EMV Chip Technology

Beacon Debit Card 600_SampleImage

You’ve probably heard about the new EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chip technology for debit cards. What exactly is an EMV chip debit card? It’s a debit card with a microchip embedded right into the card (yes, that little square in the front of the card is actually a mini-computer). The microchip encrypts your information, making transactions more secure by preventing fraudsters from stealing data. Want in? Thought you would.

All Beacon FCU debit card holders will receive their new EMV chip debit card in June 2016. While many merchants and ATMs have already switched to chip-activated terminals, some are still in the process. Not to worry – you’ll be able to use your chip card in all of them.

Here are a few facts about EMV chip cards and how to use them:

Where can I use my new EMV chip debit card?

  • Your new EMV chip debit card will work in all the places you’ve used it in the past – at grocery stores, retail and other merchants, ATMs, and for online and telephone payments.

Will I have the same PIN as I did for my old card?

  • Yes. Your PIN will remain the same, but your expiration date and CVV will change.

What if I have automatic payments set up on my debit card?

  • Because your debit card expiration date and CVV will be changing, you’ll need to update that information for any automatic payments you have set up using your debit card.

Will my EMV chip debit card work at the ATM?

  • Yes. You can use your chip debit card to get cash and check your balance, as well as any other usual functions.

How do I use my EMV chip debit card at chip-enabled terminals?

Insert, don’t swipe. EMV chip cards not only look a little different, but using them with the new terminals is a little different too. Instead of swiping, insert your card into the terminal. Here’s how:

  • Insert your card face up, chip end first
  • Leave your card in the terminal during your transaction and follow the instructions on the screen (don’t remove your card too soon as your transaction could be cancelled)
  • When prompted, remove your card and take your receipt

What if I am using a terminal that is not chip-enabled?

  • No problem. Since the EMV chip cards also have the magnetic stripe like your old debit card, you can simply swipe your card to pay when needed.
  • These transactions will be approved and processed as non-EMV transactions.  However it will not have the extra layer of security that new EMV transactions contain.

What if I can’t tell which type of terminal I’m using?

  • You can always swipe the card first, and if the terminal is chip-enabled, it should prompt you to dip (insert) your card instead.

What about making purchases online or by phone?

  • Enter your information as usual for online and phone transactions. As always, only shop online using trusted, established sites. Look for the “https” before the web address, which indicates a secure site.
  • Because these transactions are not reading the chip, they will be processed as non-EMV transactions and not contain the extra layer of security that EMV transactions have.

How does the EMV chip card make my transactions safer?

  • With the older technology, information about your account was stored only on the magnetic strip on the back of your card, allowing the terminal to quickly gather the information needed for that transaction. Unfortunately, because the information on the strip doesn’t change, thieves have been known to steal information from the magnetic strips on cards by using “skimming” devices or taking advantage of vulnerabilities in merchant processing software.
  • The new EMV chip technology stores information in an encrypted chip, generating a unique code for each EMV transaction. No two transactions are alike, so even if a thief stole information from one transaction, they could not produce a duplicate card to use.

What if I’m traveling? Will my EMV chip debit card work outside the U.S.?

  • Yes, your EMV chip debit card will work anywhere Visa is accepted. In fact, EMV has been in place for years in more than 80 countries worldwide.

Is it a good idea to contact the credit union if I’m traveling out of the country?

  • Absolutely. Non-typical debit card purchases (especially those done outside the U.S.) can trigger fraud alerts.
  • To minimize any disruption it is always a good idea to notify your financial institution of your travel plans and how they can reach you before you leave. Doing so will minimize the chances of your card being blocked when you are trying to make a legitimate purchase.

Why didn’t I receive my EMV Chip Card?

  • The credit union reissued all debit cards that met the following criteria:
    • Open cards with current expiration dates
    • Cards that had a valid transaction within the last 12 months
    • Account has a valid address

Will I need my PIN number to complete my transaction?

  • Yes, at some merchants you will need to use your PIN number to complete the transaction. If you do not remember your PIN number, you can come inside the office or give us a call to change it.