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What is a Chip Card?


on 5/11/2016

Woman in grocery store line

Let’s clarify one thing – we are NOT talking about a card for a bag of Doritos.

If you’ve received a new debit or credit card recently, you may look at it and ask yourself, “What is that square blotch the size of my fingernail?”  Don’t worry, it’s not a printing error – it’s your new EMV or ‘Chip’ card.
 

1.  What is an EMV Chip?

EMV is the latest card technology for transactions you make at merchants and ATMs. 

Instead of reading information off of the magnetic stripe on the back of your card to complete a transaction, the EMV chip is read by a terminal to pass encrypted information back to the card issuer for authorization.  Each time you use your card with the chip, a unique number is verified with your card processor making this the most secure card technology available for in store purchases.


2.  Why do cards have the EMV Chip now?

EMV technology has been around for several years in other countries and has been successful in helping to lower fraud that can take place when someone tries to use a counterfeit card inside stores.

Because it is more secure, major card networks such as MasterCard and VISA have decided to implement the technology here in the U.S.  Many merchants and card issuers are also adopting this technology as another way to help protect their cardholders.


3.  Swipe the Stripe or Dip the Chip?

Cards with an EMV chip are used differently than you are used to today, but have no fear, it’s still quick and easy!  Just follow these easy steps:

  • Instead of swiping your card in a merchant terminal, you will insert or “dip” your card into the slot at the bottom underneath the keypad.
  • Be sure to leave your card in the terminal for the entire transaction so it can read the chip properly.
  • Once authorized, the terminal will prompt you to enter your PIN or sign for the transaction just like it does today.

It’s that easy!  When finished, remember to take your card.  Don’t want to use your PIN for a transaction?  Ask the cashier how to bypass entering the PIN so you can sign for the transaction.  While this varies from store to store, most often pressing the red “X” or green “Enter” button will allow you to sign for the transaction instead of entering your PIN.


4.  Where Can I Use my EMV Chip Card?

Most merchants have the terminals to read an EMV chip, but not all of them have the technology enabled yet.  Next time you’re out shopping, ask the cashier if they are accepting chip transactions.  The terminal may even prompt you to insert your card automatically if it notices you have tried swiping a chip card.  And no worries – if your favorite store isn’t accepting chip transactions yet, you will still be able to “swipe the stripe” to complete your transaction just like you do today.



If you like the security of an EMV card look to Genisys Credit Union’s
DOUBLE PLAY REWARDS Debit and Credit Cards.  

The cards that will Reward you and keep your transactions safe!

 

© Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org, 2016.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Genisys Credit Union and www.genisyscu.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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