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EMV Chip Cards

About EMV Chip Cards

Chip cards are the latest standard in credit card security. The standard is called “EMV” (named after EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa, the joint developers of the standard). This standard includes a small microchip embedded in the card that creates a unique authorization code for every transaction to better protect buyers against fraudulent transactions.

Because of this new standard, banks are slowly phasing out magnetic strip cards in favor of these more secure chip cards. But what exactly is the problem with magnetic strip cards, and what makes these new chip cards better?

Well for starters, cards with magnetic strips are pretty outdated – they have been around since the ‘60s and they utilize the same technology as old cassette tapes. And believe it or not, the United States is one of the last developed countries that still use these types of cards. EMV has been the standard in Europe and most of the world for over a decade now.

So how to chip cards help fight fraud?

  1. EMV cards are designed specifically to combat fraudulent transactions that take place when someone physically swipes a counterfeit card at a payment terminal, and this technology works too. In countries that have adopted the EMV standard, certain types of card fraud have declined dramatically.
  2. Magnetic strip cards use static data encoded in the strip. When you swiped your card, the payment processor would read this information and match it to your bank account. The problem with this is that the encoded information was static – it never changed – making it easy for fraudsters to lift the data and encode it on a new card that they could then use. On the other hand, the data on the chip card is constantly changing and is never duplicated from one transaction to another. These data changes make it extremely difficult to isolate and extract the information needed to conduct fraudulent transactions. A fraudster would need to get into the physical chip circuit and manipulate things on the chip itself, something that is very difficult to do and requires very expensive equipment to pull off.
  3. Bank information on a magnetic strip card is encoded in plain text on the card and is only encrypted once the terminal reads the information. Chip cards have sophisticated encryption built into the chip itself. The reason EMV cards take a little longer at the register is because when you insert the card, the card actually talks back and forth with the terminal in a secret language to make sure it is actually you who is paying.

Chip Card FAQs

About Chip Cards

Why does my TCB debit card now include a chip?

As chip technology will soon become the security standard in the U.S., many merchants are beginning to accept chip cards and we want you to be ready. You'll enjoy greater security when making purchases at a chip-enabled terminal since the chip provides better protection against counterfeit fraud. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

What is a chip card?

A chip card is a standard-size plastic debit card that contains an embedded microchip as well as a traditional magnetic stripe. The chip encrypts information to help increase data security when making transactions at terminals or ATMs that are chip-enabled.

Where can I use my chip card?

More terminals and ATMs are becoming chip-enabled throughout the U.S. Your chip card will still work at terminals and ATMs where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

Are chip cards more secure?

Yes. Chip technology has been around for over two decades and it is already the security standard in many countries around the world. When purchases are made using the chip feature at chip-enabled terminals, the transaction is more secure because of a unique process that is used to determine if the card is authentic. This makes the card more difficult to counterfeit or copy.

While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to our customers. Whether you use the magnetic stripe or the chip to make your purchase, you can have confidence in the protection and security features we provide for all debit card accounts.

Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.

Will chip cards prevent all fraud from happening?

No. As the industry continues to develop new ways to protect consumers, perpetrators continue to look for new ways to commit fraud. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring we currently provide. As always, your purchases are also covered by our zero liability protection, where TCB credits your account back for fraudulent charges.

Do the same benifits come with my chip card that I had with my prior card?

Yes. You'll continue to enjoy the same benefits with your chip card as you do today with your debit card.

Using Chip Debit Cards

How does a chip debit card work?

It's easy. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal. The chip card will remain in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, just follow the prompts as you do today.

You'll be prompted to enter your PIN or to provide a signature as you normally would to verify the transaction. Your card is available to be removed from the terminal once the transaction is completed.

If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

Are there any situations where my chip debit card may not work when inserted into the chip terminal?

Yes, during this transition, you may encounter the following situations:

  • The chip terminal is installed, but not turned on. Some merchants are not yet allowing any chip cards to be inserted. This will occur frequently in the short-term while terminals are becoming chip-enabled. If you insert your chip debit card and nothing happens, please swipe your card to complete your transaction.
  • The chip terminal is turned on for chip credit cards only. Some merchants are only allowing chip credit cards to be inserted and plan to allow chip debit cards at a later date. If you insert your chip debit card and nothing happens, please swipe your card and complete your transaction. This does not mean there is anything wrong with the chip on your card.

You may always choose to swipe your card first, and if the merchant accepts chip debit cards, you’ll be instructed to insert your card into the terminal.

When can I expect to receive a debit card with chip technology?

If you don't have a debit card with chip technology today, you'll receive one when your old card expires or needs to be reissued. Until then, use your standard card with the magnetic stripe.

Will my chip ATM/debit card work at all ATMs?

Yes, your card will work at both a chip-enabled ATM and at ATMs where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

  1. Insert your card face-up in the ATM to begin your transaction.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions (chip-enabled ATMs will hold your card during the transaction).
  3. Take your card when prompted.

Are there any additional fees associated with chip debit cards??

There is no additional cost to have or to use your new card with smart chip technology. However, there are fees for each requested replacement of a debit card that may still apply. The replacement fee does not apply when we replace a card upon its expiration. Please refer to a TCB customer service representative for more details.