Skip to Main Content

Financial Tools

FAQs

TOPICS

Chip Cards

+ Expand All

About Chip Cards

  • + What is EMV? What is a chip card?

    EMV is an acronym that stands for EuroPay, MasterCard® & VISA®. It is a global standard for credit and debit cards based on chip card technology.

    A chip card is a security-enhanced debit and/or credit card which has a microchip embedded into the card. With traditional cards, the magnetic stripe contains data that does not change, making the data easy to replicate if it is stolen. The small, metallic square microchip on a chip card is the heart of the difference. Unlike traditional cards, when a chip card is used, the chip generates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again.

  • + Why the change and what are the benefits?

    The move to EMV technology is for two reasons:

    • to adopt latest card technology standards; and
    • to mitigate counterfeit card fraud.

    The biggest benefit of EMV technology is the reduction in card fraud resulting from counterfeit cards. The chip on the card plays an active role in the transaction encryption. Because the chip technology is incredibly difficult to crack, in-person transactions are much more secure.

    Chip cards also allow you the convenience of being able to use them for payments on any chip-compatible terminal anywhere in the world.

Using Your UFCU Chip Card

  • + What can I expect when I use my chip card?

    Initially, chip cards will continue to feature a magnetic stripe, in addition to the embedded microchip. The magnetic stripe will allow you to continue to make card purchases by swiping your card at a sales terminal.

    However, if you are visiting a retailer that has an active chip card terminal, be prepared for a new chip card transaction experience. At the register, instead of swiping your chip card, you will do what is called “card dipping.” Card dipping simply means inserting your chip card into the terminal slot; the terminal retains it for the duration of the transaction, and then returns it to you once the transaction is complete. This is different from the typical quick swipe with which you probably are familiar. In fact, don’t forget to take your card from the terminal before you leave!

    Are you concerned you won’t know what to do? Don’t be! If you find yourself at a register and you are not sure whether to swipe or dip your chip card, rest assured the terminal or the retail associate will prompt you to take the correct action to complete your transaction. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

  • + Is card dipping the only option?

    Not necessarily. EMV cards can also support contactless card reading, also known as near field communication.

    Instead of dipping or swiping, NFC-equipped cards are tapped against a terminal scanner that can pick up the card data from the embedded computer chip.

Security Concerns

  • + What makes the chip card more secure?

    A chip card is a security-enhanced debit and/or credit card which has a microchip embedded into the card. With traditional cards, the magnetic stripe contains data that does not change, making the data easy to replicate if it is stolen. The small, metallic square microchip on a chip card is the heart of the difference. Unlike traditional cards, when a chip card is used, the chip generates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again, making it safer and giving you peace of mind.

  • + What information is secured on the chip card?

    There is no personal information stored on the chip card. The information stored in the chip is the same type of information that is currently stored on the magnetic stripe today - payment related information that will allow the transaction to be authorized and processed.

  • + Do chip cards prevent all fraud?

    Although the embedded chip does make fraud more difficult, it will not prevent all fraud. Chip cards used at chip-enabled terminals encrypt card data, virtually eliminating the ability grab card data used to counterfeit cards. There is still a possibility for online fraud to occur as the chip is not utilized during online transactions.

PIN Related Questions

  • + Do I need a PIN to use my chip card?

    No. You will not need to enter a PIN when paying with your UFCU VISA® Credit Card, but you may be prompted to sign for your purchase.

  • + Do I need a PIN to make purchase with my chip credit card? What is Chip & Signature and Chip & PIN?

    You have a Chip and Signature credit card, so in most instances, you should not need a PIN to make purchases with your credit card. The term "PIN" or "Signature" simply refers to how you will authorize the transaction – by entering a PIN or by providing your signature. When using your UFCU chip credit card, you'll be prompted for a signature to complete the transaction. On rare occasions, you may be asked to provide a PIN. Should this occur, just enter the credit card PIN assigned to your card. The enhanced security against counterfeiting is contained within the chip itself. The chip makes the transaction more secure by encrypting information when completing a transaction at a chip-enabled terminal. As a result, both Chip & PIN and Chip & Signature transactions offer enhanced security against counterfeiting.

  • + What do I do if I am asked to provide a PIN?

    If a merchant asks about a PIN code, you can say that your card only requires a signature for verification. If the merchant card reader prompts for a PIN code, it may allow you to “Cancel” out of the prompt so you can sign. You may also be able to select “Enter” or “Continue” to bypass the PIN request.

Maintenance Questions