EMV Migration Forum releases best practices on chip-migration communication

Source: EMV Migration Forum

The U.S. migration to secure EMV chip technology is picking up speed, making now the right time to educate consumers on the changes to their payment cards and in-store terminals.

This leaves the industry with an important challenge: how can issuers and merchants most effectively communicate with their customers and provide education to make the transition to chip cards successful? The EMV Migration Forum released today a guide, "Recommended Communications Best Practices," which provides a step-by-step resource for issuers and merchants to develop effective messaging and education approaches during the U.S. migration to chip technology.

The guide can be downloaded on the EMV Connection website at http://www.emv-connection.com/recommended-communications-best-practices/.

"Card issuers and merchants are making significant investments in the new chip infrastructure and are making great progress -- the number of issued chip cards is expected to reach 600 million by the end of 2015 and a substantial number of point-of-sale (POS) terminals are expected to be enabled in the same timeline," said Randy Vanderhoof, director of the EMV Migration Forum. "While this progress is significant, educating consumers effectively throughout the transition will help merchants and issuers to realize the security benefits of chip cards and increase chip-on-chip transactions volumes more quickly. This guide provides the foundation for issuers and merchants to develop these important consumer-facing communication plans."

The guide recommends a consistent, continuous and multi-channel approach to provide specific details on chip technology use and security benefits within each stage of the migration:

Consistency: The whole industry is encouraged to use standardized language, such as the language recommended in the Forum's Glossary of Standardized Terminology, to stimulate recognition and understanding of information and reduce the possibility of miscommunication.

Continuous education: The guide recommends that issuers and merchants educate before, during and after card issuance and chip-enableding and after card issuance and chip-enabled POS terminal implementation to increase the scope of messaging and education efforts. For issuers, the focus should be on awareness and notification that the chip card is coming, while merchants focus on the changes to the terminals. After the cardholder receives the chip card, efforts should then move to activation, security benefits, how to use chip card in stores, and how to promote a positive customer experience. Once a cardholder has received their new card, education should continue, providing ongoing information about what to expect at the POS.

Multi-channel communication: For issuers, there are various channels to reach their customers with educational materials, including: card carriers, statement inserts, ATMs, branches, call centers, Internet, advertising, social media, email and direct mail. Merchants have a variety of opportunities to reach customers, such as receipts, cashiers, call centers, Internet, advertising, social media, email and direct mail. The guide provides common messaging recommendations that are appropriate for each channel.

The guide, "Recommended Communications Best Practices," was developed by the EMV Migration Forum's Communication and Education Working Committee and led by Diane Jackson, vice president of strategic marketing at CPI Card Group. For more information on the EMV Migration Forum working committees, visit http://www.emv-connection.com/emv-migration-forum/working-committees/.

The EMV Migration Forum is hosting its next quarterly in-person meeting on March 10-11 at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, California. Attending members will hear updates on the status of EMV chip migration, work on projects and address points which require some level of industry cooperation and/or coordination. Forum meetings provide members with the opportunity to share perspectives, report lessons learned and ask questions of other industry colleagues in the midst of chip migrations. More details can be found at http://bit.ly/1zd0Bfv.

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