
· Maintenance Contracts.
You may decide that certain ATMs do not need to be profitable if they fulfill a need for the location, give your institution a presence in the market, or serve a need for cash access in a market.
Hopefully this information will help you with evaluating your ATM program. If you need any assistance, we are more than happy to assist you! For more information contact Karen Powell at 605-335-5103 or [email protected]
On February 13, 2018, Advantage hosted a webinar about the FIS Charitable Giving platform; here is the slide deck: FIS Charitable Giving Deck 2018.
Increase cardholder loyalty and engagement with this integrated giving solution that empowers your cardholders to give through an easy-to-use online portal.
For more information contact Brady Daly with The Advantage Network at 605-335-5192 or [email protected]
Would you like to encourage your cardholders to swipe their cards more? Would you like to reward those cardholders who conduct more transactions? The Advantage Network and Debit Insights have worked together to bring you a comprehensive turn-key marketing campaign to increase usage in your low-transaction cardholders. The campaign will focus on cardholders who perform fewer than a specified number of transactions per month and incentivize them to increase the number of transactions they make. To do that, your cardholders will be segmented by spending habits, notified of the campaign, rewarded for successfully completing the task and tracked post-campaign to see if the spending habits were sustained.
This Campaign will target active cards that conduct between one and seven POS PIN and POS Signature transactions in the month of April. The group of cardholders who qualify will receive an institution-branded email, mailing or both (your choice) notifying them of the campaign in June. The campaign will encourage these cardholders to complete 15 or more transactions in the month of June in order to earn a $10 gift card. Or, if they perform 20 or more transactions in the month of June, they will earn a $20 gift card. After the campaign concludes, cardholders will be able to redeem their gift cards from a designated site listing the 40+ retailers available. These cardholders will be monitored for the next three, six or 12 months to determine the amount of change in cardholder spending habits.
By The Statistics:
- In past campaigns 17% of the cardholders in the target market qualified for the reward.
- During previous campaigns, the qualified group conducted more than 25 debit card transactions per card at the point of sale, up from just over an average of four transactions the month prior to the campaign.
- A financial institution who ran the campaign in the past realized a campaign ROI of 433% in 12 months.
If you would like to increase your cardholder’s spending and increase your interchange revenue, call or email me at the contact below. The sign up deadline for this exciting campaign will be on April 6th, so don’t miss out! Feel free to contact me for more information or any follow up questions.
Network Inside Sales Coordinator
Advantage recently hosted a webinar to discuss the SecurLOCK Fraud Management Suite. Click Here to view the presentation to learn more about protecting your cardholders while decreasing false positives. There are two foundational products in the SecurLOCK suite of products in which all Advantage member institutions participate, SecurLOCK BLOCK and SecurLOCK Communicate. In this presentation we discussed these and other optional SecurLOCK services. To learn more about all of these services please Click Here.
Feel free to contact Brady Daly with any questions. 605-335-5192 or [email protected]
About 40 percent of all donations are made in the last few weeks of the year, according to nonprofit rating site Charity Navigator. Here are more statistics about charitable giving:
- The 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey shows that households with incomes below $20,000 gave 4.6% to charity.
- The other income levels with the most generous levels are $45-50K and $10M+.
- The largest contributor group is individuals and the average gift per household is $2,400 per year. On the extreme end, Warren Buffet pledged 85% of his entire $45+ billion fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- One in seven charitable transactions is a recurring payment; credit and debit make up 50% of recurring payments.
- 93% of all giving was “off line,” i.e., checks, cash, ACH, etc.
Here is some information you can share with your cardholders to help them make sound decisions about charitable giving:
- Before giving to any charity, ask yourself: What’s my realistic budget for charitable contributions? What really inspires me and how can I make the greatest impact?
- In order for the donor to receive a tax deduction for a donation, the charity must be a qualified 501(c)3 organization. The I.R.S. has a searchable database of charities where you can verify that the organization holds this status.
- The Better Business Bureau’s The BBB Wise Giving Alliance provides a national-level seal of approval with its Standards for Charity Accountability. There are 20 standards that a charity must satisfy. If some standards are not met, consumers will see that in the charity’s listing. In addition, the BBB states that a charitable organization should spend at least 65 percent of its money on program activities — that is, activities directly related to its cause.
- Charity Navigator and Guidestar are two online sources of information about the structure and performance of many nonprofit organizations.
- Never make a donation to a telephone solicitor. The solicitor might not even be legitimate. Telephone charity scams use names similar to those of well-known organizations, or they may say they are raising money for causes that tug at the heartstrings, such as supporting military families, veterans or police officers. In reality, your money will be used simply to profit the person calling.
