Frequently Asked Questions
EMV is an acronym that stands for Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®. They are the founding companies for chip card technology. EMV is a payment application that resides in a computer chip embedded in a credit or debit card. The application specifications were developed by Europay, MasterCard®, and Visa® in order to help fight fraud. The specifications define a set of requirements that ensure compatibility between payment chip cards and card terminals.
The term “EMV” and “chip card” are interchangeable.
EMV has been widely used in Europe for many years, and the U.S. card issuers are now taking steps to make EMV the standard payment application for enhanced card security. The adoption of EMV will require financial institutions, payment networks, card issuers, payment processors, and businesses to make substantial changes to card issuing, transaction authorization and related processes as well as point-of-sale and/or ATM equipment.
The move to chip cards is intended to reduce fraud in the card payment system and to increase international acceptance of cards issued by U.S. issuers.
While magnetic stripe technology can usually be used in countries where EMV is prominent, some merchants now require the customer to use a chip card.
During a payment transaction, the chip performs cryptographic processing by assigning a unique code to each transaction. This helps prevent the transaction data from being fraudulently reused. Chip processing takes place only when the card is used at an chip-activated terminal.
A chip terminal is a point-of-sale (POS) device or ATM that is able to process chip transactions. Instead of swiping your card, you insert it in a chip terminal and leave it in the terminal until the transaction is complete. If a merchant does not have a chip terminal or if their chip terminal is not yet activated, transactions will be processed by swiping the card’s magnetic stripe, just as they are processed today.
Make sure you remove your card from the terminal before leaving the merchant’s premises! This is a common challenge people face when getting used to using a chip card.
Chip cards are in use throughout Europe and in most of the Middle East, Asia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Africa.
October 2015 marked the official migration to chip cards for the United States. However, the migration effort is still in process. Issuers have been quicker to move to chip cards than merchants have been able to transition their point-of-sale devices. According to The Strawhecker Group*, a management consulting company focused on the electronic payments industry, only 37 percent of merchants were capable of processing chip card payments in January 2016. They project that the United States could reach a critical threshold of 90 percent merchant adoption in late 2017 or later.
*TSG Survey Results: EMV - The Aftermath
A chip card is available now for commercial, credit and debit cards. If you have an existing magnetic strip only debit card, that debit card is scheduled to be replaced with a chip card by the end of 2016.
We are issuing chip cards for new cardholders, expired cards, lost/stolen cards and replacement cards. We have replaced magnetic stripe only cards with chip cards for all commercial and credit card customers. We are in the process of replacing cards for our existing debit cardholders.
Please make sure your contact information is up-to-date with the bank:
You can verify and update your information by logging in to Online Banking and selecting Services>My Preferences>Address/Email Preferences from the top navigation menu. If you are not enrolled in online banking, please call the number on the back of your card or visit one of our branches.
At this time we do not plan to charge customers for a chip card. If you request expedited replacement of your current card, we may charge a fee for faster delivery.
Yes, subject to our fraud monitoring and ATM limits, you may continue to use your magnetic stripe card outside the U.S. Please notify us in advance of traveling abroad to better ensure your legitimate foreign transactions are not declined. Magnetic stripe-only cards are still accepted outside the U.S. though some “unattended” kiosks (parking meters, gas station pumps) may take only chip cards. For foreign travel, we recommend that you consider having another method of payment available just in case.
We take card security very seriously and have multiple fraud detection services available:
- 24/7 Fraud Monitoring – We always monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and attempt to contact you when we see something out of the ordinary. To ensure the best possible service, you should maintain accurate contact information with the bank and take advantage of our other fraud fighting tools like Mobile Card Fraud Alerts and Card Alerts.
- Mobile Card Fraud Alerts – You can receive near real-time alerts of potentially fraudulent card activity on your mobile device or by email. Enrollment is available through Online Banking.
- Card Alerts - You can receive near real-time* notification of signature-based (not PIN) transaction activity based on customized alert settings. Enrollment is available through Online Banking.
- Zero Liability® – Protects personal and small business customers against unauthorized transactions made with their Visa credit or debit card. Please visit www.visa.com for further details.
These services will remain available for use with your chip card. EMV will simply provide an additional layer of security.
Both “chip and signature” and “chip and PIN” refer to the way a card is authenticated at the terminal. Your card will be authenticated using chip and signature. Chip and signature offers the same cryptographic security as chip and PIN.
While most of the banks in Europe chose chip and PIN authentication, the US market has leaned toward chip and signature in an effort to ease transition by maintaining the current experience of signing receipts. We expect our customers will also appreciate not having to remember a separate PIN in order to complete their transaction. The terminal should recognize that the card is chip and signature and won’t prompt for a PIN, even if it’s used in Europe.
No. Currently, we do not plan to issue contactless chip cards. Chip cards will need to be inserted in to a chip terminal.
If you have a contactless card, that feature will end when your card is replaced by a chip card.
If prompted by the chip terminal to do so, you will be required to sign for credit card purchases. Some merchants, however, do not have customer’s sign their receipt if the sale is below a certain amount.
For debit cards, you have the choice of signing or using your PIN if the merchant’s terminal supports PIN entry.
For credit cards, your existing PIN can be used for ATM-based transactions only. For debit cards, you can continue to use your regular PIN at chip terminals that support PIN entry.
Yes. At ATMs that are not chip-enabled, the transaction will be processed using your card’s magnetic stripe technology in combination with your PIN. At ATMs equipped with chip readers, the transaction will be processed using the chip technology in combination with your PIN.
Your card account number, benefits, terms and conditions of your account remain in effect. You will receive a new expiration date when you are issued your chip card.
Both chip and magnetic stripe card transactions are processed very quickly, especially when compared to checks or cash. Leaving your card inserted, versus swiping the card, does add a few seconds on to the transaction in order to assign the unique code to your transaction. This is a step that does not exist with magnetic stripe only transactions; and, it is what adds the additional layer of security.
No. There are several manufacturers and styles of chip terminals. However, all terminals perform the same function of inserting the chip and assigning a unique code to each transaction.
Each merchant is responsible for setting-up their terminal. This includes the customer interface design and how a transaction is processed.
Customers may see different terms now being used on screen prompts. Some merchants have used off-the-shelf terminals that come with displays that say “Visa Debit” or “US Debit” as options. Other merchants have customized their prompts and may follow more traditional terms like displaying “credit” and “debt”.
Merchants are required by Visa rules to allow a customer to authorize a payment by both a signature and PIN. If a merchant only allows PIN or only allows signature, they have set-up their terminal outside the network rules. The networks are working with identified merchants to solve this set-up issue. To be prepared in case you encounter a merchant with a terminal outside network rules, make sure you have your PIN. You can visit a branch or call the number on the back of your card to have one mailed to you. If a merchant terminal will not process a debit card using a PIN, request the merchant to process the transaction as credit. Depending upon the merchant set-up, this may allow the debit card to process with a signature.
The flexibility in merchant set-up has caused some confusion in the marketplace as a customer’s experience may vary by merchant. As the payment ecosystem continues to migrate to EMV, The customer experience is expected to become more seamless from store to store as the migration to EMV reaches maturity.
Most merchant terminals will require the chip to be used if the terminal is enabled to accept chip transactions. The terminal should prompt you to use your chip when it is a requirement. Using the chip is a more secure transaction method than magnetic stripe-only at point-of-sale, so this is the preferred method once merchants have enabled chip transactions.
No. Chip cards are a significant step toward reducing fraud but the chip cannot prevent all fraud from taking place. Card not present transactions, for example online payments, do not use the chip technology and therefore do not benefit from the unique code that is assigned to the transaction.