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Chip Cards

Enhanced security for debit and credit cards.

The way your customers pay is changing.

What are chip cards?

A chip card also called a smart card or an EMV card is a debit or credit card embedded with a microchip that adds an additional layer of fraud protection during point-of-sale transactions.

What does a chip card look like?

Chip cards look and operate the same as any other debit or credit card. A small, metallic sure is simply embedded somewhere on the card.

Mercantile Debit Card

Why are EMV cards more secure?

When used at a chip-enabled register or ATM, a small computer chip embedded in the card adds a new layer of protection against unauthorized use and counterfeiting. Information programmed into the chip is personalized per account and each transaction generates a unique code that can't be used again.

What do you need to accept a chip payment?

For point of sale transactions, contact your payment services provider to get a chip-enabled terminal. These terminals have all of the same features of existing terminals and registers, with the addition of a slot for the customer to insert their chip card. The slot is typically located at the bottom or top of the payment terminal.

What about online and phone transactions?

These card-not-present transactions don't change. They will be processed just as they currently are.

How does it work?

During the transition to chip cards, customers are being advised to swipe their card as they normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt them to insert it instead. If you have chip-enabled terminals and you notice that a customer has a chip card, they may insert their card for a chip transaction.

The customer should insert their card with the chip toward the terminal, facing up. The chip card should not be removed until the customer is prompted by the terminal.

The customer will provide their signature or PIN as prompted by the terminal. Some transactions may not require either.

When the terminal says the transaction is complete, the customer can remove their card.

What is the liability shift?

Beginning in October 2015, merchants that accept chip cards will be protected from fraud losses resulting from in store counterfeit magnetic stripe card transactions, just as you are today. However, liability will shift from issuers to merchants if payment terminals are not chip-enabled for in store transactions.

Resources and FAQs

  • Go Chips and Dips- informational site from Merchant e_solutions
  • GoChipCard - educational site from the EMV Migration Forum and the Payments Security Task Force
  • FAQs

If you have any questions regarding chip cards and chip card processing email us or contact us during normal business hours at 1.800.453.8700.