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:


  • 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.

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