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 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.

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