CardinalCommerce and the Star Network today announced that Star has signed a non-binding letter of intent to participate in the Universal PIN Debit Service (UPDS) enabled by Cardinal.
STAR is one of the nation's leading electronic funds transfer (EFT) networks, with more than 2 million retail and ATM locations, and a First Data company. First Data is a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing.
Cardinal's UPDS enables online shoppers to use their ATM / debit cards to make purchases using the cardholder authentication method chosen by their financial institution. UPDS currently supports multiple authentication choices. After execution of a final agreement between STAR and Cardinal, new authentication options would be made available to STAR member financial institutions based on demand.
Because UPDS is available through the Cardinal Centinel Universal Merchant Platform, current Centinel customers may easily opt into UPDS. Transactions flow through merchants' existing order management systems, gateways, and processors.
Participation in the UPDS is part of the STAR eCommerce roadmap, which has long recognized the value of extending secure debit payments into the online and mobile channels. The ability to offer best-in-class security for protection of consumer payment information, multiple advanced authentication methods, and a convenient customer experience is critical to the success of debit payments online for all parties.
"STAR recognizes the importance of the online and mobile channels in relation to the future of electronic payments, and will not lose sight of the fact that these transactions must be as secure as possible," said Julie Saville, vice president of Product Development for the STAR Network. "Once a contract is executed and the service implemented, UPDS integration would allow STAR member financial institutions the flexibility to choose the secure authentication method they want their customers to use when using their debit cards online."
UPDS has the potential to help grow secure debit transactions online by easily enabling merchants that accept STAR, which in turn would provide the coverage needed for STAR member financial institutions to promote this payment method to their cardholders. Authentication methods offered by STAR through the UPDS would help to ensure that debit transactions are as secure for online payments as they are today at the physical point of sale with PIN authentication.
Debit continues to be one of the fastest growing payment types in the United States. Introducing secure cardholder authentication options for online payments benefits all parties in the payments chain:
• Consumers concerned with payment security who use PIN debit at their favorite physical merchants will prefer using secure authentication methods for online payments, and will feel more comfortable when purchasing from the Internet channel.
• STAR member financial institutions can improve their bottom line by reducing fraud losses. With UPDS participation, the STAR Network would enable its members to choose an authentication method that best meets their security goals, with flexibility to evolve their authentication solutions as needed.
• In addition to reducing fraud, merchants will have added incentive to promote the use of debit for online payments in light of the Durbin legislation, which widened the gap between debit and credit interchange.
UPDS is an appealing and unique online PIN debit service for two reasons: 1) Thousands of eCommerce merchants already use the Centinel platform and will thus be able to leverage their existing Centinel service, and 2) UPDS supports issuer choice relative to appropriate authentication for their customers.
Cardinal's UPDS provides an integrated solution that does not disrupt merchant fulfillment or customer service systems. UPDS will be deployed in a manner that makes it easy to participate and that will encourage participation by key stakeholders, using the proven and familiar "plug and play" Centinel model. UPDS adds one more secure payment option, secure debit, for eCommerce and mCommerce merchants using Centinel.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with STAR to enable secure PIN debit transactions for eCommerce and mCommerce," said Janet Kapostasy, Vice President of Financial Institution Services for CardinalCommerce. "Secure debit in the virtual channels is one more opportunity for Cardinal to execute our strategy, to enable authenticated transactions originating from any place, sending transactions to the right place, in the right way."