April 9, 2018 Update - This is an update to the information from April 5, 2018 (see below). Here is a list of merchants we have seen issues with and any updates with this merchants.
The Home Depot - Beginning on April 6, 2018 we began seeing debit transactions coming through with approvals. This means that The Home Depot has updated their terminals and everything should be processing through normally.
H-E-B - On the morning of April 9, 2018 we spoke with a contact at the H-E-B corporate offices and they are reaching out to their processor to find out when the last updates on their terminals were completed. They apologized for the inconvenience to our members and will work to get this corrected.
Hobby Lobby - On the morning of April 9, 2018 we spoke with a contact at Hobby Lobby corporate offices and they informed us that their processor updates their machines every Tuesday morning. They would not confirm when the last update was successfully ran.
CVS Pharmacy - We have currently been unsuccessful in the attempt to gain a phone number to CVS's corporate offices.
At this time, these are the only merchants we are aware of that our members have seen declines with the PULSE network. We will update this list if we learn of any others.
April 5, 2018 - On the morning of March 26, 2018 we migrated our debit card program to a new processor. The following information will break down a lot of technical information, but we feel this is the best way to explain what is happening.
Issue: Debit Card PIN not validating due to merchant processors not updating their machines
Resolution: Request merchant to run the transaction as a credit
Detail: On debit cards there are 2 ways that a transaction can occur. One is using a debit network. Through the debit network you are generally required to enter your PIN to approve the transaction though there are some laws that allow merchants to bypass the PIN authorization under certain dollar amounts. The other method is using a credit network. Through the credit network you are generally required to simply sign for the transaction only.
Several years ago Congress passed a law requiring financial institutions to carry a minimum of 2 debit networks (one primary and one backup) and 1 credit network on every debit card program. On our old processor we carried the STAR network and the PULSE network as our 2 debit networks and we carried MasterCard as our credit network.
When we migrated to our new processor we dropped the PULSE network because our new processor offered their own network called COOP. We have been working on this migration for approximately 10-12 months. 6 months prior to the migration we began reaching out to PULSE to let them know that we would not be renewing our contract with them. They never responded. We continued to reach out on several occasions with no responses from them. As we approached the migration date our previous processor had us fill out some forms to remove PULSE and they were going to attempt to submit them on our behalf. This creates what is called a "hard delete". With a hard delete it means that after the migration our members would see declines from any merchant that processes through PULSE until those merchants update their "BIN Tables" (a bin is the first 6 digits of your card number). Merchants have up to 10 business days (typically 2 weeks) to update those tables. This puts us through Monday, April 9, 2018. Unfortunately no one polices the merchants and therefore we cannot guarantee that they will all update their terminals by that time.
What this means is that any terminal that processes through PULSE and does not update their systems will continue to get declines on the debit network. You would need to request that they run it as a credit transaction during this time.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. We are in the process of verifying that PULSE is doing what they are supposed to do.
We greatly appreciate your patience during this time as we are working to get this resolved as soon as possible.