EMV Debit Card – Member FAQs

Identity Theft

Card Overview

What is an EMV (chip) card?
Chip cards are regular plastic credit or debit cards with an embedded microchip. The chip protects in-store payments because it generates a unique, one-time code that is needed for each transaction to be approved. It is virtually impossible for fraudsters to replicate this feature in counterfeit cards providing greater security and peace of mind when used in-store. A chip card also has a magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

Are chip cards new?
Although chip cards are relatively new in the U.S., they have been used elsewhere for many years. In some countries, particularly in Europe, merchants may be more familiar with accepting chip cards than magnetic stripe cards.

U.S. merchants have already begun to deploy chip terminals, so you will see more and more merchants accepting chip cards over the next few years. Magnetic stripe cards will continue to be accepted, as well.

Do I need to use a PIN with my chip card?
In most cases, you’ll either sign or enter your PIN for debit purchases — just like you do today.

Can I use my chip card for all the same things as my old card?
Yes, you can still make purchases as you always have — by entering the card number online or swiping your card at merchant locations that do not yet have chip readers. You can also continue to use your card at ATMs.

Card Usage

Where can I use my chip card?
You can use your chip card anywhere Visa cards are accepted. If the terminal is activated for chip cards, you will be prompted to insert and leave the card in the terminal until the transaction is complete.

Can I use a chip card at a merchant that hasn’t yet updated their terminal?
Of course – if a chip-activated terminal is not yet available, you can swipe your card just like you do today using the magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

Can I still use my card over the phone or online?
Absolutely. Your card will work over the phone and online just like it always has.

What if my chip card doesn’t work when I insert it into the chip terminal?
Some merchants may have chip terminals, but they may not yet be activated to accept chip cards. Most often, merchants that haven’t activated their terminals will block the chip slot. If the terminal is unable to read your chip card, you will be prompted to swipe the magnetic stripe to complete the transaction.

How will I know whether to swipe my card or insert it?
Your card will always work either by swipe or insertion. The terminal or the cashier will prompt you to insert the card into the terminal if it’s activated for chip technology. If the terminal is not yet chip-activated, you can always swipe your card to complete the purchase.

Card Security

Are chip cards more secure than magnetic stripe cards?
All Visa cards offer protection from unauthorized use of your card or account information. Visa chip technology offers another layer of security when used at a chip-activated terminal, because it generates a unique, one-time code that is needed for each transaction to be approved.

Can account data from a chip card be stolen and used fraudulently?
All Visa cards offer protection from unauthorized use of your card or account information. While chip technology generates a one-time use code that’s difficult to counterfeit, the account information may still be subject to compromise. Notify the Credit Union immediately of any unauthorized use.

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