Member Newsletters

Current Issue: April 2012

2011 Transaction Highlights

2011 proved to be a very successful year for THE EXCHANGE® ATM network with Canadian cardholders performing almost 10 million Exchange transactions across the country. As well as being able to withdraw cash, make deposits and perform balance inquiries surcharge-free, many cardholders are now embracing the new PIN change feature available on the ATMs. Transactions continue to grow and we have no doubt 2012 will see transactions on THE EXCHANGE® network exceeding 10 million.

Not only are cardholders performing record transactions at home, transactions in the US continue to break all records. US Exchange ATMs and ACCEL® POS transactions both continue to exceeded expectations year after year. ACCEL® transactions increased from 991,719 in 2010 to an outstanding 1.5 million in 2011 and U.S. ATM transactions have more than tripled since 2004.

New additions to the ACCEL® POS Network included Airline Financial Credit Union, Island Savings Credit Union and Osoyoos Credit Union.

All of these changes serve to strengthen our network and we anticipate much more growth and change in 2012.

ATM Growth

One of the reasons THE EXCHANGE® network is so successful is the number of ATMs available to your cardholders, surcharge-free, coast to coast. The network started with a mere 540 ATMs in 2000 and has grown to almost 2,400 in 2012. The growth is attributed in part to the connection of National Bank in 2001, a large group of Ontario credit unions in 2004 and the Atlantic Province credit unions in 2005; combine that with a steady stream of new members as well as expansion within existing members and you have the network as it is today. As we continue to grow THE EXCHANGE® network you can expect to see these numbers increase as we hit new records in all areas.

March is Fraud Protection Month in Canada

The Competition Bureau of Canada has designated March Fraud Protection Month. With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to review the benefits of moving to EMV technology, the shift in fraudulent activities and how THE EXCHANGE® network has been uniquely positioned to assist your Financial Institution and cardholders in the battle against fraud.

As we know, EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) is now the global standard for credit and debit card chip technology. This standard covers the processing of transactions using a card that contains a microprocessor chip at a payment terminal or ATM. These transactions require PIN entry to verify that the customer is indeed the valid cardholder, making chip cards inherently more secure than the magnetic stripe, reducing risk of fraud when the card is lost or stolen.
Europe’s fraud landscape has shifted dramatically since the introduction of chip and PIN technology. FICO, a global analytics company, has reported that counterfeit and “card present” fraud has been driven down radically in countries such as the UK. Criminals have targeted their operations across borders to countries with weaker detection and prevention capabilities and shifted their attention to “card not present” schemes such as online fraud.

At FICANEX Services we recognize the importance of such reductions to risk and fraud both for your Financial Institution and for your Cardholders. Consequently, THE EXCHANGE® network fully supports chip card technology – but it doesn’t stop there. Our Members also uniquely benefit from an expanded, inter-institutional ATM network that offers ATM PIN change functionality at close to 2,400 ATMs coast to coast, ensuring peace of mind for your cardholders that their PIN remains solely with them.

We are happy that THE EXCHANGE® network developed inter-institution ATM PIN change functionality as we are now better equipped to service our cardholders in a manner that is more secure, regardless of their location. This functionality increases member convenience and confidence and has reduced debit card fraud at our credit union.” said Edward Sweet, Senior Vice President at DUCA Financial Services Credit Union.

Currently the United States is lagging in their adoption of EMV technology which means that your cross border cardholder transactions will default to the magnetic stripe on your debit cards. With this in mind, we have partnered with Fair Isaac/FICO to provide monitoring of large scale fraud in the U.S. on both THE EXCHANGE® and ACCEL® networks.

Finding The Closest ATM Has Never Been Easier!

As we have said in the past, it doesn’t matter how many ATMs a Financial Institution or network has if the member/customer doesn’t know where they are when they need them most. This is exactly why FICANEX Services developed the ATM Locator App, compatible with the iPhone, BlackBerry and the Android smart phones. Downloading of THE EXCHANGE® ATM Locator App is free and has been downloaded, to date, an amazing 13,107 times. FICANEX Services also allows our Participant Financial Institutions to reinforce their unique brand to their members/customers with a customized Smartphone ATM Locator App. By customizing THE EXCHANGE® Network’s generic ATM Locator App your member/customer simply searches for your financial institution’s name and instantly downloads the application, free of charge. Your customized application will reinforce your brand each time your member uses their smartphone and will remind them that they have access, surcharge free, to close to 2,400 ATMs coast to coast!

“Atlantic Central  is excited that we have partnered with FICANEX Services to brand THE THE EXCHANGE® network’s smart phone ATM Locator App.  This app will further support and reinforce our branding in Atlantic Canada and with GPS technology will ensure that Atlantic Canada credit union members can always find the closest surcharge free, full function ATM regardless of where they are in Canada.” said Paul Paruch, Director Business Solutions, Atlantic Central.

Many participants have completed customization, which takes only weeks to complete and requires only minimal effort by the Financial Institution. Kicking off 2012, both Alterna Savings and Atlantic Central are now in the process of customizing.

For further details, including the customization fee, please contact Michael Barr, or 905-864-5992.

Our Annual Employee Contest is Fast Approaching!

Get ready to put your knowledge of THE EXCHANGE® network to the test. Ficanex Services will be holding our 9th annual Employee Contest which will ramp up May 1st with full contest details to be sent to the contest coordinator at each of our member Financial Institutions.

Starting May 14th and running for a 3-week period, a weekly contest question will be sent out to the contest coordinator for distribution. Answers to all questions can be found easily on our website. Answer correctly for your chance to win weekly cash prizes. There will be 3 lucky winners drawn each week, each winning $200 in week 1,
$300 in week 2 and $500 in week 3.

Make sure to communicate our contest to all employees in your organization; after all, if you don’t play you won’t win!
Good luck everyone!

ACCEL® Network Update

The majority of Members of THE EXCHANGE® network are already connected to the ACCEL® network and their cardholders are benefiting from the convenience of using POS in the US – as evidenced by the soaring transaction numbers. Many of our Members were pleasantly surprised with our recent communication on the amount of revenue generated by these ACCEL® transactions during 2011. The total revenue paid to Members participating in the ACCEL® network for 2011 was over $450,000.

Island Savings Credit Union and Osoyoos Credit Union both connected to the ACCEL® network last year and Ladysmith Credit Union has already connected this year. Three others credit unions are currently in the process of connecting. Congratulations to you all – and watch your revenue grow as you continue to provide superior service to your cardholders travelling in the U.S.

If you are one of the few remaining Members not yet connected to the ACCEL® network and you would like more information please contact Michael Barr, or 905-864-5992.