Cards with EMV chip technology – also referred to as smart cards, chip cards, or EMV cards – encrypt your personal card information into a micro-chip embedded into the card. The cards generate a one-time use code for each transaction performed, making EMV chip card data nearly impossible to counterfeit and less attractive for criminals to steal. When making purchases at retailers that accept EMV chip technology, your information is protected under a higher level of security.
What is the main benefit?
The biggest benefit of EMV chip technology is the reduction in card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards.
How do I use my card?
If you’re not sure whether the retailer has a terminal enabled to accept EMV chip cards, your best bet is to swipe first as you normally do. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert (or “dip”) your EMV chip-enabled card face up in the terminal. The card will remain in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, just follow the prompts. Then remove your card from the terminal once the transaction is completed. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes. Card with EMV chip technology can also be used in ATMs.
Why did you make the change when so many retailers are not equipped with this technology?
Across the U.S. merchants and financial institutions have been making the conversion to EMV this year. In order to provide the best level of protection for our members, Affinity Plus was committed to being on the leading edge of this conversion, meaning that our members are out ahead of a lot of merchants and other financial institutions. Acceptance of cards with EMV chip technology will continue to grow in the coming year, and you can rest assured that your credit union has your best interests in mind when it comes to protecting our members’ information.
What do I do if I’m not sure if I should swipe or dip?
As you may have experienced, some retailers have the EMV terminals that aren’t yet activated. If you’re unsure, your best bet is to swipe first as you normally do.
If EMV is the best card technology available, why am I still hearing about data breaches?
That’s a good question! While EMV is the global standard for international payment and is widely regarded as one of the most significant changes to electronic payments in the last 50 years, it is not 100% foolproof. EMV chip-enabled card technology provides an additional layer of security to help reduce certain types of fraud resulting from data breaches, however it will not prevent every data breach everywhere. The greatest benefit is the reduction of fraud when using cards in-person (also called point-of-sale transactions) – but of course, only at merchants that are equipped to accept EMV cards. Also, EMV does not prevent online fraud (also called card-not-present fraud). Ultimately, credit and debit information can still be obtained by fraudsters if a merchant is storing unencrypted data. Affinity Plus will continue to reissue cards to members who experience a compromise in either of these situations.
What do I do if I still have questions?
Contact us at (800) 322-7228 or send us your comments or questions online.