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It’s OK to have questions. With our FAQ database covering a range of different EMV Chip Technology questions, we’ve got the answer you’re looking for.


What is EMV Chip Technology and what does it do?

Chip Technology refers to a card with an embedded microprocessor chip that encrypts, protects and stores cardholder data. Chip Cards are also more difficult to duplicate due to their authentication capabilities -- making fraud and card duplication more difficult.

What does EMV mean?

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa – the original designation for Chip Technology. The terms EMV, Chip and Smart Chip Card are all different names for the same technology. Worldwide, this technology may also be referred to as "chip and signature" or "chip and PIN."

Why Chip Technology now?

While Chip Technology has been slow to catch on in the U.S., it has been in place for a number of years in more than 80 countries. In fact, travelers are beginning to encounter problems when using their non-chip cards overseas because many merchants no longer have terminals that can accept cards with magnetic stripes. In addition, because magnetic stripe cards are more easily "hacked," criminals are targeting non-chip cards with increasing frequency.

Why haven't we switched to Chip Technology before now?

Chip Cards require that merchants have chip-enabled terminals in order to process the Chip Cards. Understandably, merchants have been reluctant to invest in new terminals, not knowing what kind of demand there would be to process Chip Cards.

What has changed?

A liability shift occurred in October 2015. Now, merchants who don’t have chip-enabled terminals will shoulder more liability for losses due to fraud.

Can Chip Cards be used anywhere?

For the first couple of years during the transition process, many cards will have both the chip and magnetic stripe technology. As magnetic stripe terminals are phased out, the magnetic stripes on cards will also go away.

When can I expect to receive a credit or debit card with chip technology?

If you don't have a debit card with chip technology today, you'll receive one when your old card expires or needs to be reissued. Until then, use your standard card with the magnetic stripe.

Will my chip card still work at an ATM?

Yes. You can continue to use your card as you do today by following the instructions at the ATM. Chip-enabled ATMs will hold your card for the duration of the transaction — so remember to take your card when finished.

If I use my chip card at an ATM that is not chip-enabled, what will happen?

ATM terminals, as with POS terminals, continue to support mag stripe transactions. The transaction should be completed and will be transacted just as it was before.

Do I select credit or debit when using my chip-enabled debit card?

Just as before, you may select to choose either credit for your transaction, in which you will sign for the purchase, or debit, in which you will be asked to enter your PIN. Different merchant terminals will display different messages, so if you have are uncertain, ask the clerk for help.

Do I need to use a PIN with my EMV chip debit card?

Merchants may require customers use their PIN when conducting EMV debit transactions. If you plan to use your EMV chip debit card, we recommend knowing your PIN in the event it is required by a merchant.

I'm going overseas. Do I need to request an EMV Chip Card if I don’t have one?

Customers that are traveling overseas and do not yet have an EMV Chip Card can request a new card by contacting Customer Service at 800-222-7458.
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