EMV Chip cards are payment cards that have an embedded chip which is commonly used in place of the magnetic stripe. EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, is becoming the global standard for credit card and debit card payments. There are more than 3.4 billion chip cards issued across the globe. The U.S. is actually the last major market still using the magnetic-stripe card system. Many European countries moved to EMV technology to combat high fraud rates years ago.
Chip card transactions offer you advanced security in-store and at the ATM by making a unique code for every transaction. Your chip card is more difficult to counterfeit or copy. If the card data and the unique, one-time code are stolen, the information cannot be used to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud. The magnetic stripes on traditional credit and debit cards contain unchanging data, which makes them easier to counterfeit.
During the transition to chip, 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:
- Insert the chip end of the card into the bottom of the terminal with the chip facing up.
- Keep the card in the terminal and follow the prompts to enter your PIN or sign. If you remove your card too soon, your purchase will be cancelled.
- Remove your card after the terminal indicates that the transaction is complete.
Can I still use my chip card at retailers that do not support EMV technology?
Yes, you will simply swipe the magnetic stripe as you had with your previous, traditional debit card.