Credit unions wanting another option among debit card networks have a new choice with the launch of Co-op Solutions’ Co-op Pay Network.
Announced Monday, the network is open to all credit unions, regardless of their debit-processing relationships. The new network, which works with regular point-of-sale transactions, PINless transactions, mobile wallets, tokenized transactions, and contactless payments, has access to millions of merchant POS locations because it is aligned with the Star network, owned by Fiserv Inc.
The new network has not been created in response to regulation or potential regulation, but from a desire to help credit unions boost margins, officials say.
“The creation of Co-op Pay Network was motivated by the urgent need for credit unions to better monetize one of their most popular payment offerings,” Bruce Dragt, Co-op Solutions’ chief product officer, said in a statement. “Costs to offer a competitive debit program are on the rise as members demand sophisticated digital-banking integration. Meanwhile, merchants are tenaciously pursuing the lowest-cost routing option, further limiting non-interest income.” The service could help credit unions improve their margins, says Co-op Solutions, which was founded in 1981 by a group of credit unions in California.
The company adds the new network can offer credit unions the ability to directly manage fees, the potential to save on POS fraud service fees, and potential ways to increase interchange. The service also provides additional reporting, fraud scoring, and fraud mitigation services. No network logo is required for debit cards issued by participating credit unions, and credit union members need take no action, Co-op Solutions says.