SECU Rolling Out Member ID Cards As Anti-Fraud Tool

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State Employees CU is rolling out a member ID card program in an effort to reduce fraud and provide members with more personalized service.

"We looked at this because our members disliked it when, if we had a new teller, we asked for their driver's license," explained Leigh Brady, SVP education services for SECU. "Now that we have the capacity to image things and capture their driver's license information, their photo and their signature, we decided to put this program together."

The $12-billion credit union piloted the program at one of its branches and will be rolling it out to the rest of its branches over the next six months, at which time SECU will be installing new teller platforms that will include card readers where members can swipe the ID card at the teller station. Upon swiping the card, the member's photo, signature and driver's license information will all come up on the teller's screen.

"It's really to their advantage to have this done," Brady offered. "It will really help in terms of security, no can just walk on up to a teller and pose as you. It gets people away from having to hand over their driver's license."

It also eliminates the need for a member to say out loud their account number of Social Security Number, so that vital information can't be overheard by others in the lobby.

Members loathe to add yet another card to their wallet have the option of having their photo put on their existing debit card or on a new debit card, rather than getting a separate ID card. But Brady said SECU hopes that most members will opt for the ID card, which will also have the member's account information that can only be accessed by SECU.

"The card looks very much like a driver's license," she noted. "It's got a mag strip on the back, and that's where the information is stored."

To promote the program, the credit union came up with the slogan "It's a Me Thing." "The idea is the credit union member can say, 'That's me, that's my picture, that's my signature, that's my credit union,'" Brady commented.

SECU worked with DataCard to create the program.

Brady didn't have an estimate for the cost of the program but noted that the credit union has committed to equipping every branch with the technology needed to take photos, capture signatures and print out the cards for members right then and there, and with more than 180 branches, that's no small investment.

The ID cards are available in several different styles including special designs for Golden Circle and FAT CAT members. The Golden Circle Club is for retired members 50 and above. The FAT CAT Program is a savings program for children up to age 12. The ID card for FAT CAT members will also include vital statistics. Emergency contact information and medical conditions can also be listed on the back of all Member ID cards. These ID cards will be provided at no charge to members.

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