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What You Can Expect with a Credit or Debit Card Breach

Friday, January 23, 2015

What NHFCU does when this happens

To protect our affected members from losses, we issue brand new VISAŽ credit and debit card account numbers and block those affected cards.  You will want to take immediate action if you are affected and have recurring or automatic transactions with your VISAŽ credit/debit card. 

What we mean when we say, "Your card has been compromised".
Most of our members realize how convenient it is to use a credit or debit card for your purchases.  Whether you're at a retail store, making an online purchase, or paying for gas at the pump, using your VISAŽ credit or debit card is just FASTER. 

The Transaction Route
When you pay with your VISAŽ credit or debit card, your account information is retained by the merchant (the store or vendor you used your card at) on a database and maintained so the merchant can receive the actual credit for the transaction.   Millions of merchants process millions of transactions this way every day.  VISAŽ USA is a payment processor, and they have established guidelines that merchants and card issuers must follow in order to safeguard the account information that is being processed.

The Compromised Card
Occasionally, a merchant or processor will experience a breach in the security of its account information database.  The breach could be caused by an employee who did not follow proper procedures, or it could be caused by criminal activity.  Either way, the merchant or processor must notify VISAŽ USA, who in turn notifies all of the institutions whose cardholders appear in the database.  Often when this happens, there are thousands of financial institutions whose cardholders have been compromised.  This does not mean that data related to your account was taken, or that fraud has occurred.

What Your Credit Union Does
We believe that we must protect our members at every opportunity.  When we receive a notice of compromised accounts, we take action by issuing brand new VISAŽ credit and debit card account numbers and blocking affected VISAŽ credit and debit cards from further use.  We also notify all of the members whose cards are blocked so we can alert them that 1) their cards have been blocked for future transactions, and 2)they should let us know if they question a particular transaction.  This is often done with a generic postcard mailing to members affected.

Should People Stop Using Their Debit and Credit Cards?
No.  Millions of transactions occur with millions of merchants worldwide each and every day. While compromised card situations are happening more frequently, you are protected.  VISAŽ USA mandates that consumers cannot be held liable for fraudulent transactions on their debit and credit cards.  Your Credit Union takes preemptive action to help you avoid the headaches associated with fraudulent use of your account, like bounced checks, finance charges, and so forth.

How to Avoid Being Stuck with a Blocked Card
Credit and debit cards do make life much easier.  But we recommend that you always have at least two methods of payment with you when you know you are going to be making purchases.  

What We Also Recommend
Keep us informed of all of your current contact information such as your home, cell, and work phones and e-mail addresses.  This way we can easily reach you if needed.

Call us if you're taking a trip.  We also use a fraud protection service that monitors our members accounts for suspicious activity.  This can cause transaction denials if a transaction is questionable and we are unable to reach you. You can call us at (603)224-7731 or (800)639-4039.  You can also e-mail us at sso@nhfcu.org or visa@nhfcu.org or through e-branch.  Please do not send account numbers or personal identifying information to us through regular, unsecure e-mails.  

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Concord, NH 03301
(603) 224-7731
(800) 639-4039
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