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 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.

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