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EMV Chip Card Frequently Asked Questions

What is a chip card and why am I getting one?
Chip cards are payment cards that have an embedded chip that offers you advanced security when you use the chip to pay in store or at an ATM.

These cards 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. The EMV technology has been adopted by the other major card brands and issuers.

What is EMV?
Chip cards are based on a global card payment standard called EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard®, and Visa®, currently used in more than 80 countries. There are more than 3.4 billion chip cards issued across the globe. Learn more at

Why are chip card transactions more secure?
Chip card transactions offer you advanced security in-store and at the ATM by making every transaction unique. And, your chip card is more difficult to counterfeit or copy. If the card data and the one-time code are stolen, the information cannot be used to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud.

How do I know if I have a chip card?
If you have a chip card, the chip is located on the front of the card. You will still have a magnetic stripe on the back so that you can use it at merchants who don’t accept chip cards yet.

Can I still pay in store or use an ATM if I don’t have a chip card?
Yes, merchants and ATMs will continue to accept magnetic stripe cards.

Can I still use my chip card at a non-chip-enabled ATM or merchant terminal?
Yes. Your card will have a chip and a magnetic stripe to accommodate any situation. Simply ‘swipe’ your card as you would today.

What does a chip-enabled merchant terminal look like?
Chip-enabled terminals have all of the features you are used to with a payment terminal, with the addition of a slot to insert your card. The slot is typically located at the bottom of the payment terminal.

What does a chip-enabled ATM look like?
Chip-enabled ATMs have all of the features you are used to. You likely won’t notice any physical different between a magnetic stripe ATM and a chip-enabled ATM.

How do I know if a merchant terminal accepts chip cards?
During the transition to chip, you can swipe your card as you normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert your card instead. If you already know your chip card works there, start by inserting your card.

How do I know if an ATM accepts chip cards?
At an ATM, start the transaction as you normally would and follow the prompts. A chip-enabled ATM will guide you through the transaction. Depending on the type of ATM, your experience may differ slightly.

What if the terminal or ATM doesn’t accept chip cards?
Cards will still have a magnetic stripe on the back, so even if a terminal or ATM is not yet chip-enabled, you can use your cards as you do today.

Where can I use my chip card?
Anywhere. Your card will have a chip and magnetic stripe to accommodate any situation.

When will I be able to use my chip card at all merchant and ATM locations?
Every day, more merchants and ATMs are becoming chip-enabled to increase security for in-person card transactions, so you will start to see these terminals and ATMs at many of the stores and financial institutions you visit today. You will continue to be able to pay at both chip-enabled and non-chip-enabled merchants and ATMs with the same card.

Will anything change during my online purchases?
No. You will use your chip card for online purchases by following the same process you do today.

Can I use my chip card outside of the U.S.?
Yes. Chip cards are widely used in international markets and are accepted in more than 80 countries. Having a chip card will make it easier for you to make purchases and complete ATM transactions when you travel internationally.

Where has EMV been adopted?
Financial institutions in Europe, Latin America, Asia/Pacific, Canada and the United States are issuing EMV chip-enabled credit and debit cards.

Should U.S. travelers with magnetic stripe only payment cards expect issues when traveling to countries that have implemented EMV?
Some U.S. travelers have been reporting troubles using their magnetic stripe cards while traveling. The most common areas where travelers may face issues are at unmanned kiosks for tickets, gasoline, tolls and/or parking, and in rural areas where shop owners do not know how to accept magnetic stripe cards.

Will travelers with EMV cards visiting the U.S. have issues paying for purchases?
Currently, all EMV chip cards also have a magnetic stripe, so that those cards can be used in regions and countries that have not deployed EMV. There has been some discussion by the European Payment Council (EPC) to allow European financial institutions the option to issue chip-only cards. However, European cardholders who travel internationally would have the ability to enable magnetic stripe acceptance as needed.

How does EMV address payments fraud?
First, the EMV chip card includes as secure microprocessor chip that can store information securely and perform cryptographic processing during a payment transaction. Chip cards carry security credentials that are encoded by the card issuer and personalization. These credentials, or keys, are stored securely in the EMV card’s chip and are impervious to access by unauthorized parties. These credentials therefore helps to prevent card skimming and card cloning, one of the common ways magnetic stripe cards are compromised and use for fraudulent activity.

Second, in an EMV chip transaction, the card is authenticated as being genuine, the cardholder is verified, and the transaction includes dynamic data and is authorized online or offline, according to issuer determined risk parameters. As described above, each of these security features helps to prevent fraudulent transactions.

Third, even if fraudster are able to steal account data from chip transactions, this data cannot be used to create a fraudulent transaction in an EMV chip or magnetic stripe environment, since every EMV transaction carries dynamic data.

How does card authentication work with EMV?
Card authentication protects the payment system against counterfeit cards. Card authentication methods are defined in the EMV specifications and the associated payment network chip specifications. Card authentication can take place online with the issuer authenticating the transaction using a dynamic cryptogram, offline with the card and terminal performing static or dynamic data authentication, or both.

How are cardholders verified with EMV?
Cardholder verification authenticates the cardholder via:

  • Online PIN, where the PIN is encrypted and verified online by the card issuer
  • Offline PIN, where the PIN is verified offline by the EMV card
  • Signature verification, where the cardholder signatures on the receipt is compared to the signature on the back of the card
  • No CVM, where none is used (typically for low value transactions or for transactions at unattended POS locations)

Where can I learn more about EMV?
The EMV Connection website at and for more information.

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