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Frequently Asked Questions about the EMV or Chip Cards
Secure EMV payments are here! Payment brands have announced their roadmaps to accelerate adoption through merchant incentives, processing infrastructure migration and fraud liability shift. The migration to EMV will:
1. Reduce counterfeit card fraud
2. Enable cardholders to use secure EMV payment cards globally
3. Prepare for mobile contactless payments
What is a chip card?
EMV/chip or “smart” cards are credit, debit or prepaid cards that have an embedded microchip in the card. Each microchip generates a dynamic one-time use code, or cryptogram, when they come into contact with specific connection points within an EMV/chip card supporting terminal after insertion. The cryptogram is sent through the card processing system to the processor and ultimately out to the card issuer. This cryptographic exchange, in addition to cardholder verification methods employed (such as online PIN), serve to bolster the payments ecosystem and guard against card-present fraud.
What is EMV?
Chip cards are based on a global card payment standard called EMV (Europay, Mastercard & Visa, the three companies that developed the standard in Europe) which is currently used in more than 80 countries. There are more than 3.4 billion chip cards issued across the globe. You can find more details at www.emv-connection.com/consumers.
Why are chip card transactions more secure?
Chip card transactions offer advanced security in-store and at ATMs by making every transaction unique. In addition, the chip card is more difficult to counterfeit or copy. If the card data and the one-time code are stolen, the information cannot be used to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud.
How do you know if you have a chip card?
The chip is located on the front of the card. You will still have a magnetic strip on the back so that you can use it with merchants who don’t accept chip cards yet.
How do you use chip cards in stores?
During the transition to chip, you can swipe your card as you normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert it instead. If you already know your chip card works there, start by inserting your card. These basic steps will help ensure successful transactions:
Always remember when you use your chip card to follow the prompts on the terminal and leave your card inserted until prompted to remove it.
What should you expect when using your chip card at ATMs?
Depending on the type of ATM, your experience may differ slightly:
*If your card stays visible, use these basic steps for a successful ATM transaction:
1. Insert and remove your card as you normally would. This tells a chip-enabled ATM whether you have a chip card or not. Then follow the prompts.
2. If the ATM is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert the card again and leave it inserted. The ATM will clamp down on your chip card to hold it in place until the transaction is complete. Do not try to remove your card until prompted by the ATM.
3. When the ATM says the transaction is complete, remember to take your card.
*If your card is not visible, a chip-enabled ATM will automatically recognize the chip on your card. If you’re used to an ATM returning your card immediately, note that your chip card will now be returned at the end of the transaction. To complete a transaction, proceed as you normally would and follow the prompts. When the ATM says the transaction is complete, remember to take your card.
How do you know if an ATM accepts chip cards?
At an ATM, start the transaction as you normally would and follow the prompts. A chip-enabled ATM will guide you through the transaction. Depending on the type of ATM, your experience may differ slightly.
Can you still pay in store or use an ATM if you don’t have a chip card?
Yes, merchants and ATMs will continue to accept magnetic strip cards.
Can I still use my chip card at a non-chip-enabled ATM or merchant terminal?
Yes. Your card will have a chip and a magnetic strip to accommodate any situation.
What does a chip-enabled merchant terminal look like?
Chip-enabled terminals have all of the features you are used to with a payment terminal, with the addition of a slot to insert your card. The slot is typically located at the bottom or the top of the payment terminal.
How do I know if a merchant terminal accepts chip cards?
During the transition to chip, you can swipe your card as you normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert it instead. If you already know your chip card works there, start by inserting your card.
What if the terminal or ATM doesn’t accept chip cards?
Cards will still have a magnetic strip on the back, so even if a terminal or ATM is not yet chip-enabled, you can use your card as you do today.
Where can you use the chip card?
Anywhere. Your card will have a chip and a magnetic strip to accommodate any situation.
When will you be able to use the chip card at all merchant and ATM locations?
Every day more merchants and ATMs are becoming chip-enabled to increase security for in-person card transactions, so you will start to see these terminals and ATMs at many of the stores and financial institutions you visit today. You will continue to be able to pay at both chip-enabled and non-chip-enabled merchants and ATMs with the same card.
Will anything change during online purchases?
No. You will use your chip card for online purchases by following the same process you do today.
Can you use chip card outside of the U.S.?
Yes. Chip cards are widely used in international markets and are accepted in more than 80 countries. Having a chip card will make it easier for you to make purchases and complete ATM transactions when you travel internationally.