Chip cards are regular plastic credit or debit cards with an embedded microchip. The chip protects in-store payments because it generates a unique, one-time code that is needed for each transaction to be approved. It is virtually impossible for fraudsters to replicate this feature in counterfeit cards providing greater security and peace of mind when used in store. A chip card also has a magnetic stripe on the back of the card and may include Visa payWave technology for contactless payments.
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.
All Visa cards are safe, and offer protection from unauthorized use of your card or account information. Visa chip technology offers another layer of security when used at a chip-reading terminal, because it generates a unique, one-time code that is needed for each transaction to be approved.
Yes, you can still make purchases as you always have — by entering the card number online or swiping your card at merchant locations that do not yet have chip readers. You can also continue to use your card at ATMs.
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.
Typically, your financial institution will upgrade your card at no cost to you. However, you should check with your financial institution for any related costs.