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 different is a chip card?

    A chip card looks and performs very similarly to a traditional credit 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.

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