Frequently Asked Questions about your new Chip Card

1. What are chip cards?

Chip cards are like the card you have now but include an embedded microchip. The chip contains information that is encrypted, making it difficult for the card to be copied or counterfeited. Your chip card will also have the magnetic stripe on the back so you can continue to use your card while merchants are transitioning to the new terminals.


2. What are the benefits of chip technology?

The embedded microchip provides strong transaction security features, and other application capabilities, not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. A chip card is extremely difficult to counterfeit.


3. Why is my card being upgraded to a chip card?

Chip technology is already used in other countries and now coming to the U.S. your chip card provides an extra level of security and is easier to use at international locations.


4. How is the chip card different from a magnetic stripe card?

A chip card looks just like a traditional card with an embedded chip in addition to the standard magnetic stripe on the back of the card. Rather than swiping your card when making a purchase, you will insert your card into the terminal to complete the transaction. Once your transaction has been completed, you will be prompted to remove your card from the terminal.


5. How does chip technology work?

The chip in the card communicates with the terminal to determine whether or not your card is authentic. Depending on the security preference associated with your chip card as well as the terminal, you will be prompted to provide your signature or Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete your transaction.


6. Are chip cards new?

Although chip cards are relatively new to the U.S., they have been used in other countries for many years. In some foreign countries, particularly in Europe, chip cards continue to be widely used and have been successful in reducing fraud.


7. Where can I use my chip card?

You can use your chip card everywhere you shop today. Insert your card into a chip-enabled terminal or swipe your card at merchant locations that have not yet switched to chip-enabled terminals. You can also continue to use your card as you did before – for online transactions, mail order/telephone order transactions, pay at pump fuel purchases, and at ATM machines.