Chip Card FAQs

What is a Chip Card?

TFCU’s Chip Cards feature EMV technology. EMV is named after its developers (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa), EMV credit and debit cards utilize a microchip to process transactions at the point of sale instead of a magnetic strip.

What is special about Chip Cards?

The new technology is designed to help reduce fraud for transactions where the card is swiped at the point of sale. Magnetic strips on the back of cards store data that allow merchants to charge a purchaser’s account. Instead of delivering reoccurring data, the chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be reused.

How do I use a Chip Card?

Instead of swiping the card, Chip Card holders insert their card into the point of sale terminal. The terminal will then provide prompts to finish the transaction and release the card.

Why am I hearing about Chip Cards now?

A policy change went into effect on October 1st, 2015. Financial institutions are responsible for fraudulent transactions but this responsibility is shifting to the merchant in some cases. This “liability shift” occurs if a cardholder carries the Chip Card but the merchant does not have the new point of sale terminals to utilize it. Before 10/1, financial institutions were liable for all fraudulent transactions, even if the merchant was responsible for the data breaches.

Do Chip Cards work for every purchase?

There are two ways that Chip Cards cannot create unique transaction codes. 1) If the merchant does not offer chip reading point of sale terminals, the magnetic strip will still provide the merchant with the card’s data. 2) Many transactions are processed online or over the phone without the ability to read the chip technology.

How do Chip Cards benefit me?

When a merchant data breach occurs, perpetrators that commit the crime are able to steal credit card data in order to process fraudulent transactions. The chip technology renders that data useless for these fraudsters. Either way, our members are not responsible for these fraudulent transactions.

Is TFCU going to issue Chip Cards?

Yes, TFCU Members will receive Chip Cards when their current credit or debit card expires. All TFCU cards will continue to be covered from any fraudulent transactions.

If you have any questions, call us at (520) 795-8520.