Frequently asked questions about Visa chip cards


What is a Visa chip card?

Chip cards are regular plastic credit, debit and pre-paid cards with an embedded microchip. The chip contains information that is encrypted and generates dynamic values for each transaction, making it harder for a criminal to copy or counterfeit the card and, therefore, less attractive to steal, providing greater security and peace of mind. A chip card also has a magnetic stripe on the back of the card and may include Visa payWave technology for contactless payments.

Are Visa chip cards new?

Although Visa chip cards are relatively new in the U.S., they have been used elsewhere for many years. In some countries, particularly in Europe, merchants may be more familiar with accepting chip cards than magnetic stripe cards.

Are Visa chip cards safer to use than magnetic stripe cards?

Visa chip cards provide a higher level of security when used at a chip-reading terminal, because the technology in the chip makes it difficult to copy or counterfeit.

Can I use my Visa chip card for all the same things as my old card?

Yes, you can still make purchases as you always have -- by entering the card number or swiping your card at merchant locations that do not yet have chip readers. You can also continue to use your card for online payments and at ATMs.

When will chip cards be accepted in the U.S.?

Merchants have already begun to deploy chip terminals, so you will see more and more merchants accepting chip cards over the next few years. Magnetic stripe cards will continue to be accepted.

Contact your bank now to get more information on Visa chip cards.