- Email and social media scams and misinformation abound. Before clicking on a link or forwarding information, do some research at the sites listed above or www.snopes.com, a fact-checking and Internet reference source.
- Mailed donation requests may also be fraudulent; do your homework before giving.
- You can make a greater impact by making your donation part of a matching program. Does your employer make a matching donation? Is there another matching option, for example, during a telethon, on giving Tuesday or a donation drive?
Americans are the most generous donors in the world, and, on average, households in South Dakota and Minnesota generously gave 4.1 percent of discretionary income to charity. Help your cardholders make the most impact with their dollars.
Fraudsters use a number of methods to obtain card information: phishing, vishing, skimming, and malware for example. They then use the information to make fraudulent transactions by creating counterfeit cards or making online purchases.
Although we can’t prevent compromises, the good news is Advantage Checkcards are covered by several layers of security to mitigate fraudulent transactions.
- Continuous Fraud Monitoring (SecurLOCK) deters and detects suspicious activity.
- The 3-Digit Security Code on the back of Checkcards provides Internet and phone security by verifying the cardholder is in possession of their Checkcard.
- Verified by Visa is a free, simple-to-use service that confirms the cardholder identity with a personal password when making an online transaction. Learn more at visa.com/personal/security.
- Chip Checkcards, used at a chip-enabled terminal, generate a onetime code for that transaction. This makes it nearly impossible for fraudsters to use stolen transaction data to create a counterfeit card.
In addition, Visa’s Zero Liability policy applies to all “Signature” or “Credit” purchases and PIN transactions that route through Visa so cardholders are protected in case of a lost card or fraudulent use.
Did you know that the most important fraud fighter is the cardholder? About 50% of fraud is found by the cardholder. Following is good information you can share with your cardholders to encourage them to become actively involved in mitigating Checkcard fraud.
- If a Checkcard transaction is suspect, our fraud monitoring system attempts to contact the cardholder to verify the transaction. For this reason, it is important for your institution to have a current phone number (preferably a cell phone number) and email address on Cardbase. If the cardholder cannot be reached, the card may be blocked to prevent further transactions. Also, cardholders should notify the institution when traveling or before unusual spending.
- Daily limits for purchases should be set at an appropriate amount for your spending habits. The daily limit can be temporarily raised for vacations, special purchases, etc. where a higher daily limit is needed.
- Sign up for Transaction Alerts through your mobile banking or at Visa Purchase Alerts (whichever your institution offers).
- Friendly fraud (the fraudster knows the victim – a relative or friend) accounts for about 10% of fraud. Don’t leave confidential information out in the open.
- Don’t give out personal private data over the Internet or phone unless you initiate the interaction with a trusted source. Do not respond to emails, phone calls or text messages that ask for sensitive information.
- Do not to give out card and PIN information. Do not write your PIN on your card or put it in your wallet. Do not use a PIN that can be found in your wallet (birthdate, part of social security number, house number, etc.).
- Social networking sites are becoming a hazard for information breach. Do not reveal any sensitive personal information on your Facebook, Twitter or other social networking site.
- Do not respond to text messages, phone messages, emails or pop-up windows that offer a gift in exchange for providing card information. There are so many scams circulating, it’s hard to stay current; in general DO NOT respond to ANY requests for personal and/or financial information.
- Do not provide your card information to any web site that is not a secure site. A secure website will have an “s” after the http: in the URL address bar and look for the padlock symbol. Double click on the padlock and the SSL certificate will appear.
- Install and regularly update anti-virus, anti-spyware software and keep computer systems updated.
- Be aware of those around you…don’t let others overhear sensitive financial or personal information.
- Shred documents with sensitive information prior to disposal.
- Select more complex passwords for your online accounts. Also avoid using the same password for all accounts.
Other resources to check out:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Hotline: 877-ID-THEFT
Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline: 800.269.0271
Credit bureau fraud hotlines
– Equifax: 800.525.6285
– Experian: 888.397.3742
– Trans Union: 800.680.7289
Small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) account for 99.7% of all businesses in the US. About two-thirds of new businesses survive two years, half will survive five years, and one-third will survive 10. Poor cash management accounts for 82% of business failures and cash flow is a “continuing” problem for one in five small-business owners.
In regard to expense management, employees losing paper receipts is the top complaint from finance professionals. And, the IRS won’t just take your word for undocumented expenses.
There are many strategies small businesses can undertake to create and maintain optimal cash flow and manage expense reporting:
- Keep accurate records regarding customers, sales, and inventory as a historical reference and as a guide in planning for the future.
