Three cheers for Chip Cards (and 5 reasons they’re great)!

September 18, 2015 | Mission Fed

Give me an E! Give me an M! Give me a V! What do you get? Chip Card! EMV might not literally spell out Chip Card, but it does mean the same thing. So, what exactly is a chip card and what makes it different from a normal credit card, why would you want one and will Mission Fed offer them? Those are all great questions that I’ll answer for you today.

What is EMV?

EMV/Chip is the evolution of our card payment system. It enables a secure and convenient method for paying with a credit card that will help increase security and reduce card-present fraud. EMV developers Europay, Mastercard® and Visa standardized payment technology using a microcomputer chip and software applications with many built-in security features. The microprocessor within the embedded chip encrypts transaction data differently for every transaction performed with the card. Most EMV cards have both a magnetic, or “mag,” stripe and a chip which enables the card to be used at EMV and non-EMV merchants. Some merchants may require a personal identification number (PIN) to complete a purchase, while others require a signature. Europe and Asia have been using EMV for a number of years and it is steadily becoming the standard payment option worldwide.

How’s a Chip Card different from a regular credit card?

The transaction data on a magnetic stripe card remains static—as in, the payment information never changes. All a fraudster has to do is lift the data on the back of the mag stripe, copy it onto a fake card and then go shopping. Transactions performed with an EMV chip card improve security against fraud compared to a mag stripe card which only relies on the cardholder’s signature and the retail clerk performing a visual inspection of some form of ID. With a chip card, a unique identifier is added to each purchase and sent along with the authorization and transaction for processing. If the unique identifier is not present, your credit union will know this right away and the transaction will be denied.

Why would you want an EMV card?

There are many benefits, which include:

  • Card Security - The chip in the card plays a very active role in the authorization and transaction process, it provides greater security at the point-of-sale.
  • No Skimming - A unique identifier is issued with each card that cannot be copied or cloned onto a counterfeit card. If a fraudster has attempted to duplicate the card, your credit union would know it is fake and the authorization request would be declined.
  • Peace of Mind - Knowing that someone could not skim your card and make unauthorized transactions on your account.
  • Global Usage - EMV chip cards are accepted in over 80 countries and are quickly becoming the standard.
  • Convenience - EMV cards allow uninterrupted use when traveling abroad. Many train and subway locations in Europe and Asia only accept chip cards. Be sure you have set up a PIN before traveling abroad!

Mission Fed offers chip cards

Our number one priority is the safety of our members’ financial information, so Mission Fed offers Chip Cards on all of our Credit Cards. Learn more about Mission Fed's Chip Credit Cards.

Mastercard® is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

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