Chip Cards: How Do They Work?

RBFCU now offers credit and debit cards enabled with chip technology, providing an additional level of security for your transactions and account information. The chip card is designed to be used with a special chip terminal card reader at the point of sale (POS); however, because it still has the traditional magnetic strip, you can use it for transactions even if the merchant has not converted to a chip card reader.

Why do I need a chip card?

Chip card technology provides stronger protection and security against fraudsters, in particular against “skimming.” Skimming is a technique in which criminals copy the data from a card’s magnetic strip and use it to create a counterfeit card. When a retailer uses a chip-enabled terminal, the chip technology helps prevent theft of account information. In addition, most U.S. merchants have converted or are in the process of converting to new chip-enabled terminals.

How do I use the chip card?

Learn more about using your chip card with our instructional video:

How to Use a Chip Card

RBFCU offers credit and debit cards enabled with chip technology, providing an additional level of security for your transactions and account information. Learn more about using your chip card.

FAQ FAQs

  • When will I receive a chip card?

    Credit cards: RBFCU began issuing chip credit cards in July 2015 and will continue to convert credit cards with new and reissued cards.

    Debit cards: RBFCU began converting debit cards in June 2016. Members will receive a new chip card once their traditional card(s) expire.

    However, members may request to receive a new credit or debit chip card prior to their card’s expiration by contacting the Member Service Center at 1-800-580-3300.

  • Why do I need a chip card?
    Chip card technology helps prevent fraudsters from gaining your card information from a card’s magnetic strip, when the merchant and card are EMV compliant. In addition, most U.S. merchants have converted to new chip-enabled terminals.
  • How different is a chip card?
    A chip card looks and performs very similarly to a traditional debit card. The main difference is the small metallic computer chip, or microprocessor, on the front of the card. The chip card is designed to be used with a chip-enabled terminal at the point of sale (POS). Depending on how the merchant’s processor is set up, you may be asked to enter a PIN for transactions you would traditionally sign for.
  • What are the advantages of chip card technology?
    Chip card technology provides stronger protection against fraudsters, in particular against "skimming," a technique criminals use to copy data from a card's magnetic strip and create a counterfeit card. When a retailer uses a chip-enabled terminal, the chip technology, along with your PIN, encrypts the card data, which helps prevent your card information from being compromised. The chip provides additional security when the card and the merchant are EMV compliant.
  • Will all merchants accept chip cards?
    All merchants were given the opportunity to be EMV compliant by Oct. 1, 2017. In the event that the merchant did not upgrade to chip-reader terminals, the merchant will be liable for any fraudulent transactions that take place at their locations.

    *Gas stations will need to be EMV compliant by Oct. 1, 2020.
  • Will the debit chip card require a PIN?

    Chip-enabled terminals may require a PIN number to complete transactions on the debit card.

    Important: While the PIN will be necessary to complete most transactions, the merchant should not ask for your PIN. Your PIN should NEVER be shared with anyone and should always be kept confidential when processing any transaction. If a merchant asks for your PIN, do not give it to them under any circumstance. Please ask the merchant to extend their terminal to reach you so that you can enter your PIN. If you are in a drive-thru and the terminal cannot reach you, you may have to go inside so that you can enter your PIN and complete the transaction. However you may be able to bypass the enter PIN option if the merchants terminals are able to complete the request.

  • How do I activate my debit chip card?
    To select your PIN and activate your card, you must call 1-866-307-4655. Once the PIN has been selected, your card is ready for use.
    • If your card is reissued with the same number, you can activate your card by using the physical card. You do not need to call the IVR system.
    • If you were issued a new card number because your previous card was lost, stolen, or has been affected by fraud you will select a new PIN and activate the new card by calling 1-866-307-4655.
    Please note: You cannot activate your card with an online transaction or at a gas station.
  • How do I activate my credit card chip card?
    • For security purposes, you will be required to call the automated voice response system at 1-866-839-3492 from your home telephone number.
    • The PIN for your credit card will be mailed separately. You can change this to a PIN of your choice at an RBFCU ATM, with the exception of ATMs located at Murphy gas stations. Important: You must know your current credit card PIN to be able to change it at the ATM. You can also change your PIN by calling the automated system at 1-866-297-3413. You must know your current credit card PIN and ZIP code. Please contact RBFCU at 1-800-580-3300 if you did not receive your PIN.
  • How do I use a chip card at chip-enabled terminals?

    To use a chip-enabled terminal, the cardholder will insert their card into the bottom of the terminal and follow the prompts on the screen. The terminal will read the information contained in the chip, making sure the card is valid and authenticating it more securely.

  • Will the chip card prevent data breaches or fraud?

    While no technology is completely foolproof, chip technology provides an added level of security and makes it more difficult for data to be compromised. The computer chip within the card, when used at an EMV compliant terminal, offers more security by encrypting the card information which prevents fraudsters from gaining information from the magnetic strip.

    While EMV cards will provide an extra level of security, it is still best to be aware of the terminals where you use your card.

  • What do I need to do to get a new chip card?

    All cards on your account will automatically be converted to the new RBFCU chip card at no cost and sent to you in the mail once your card is up for renewal. There will be no change to your interest rate for credit cards, or any other benefits on your account. To ensure delivery, please be sure RBFCU has your most recent address on file.

    To request a chip card before your card’s renewal date, you may contact our Member Service Center at 1-800-580-3300.

  • Will there be a fee to receive a new chip card?

    No. There are no fees associated with receiving a new chip card.

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