President’s Message September 2014



Credit Card Fraud abounds but EMV Chip Technology is NOW AVAILABLE AT UCCU.

Recent news reports reveal yet another disturbing instance of a security breach at a very large retailer jeopardizing customers’ financial accounts and information. Very talented crooks have been repeatedly successful at hacking into data systems and stealing valuable personal and financial information from customers who have shopped at that business.  This information is then sold to other crooks and fraud is committed against innocent people who suddenly find that their accounts are emptied and their financial world is in shambles.  Eventually, the cardholders will be reimbursed and ultimately they will not be out any money – but they will have gone through days and weeks of hassles, phones calls, explanations, and a great deal of stress.

Who Pays for the Fraud?

Who gets left holding the bag and suffers the financial impact of this fraud?  The financial institution who issued the card is financially responsible for the losses. These losses amount to millions and millions of dollars each year. When fraud is committed against members of UCCU – we are quick to help you fix and protect your account, reimburse you for the loss, and help you set up safeguards and maybe even a new account. But UCCU must also cover the financial loss. Last year at UCCU, this amounted to over $200,000. You would think that the retailer whose system contained the private financial information and was compromised would be responsible for covering the loss – but that’s not the case.  Here at UCCU we go to great lengths to protect your financial information. Our security team has ensured that we have had no breaches. However, please keep in mind, UCCU has no control over how retailers store your information or how well they secure it on their systems.

EMV chip technology, the most powerful line of defense against credit card fraud.

 New, powerful EMV (Europay, MasterCard, VISA) Chip Card technology is widely used in Europe and other countries in the world to reduced credit card fraud.  EMV chip cards can be identified by their embedded microchip – essentially a tiny computer.  The microchips communicate with EMV-enabled point-of-purchase card readers.  Unlike magnetic stripe cards, which can be duplicated, EMV transactions create unique transaction data for each purchase, so that any captured data cannot be used to execute new transactions.  This new EMV Chip Card technology is a valuable tool in preventing fraud and all the hassle and stress that go along with it.

Another First for UCCU! – We Have the EMV VISA Chip Credit Card

It shouldn’t surprise you to know that Utah Community Credit Union already offers members the EMV VISA Chip Credit Card. We have had it for months – in fact, we were the first financial institution in the State of Utah and sixth in the nation to offer the EMV VISA Chip Card. And yes, it’s free to members.

Unfortunately, the benefits and safety of this chip card technology is only available to you at the few retailers with the most up to date card readers. When more retailers get onboard, UCCU members will be ready with a UCCU EMV Chip Card in-hand.  UCCU members have already used the UCCU EMV Chip Cards in Europe and other countries that use the chip card readers. They work very well and provide you and the credit union high levels of protection against fraud.


If the retailers you frequent do not have the EMV Chip Card Readers installed and functioning, ask and encourage them to get it so that you, as a consumer, are more protected.

A “Silver Lining” in the Recent Credit Card Fraud

If there is anything positive about the recent cyber fraud at huge national retailers like Target, T.J. Maxx, P.F. Chang’s, and now Home Depot, it is that awareness of the problems and possible solutions has risen. Huge retailers have suffered negative PR and have lost sales. As a result we finally see major retailers beginning to deploy the chip card technology! WalMart and Target now have chip card readers in their stores. We will soon see many other retailers join the trend. That means better financial protection for you, the credit union and all consumers.

Debit Cards with EMV Chip Technology Coming Soon at UCCU

In addition to the currently available UCCU EMV VISA Chip Credit Card, UCCU will be adding the EMV VISA Chip Debit Card as soon as VISA and the networks are capable. We’re waiting on them. We expect to be one of the first institutions to provide these to our members.  In the meantime, EMV VISA Chip Credit Cards are available now at UCCU.  Taking advantage of these Chip Cards and the safety they provide will protect you and the credit union against loss and financial trauma.

Another Level of Protection

Another way that members of the credit union are protecting their identity and financial information is with UCCU’s LifeLock®, the industry-leader in identity theft protection, to help safeguard your good name and your financial security. This partnership means UCCU members can sign up for LifeLock® services directly through the credit union and receive a 10% discount on LifeLock’s award winning identity monitoring and theft protection services. Call or visit us to enroll.

As always, we are working hard to provide you with “First Choice” services and financial products.  We are your credit union – use us for all we’re worth!


Jeff Sermon

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4 thoughts on “President’s Message September 2014

  1. Are the EMV chip cards Chip-and-PIN, like is most common in Europe, or Chip-and-Signature? I’ve heard that the Chip-and-Signature cards still have problems at some European terminals that aren’t set up for signatures, eg. train station ticket kiosks, etc.

    • Hi Lloyd,

      Thanks for your question. Our EMV cards are Chip and Signature, this is the most common type being implemented in the United States. You are correct that the chip and signature cards will not work in the “Offline” kiosk type terminals that are set up for Chip and Pin. The Chip and Signature EMV cards are accepted at any “Online” EMV chip terminal kiosks. Worldwide for example in China, Australia , Japan and most of Europe Chip and Signature Online terminals are the norm.

      If you have any further questions feel free to visit one of our branches or call our toll free line 1 (800) 453-8188.

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