BOSTON — The ACCEL/Exchange Network has begun processing secure, Internet-based PIN debit transactions; the first payments network to do so.

ACCEL/Exchange is a unit of Fiserv.

The new capability follows a partnership announced earlier in November that addresses a key issue with PIN-based debit transactions: security. Fiserv has partnered with Acculynk, a provider of the first software-only service in the U.S. that enables PIN debit payments online via its PaySecure product. The service began a pilot on March of 2009.

According to Fiserv, results from the pilot show that more than 50% of consumers will use Internet PIN debit when presented to them as a payment option for their online purchases.

Rahul Gupta, president of Fiserv Card Services, told Credit Union Journal users will be presented online with a graphic keypad that mimics that with which they are already familiar at ATMs and in retail outlets.

For credit unions, one issue in adoption may be the difference in interchange income between signature-based and PIN-based transactions. Signature-based transactions typically generate in the 140 to 150 basis points of the transaction range in revenue; PIN-based transactions generate lower income in the range of 100 to 110 BPs, noted Gupta. But the latter is also expected to generate fewer charge-backs, fraud and other costs and may ultimately be more profitable, Gupta added. "PIN debit is a cleaner product."

Still, Gupta noted, "It remains to be seen if sign-ups prefer PIN-debit over signature debit."

Gupta believes credit unions will especially benefit from the PIN-based transactions, noting that many consumers, in doing transactions online, turn to a bank-issued credit card first.

A demo of the new capability can be found at www.accelexchange.com.

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