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Smart Chip Debit Cards

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a Smart Chip card?

A Smart Chip card is a debit or credit card that contains a microprocessor that enhances the security of cards during point-of-sale transactions.

These cards, already in use in much of the world, use a security standard originally developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) as a way to fight card fraud resulting from theft, skimming and counterfeiting. The EMV technology has been adopted by the other major card brands and issuers.

Is a Smart Chip card more secure than magnetic stripe cards?

Yes. Smart Chip cards add an additional layer of security to the safeguards that already protect cards. Each time a cardholder uses their chip card it generates a code that is unique to that transaction. This makes it harder to counterfeit a card or to use it fraudulently for in-store purchases.

What information is on the chip?

The chip contains information about a cardholder’s account and the card expiration date. It also generates a unique code for every transaction when used with a chip-enabled terminal at the point of sale.

Can a Smart Chip card be used anywhere?

Smart Chip cards can be used virtually anywhere this brand of card is accepted in the U.S. and around the world. If a merchant has a chip-enabled card terminal, cardholders will insert their card during the transaction. In the U.S., cardholders will still be able to ‘swipe’ their card to make a payment if a merchant has a regular terminal. They will need a PIN to be able to make a transaction at an ATM.

How do cardholders use a Smart Chip card?

Start the payment process by swiping your card. If the merchant’s terminal is chip-enabled, you will be prompted to insert your card.

  1. Insert the card, face up and chip end into the chip-enabled terminal.
  2. Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign their name or enter their PIN as needed. They need to be sure to remove their card and take their receipt when the transaction is complete.

If the terminal is not chip-enabled, the transaction will process as it normally does from the initial swipe.

What if a merchant doesn’t have a chip-enabled terminal?

For merchants without chip-enabled terminals, cardholders will ‘swipe’ their card through the terminal, just as is done today.

Can cardholders still use their current card?

They can use their current card until they get a chip card. At that time, they should activate the new chip card and start using it. They should destroy their old card by cutting it up or shredding it.

Do I need to sign the back of the card?

Yes. You still need to sign the back of your card.

Can a Smart Chip card be used to make purchases online or by phone?

Yes. There is no change to that process. Smart Chip cards can be used to make these purchases the same way as is done today.

Can Smart Chip cards be used at an ATM?

Yes. For ATM transactions, cardholders will insert their card into the terminal and follow the instructions on the screen. Depending on the type of ATM, they might be prompted to re-insert their card. They will leave the card in the ATM until the transaction is complete and the card is released. Then they will remove their card and any money they might have withdrawn.

What happens if a chip card is lost or stolen?

To report a lost or stolen Smart Chip card during non-banking hours please call 1-800-554-8969. Should you discover your Smart Chip card is lost or stolen during normal banking hours, please contact a customer service representative at 1-800-462-2265.


  • Replaced cards will be issued with new account numbers.
  • If you get a replacement card, please note that you will need to update any automatic payments you have set up.

How are they protected?

All cards that we issue come with 'zero liability protection,’ so cardholders are not held liable for unauthorized transactions if a card is stolen, lost or fraudulently used at a merchant or online. It is important that they promptly report a lost or stolen card or any suspicious transactions. Remind them to check the applicable agreement for their account on liability and reporting requirements for unauthorized transactions.

Will Smart Chip cards prevent data breaches?

While Smart Chip cards won’t prevent the types of large-scale data breaches that have hit some merchants, they do make it extremely difficult to produce counterfeit cards from that stolen data.

Can cardholders be tracked with their Smart Chip cards?

No. Smart Chip cards contain no tracking information.

For more information about Smart Chip cards, stop by any of our convenient locations or call our Customer Care Team< at 1-800-462-2265.