July 31st, 2019
To our loyal customers,
When you’ve been in business almost 100 years, some things should never change – a warm greeting with a smile, treating your customer like a friend, and supporting the communities that support us. But we’ve also learned that our product options and digital capabilities do need to change in order for us to stay competitive. In our effort to put you the customer first by offering products to improve your financial wellbeing, we temporarily failed to fulfill basic services to our customers.
In good faith, we took a strategic step to change debit card issuers from Visa® to Mastercard®. This is an exciting change that will allow us to offer services such as Instant Issue Debit Cards at each branch, Apple Pay®, Google Pay®, Samsung Pay®, and SecurLOCK Equip®.
To be completely transparent, we will explain why some merchants are having issues with our debit cards. All debit cards have what is called a Bank Identification Number (“BIN”). The BIN stores a bank’s information so merchants can tie a customer’s debit card to their checking account. These BINs are sometimes reused. For example, if ABC Bank switches debit card processors, their BIN may be released and reused by another bank in the future.
Debit card issuers can participate in multiple networks for multiple transaction types. For example, a PIN-based transaction may process on a network like PULSE or Maestro while a signature-based transaction may process over Visa, Mastercard or Discover. Each BIN participates with a specific network(s) for ATM, debit and credit transactions.
Bank of Frankewing Mastercard® debit cards participate with NYCE, Maestro, Cirrus, SUM and Mastercard networks. When you make a purchase at a merchant like Walmart, they look at the networks with which our card is associated and process the transaction over the network with the lowest interchange fee.
Going back to the point that was mentioned earlier, BINs are sometimes reused. The BIN associated with Bank of Frankewing’s Mastercard® debit card was previously used by a different bank. That bank’s debit card participated with the PIN network PULSE, a network not associated with Bank of Frankewing’s Mastercard® debit card. This would not have been an issue had previous parties taken the necessary measures to disassociate the BIN from PULSE’s network. Since those steps were never taken, merchants like Walmart and McDonalds continue to process Bank of Frankewing Mastercard® debit card PIN transactions through PULSE even though our cards do not participate in that network.
We have been working with PULSE to disassociate our BIN from their network so merchants such as Walmart and McDonald’s will use the proper network for PIN transactions. PULSE removed our BIN from their database on July 31st, but they are not making the updated information publicly available until Monday, August 5th. At that time, Mastercard® will work with merchant debit card processors to update their databases with the correct information.
Some of you may be asking this valid question: “Why did Bank of Frankewing change to Mastercard® when everything was working fine with Visa®?” Mastercard® provided a solution that opened the door for our customers to participate in Apple Pay®, Google Pay®, Samsung Pay®, SecurLOCK Equip®, and instant issue debit cards, all of which are coming soon. The change from Visa® to Mastercard® was necessary for our customers to gain the added benefits of more payment options and better security over their debit cards.
We know Mastercard® is the best option for our customers and we are committed to ensuring the best customer experience possible. We thank you for your continued business and would like to hear about your experience with your new Mastercard® so we can continue to improve. Please stop by and see us, email or call us. We’d love to hear from you.
David W. Barnes