- Monitor cash flow. For a business to be successful, it must have sufficient cash to pay its expenses, make loan payments, pay taxes, and purchase new assets.
- Track spending. It is estimated that most companies are wasting about 30% of their expenditures on items that do not have any impact upon their customers.
- Segregate personal and business accounts. Having a separate bank account keeps records distinct and will make life easier come tax time. Partnerships, LLCs and corporations are legally required to have a separate bank account for business. Sole proprietors don’t legally need a separate account, but it’s a good idea nonetheless.
- Set up automatic deposits and payments. Customer payments and other deposits can process immediately and recurring bills can be paid on a specific day, providing better control of cash flow.
Advantage can partner with your financial institution to provide solutions for your business accounts including business debit cards, Checkcard alerts, prepaid gift and incentive cards, and rewards programs.
Spring Break, camping season and folks headed north for the summer; remind your cardholders they have surcharge-free access to more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs around the world!
Allpoint ATMs are surcharge-free to all Advantage cardholders.
Allpoint has a website dedicated to financial institutions which includes free marketing material such as graphics, newsletter articles, digital collateral such as ATM screens and much more!
To log in, click on the link below and use the provided credentials.
User name: AdvantageNetwork
New Surcharge Reimbursement Form and Process
Allpoint has changed the Surcharge Reimbursement process. The Surcharge Reimbursement form now must be completed by the financial institution. The form will be accessible to FI employees in the Members Only sections of the Allpoint website and the Advantage website. Complete the form on behalf of your cardholder and email it to [email protected] and [email protected]. The credit will be passed from Allpoint through Advantage to your institution.
Allpoint Transaction Search Process
Do you know how many Allpoint transactions your cardholders are conducting? It’s easy to find out! Just use the Transaction Search function on the Allpoint member website: http://members.allpointnetwork.com/members/transactions.aspx. Enter the six-digit BIN you want to search and the date range. (A BIN is the first six digits of a card number.) Transaction results can be searched back to 2013.
Allpoint FAQs for FI Staff
Click Here to open and share with members of your staff so they’ll be ready to answer cardholder questions.
Business Checkcards can be used for equipment, monthly utility payments, office supplies, and more! Business Checkcard holders have access to account funds at over a million ATMs and millions of merchant locations.
Several cards can be ordered for each business, allowing employees access to company funds without carrying the business checkbook. Each employee will have his or her name printed on the card along with the business name for easy recognition. Each card can have customized spending limits to determine the amount of access each cardholder has to company funds.
Protection against fraudulent use of a Checkcard, including transactions made via telephone or on the Internet.
Business Debit programs must offer these core Visa enhancements to cardholders. These enhancements include:
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
- Purchase Security/Extended Protection
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Service
- Emergency Card/Cash Disbursement
- Cardholder Inquiry Service
- Lost/Stolen Card Reporting.
Visa Savings Edge provides Advantage Business Checkcard holders discounts on qualifying purchases at participating merchants. All Advantage member institution Business Checkcard programs are automatically enrolled. A mobile app is available for cardholders to download. http://www.VisaSavingsEdge.com
Your institution may choose to offer a rewards program for your Business Checkcard holders. Rewards enhance cardholder relationships and encourage increased Checkcard usage, earning additional interchange for the financial institution.
Small Business Owner Resources
Cardholders can share advice, resources and ideas for taking care of a small business. This free page offers connections with other small business owners, a variety of blogs and helpful videos. https://www.facebook.com/visasmallbiz
Contact us to learn how you can start a Business Checkcard program at your institution!
One of the reasons Advantage has such a low fraud rate is that we process disputes for all members in our network and receive all fraud notices. Because of this we are able to see fraud trends and common points of compromise before an individual institution would be able to spot them.
In addition, Advantage offers a number of best-in-industry products and services to member institutions including:
- Free Consumer Education/Awareness The best defense against fraud is the cardholder. By being aware and engaged they can help protect themselves from fraud.
- Checkcard Alerts About 50% of fraud is found by the cardholder.
- Chip Card Production When you complete a transaction at a chip-enabled terminal, a one-time code is generated for that transaction. This makes it nearly impossible to use stolen transaction data to create a counterfeit card, reducing in-store fraud.
- Data Navigator is a web-based tool that collects real-time data on all Checkcard and ATM card transactions made by your cardholders as well as all transactions made at your ATMs.
- Debit Insights is a data analytics tool that provides information about the behavior of your cardholders so you can meet their needs with Checkcard products and features.
- FIS SecurLOCK, Fraud Alert Management Fraud scoring and rules are applied to all Advantage card products and all card activity including ATM, PIN Debit and signature transactions.