Here are a few things to be aware of – from both a credit union, and a consumer perspective – in regard to credit cards:
- The four major U.S. credit card companies have eliminated the requirement for signatures on in-store purchases. Mastercard, American Express, and Discover made the change April 13, while Visa has indicated they will follow suit later this month. While signatures may no longer be a requirement, it is up to each company to determine if they will eliminate them. Many companies may continue to authenticate with a signature, in order to protect against fraud.
- Visa rolled out some new rules on chargebacks as of April 15 that may cut costs for credit unions, while also reducing the amount of time spent on the dispute process. According to Visa, a typical chargeback takes anywhere from 45-100 days to resolve. To reduce the amount of time spent researching a dispute, Visa created a new system called Visa Claims Resolution (VCR), which will fundamentally change how claims are handled. Essentially, Visa is changing its system from a litigation-based dispute approach, where everything is handled on a case-by-case basis, to a more automated chargeback process. The number of dispute reason codes have been significantly reduced, and merchants will only be able to challenge disputes if they have “clear and absolute proof.” Visa hopes that its new system will reduce the processing time to 30 days or less, and will eliminate much of the back-and-forth between financial institutions, merchants, and consumers. In addition, the new system should help prevent chargeback fraud.
- Visa has also started a pilot program in the U.S. and Europe that will integrate fingerprint authentication and credit cards. Cardholders would be able to authorize a credit card purchase with their fingerprint, rather than a PIN or signature. As evidenced by the popularity of fingerprint scanners on smartphones, consumers are moving towards biometric authentication methods as an additional measure of security. Stay tuned on whether this becomes an actual product offering.