Chip Cards Frequently Asked Questions

What are chip cards?

A chip card - also called a “smart card “or an “EMV card” - is a debit or credit card that contains a microchip that encrypts information that enhances the security of  transactions at chip-enabled  terminals.
These cards, already in use in much of the world, use a security standard originally developed by Europay, MasterCard® and Visa® (EMV) as a way to fight card fraud resulting from theft, skimming and counterfeiting. 

Is a chip card more secure than one without a chip?

Yes. When used at chip-enabled terminals, chip cards add an additional layer of security to the safeguards that already protect your card. Each time you use your chip card at a chip-enabled terminal, it generates a code that is unique to that transaction. This makes it harder to counterfeit your card.

What’s the difference between Chip Cards, Smart Chip Cards, Chip Technology and EMV Cards? 

They’re actually all the same. Different companies use these names but they all describe the same technology. 

How do I use a chip card?

When used at merchants with chip-enabled card terminals it's as easy as:
  1. Insert the card, face up and chip end first, into the terminal.
  2. Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign or enter your PIN as needed. Be sure to remove your card and take your receipt when the transaction is complete. Don’t remove your card before prompted by the terminal or your transaction may be canceled 
For merchants without chip-enabled terminals, you’ll swipe your card through the terminal, just as you do today.

Can I use my chip card anywhere?

Your chip card can be used virtually anywhere this brand of card is accepted in the U.S. and around the world. If a merchant has a chip-enabled card terminal, you will insert your card during the transaction. In the U.S., you will still be able to swipe your card to make your payment if a merchant has a regular terminal. You will need a PIN to be able to make a transaction at an ATM.

Do I need to sign the back of the card?

Yes. You still need to sign the back of your card.

Can I use my card at an ATM?

Yes. For ATM transactions, insert your card into the terminal and follow the instructions on the screen. Depending on the type of ATM, you might be prompted to re-insert your card. Leave the card in the ATM until the transaction is complete and the card is released, and then remove your card and any money you might have withdrawn.

What is the difference between chip an signature and chip and PIN?

You may be asked to provide your signature or enter your PIN to complete a transaction when you use your card. You will need to use your PIN at ATMs and it may be required at some unattended terminals such as fuel pumps and payment kiosks.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

It's important to report a lost or stolen card immediately. Keep a record of the telephone number on the back of your card and call it if necessary.

Can I use my chip card with Apple PayTM?

Yes. You can use your chip card to make payments with Apple Pay at participating merchants.

Will chip cards prevent data breaches?

While chip cards won't prevent the types of large-scale data breaches that have hit some merchants, they do make it extremely difficult to produce counterfeit cards from that stolen data.