EVM Chip Cards? Learn About Credit Union Debit Card Changes

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Credit union debit cards get EMV chip
Credit union debit cards get EMV chip

Dane County Credit Union members will finally start to receive their new credit union debit card embedded with EMV microchips, which provide enhanced security against fraudulent activity.

What does this mean for you? Well, here’s everything you’ll need to know about your new chip card, and more.

EMV–what does that even mean?

EMV is a collaboration between Europay, MasterCard and Visa to ensure that MasterCard and Visa debit cards can be safely accepted worldwide. EMV cards have embedded microchips in them, which, when used to pay for goods from you checking account at merchants with chip-enabled terminals, ensures that you have  more secure transaction process.

How do I use my new credit union debit card?

Honestly, pretty similarly to how you used your old debit card.

Say you’re purchasing groceries from your checking account, and the store has a chip-activated terminal on its card reader at the checkout. Simply insert the chip-end of your card face up  into the terminal (which should be a slot near the bottom of the reader), and follow the prompts on the screen. It’s extremely important that you leave your card in until the screen tells you to remove it, so that the one-time use code the computer chip generates can be processed. If you remove your card too soon, the transaction will be canceled.

Once you remove your card, you’ll receive a printed receipt. Depending if you choose to run the transaction as credit or debit will determine if you need to enter a PIN or sign for your purchase. And, of course, if the reader doesn’t have a chip-activated terminal, you can always swipe your card like you do currently.

Okay. So I understand how an EMV card works. But how is it safer than my old debit card?

Traditional debit cards (magnetic stripe cards) store all your data on their stripe. Magnetic stripes can be easily copied and recreated by cheap card readers, which are called “skimmers.”

Cards that boast EMV-chip technology greatly reduce this method of counterfeiting. The chip generates a one-time use code for each transaction you make . This means that if you become a victim of identity theft, the criminal cannot gather information from your past transactions–which, of course, disables them from using that information to recreate your card.

EMV cards are also accepted globally, at any EMV-compatible payment terminal, and can also be used to make secure online payment transactions.

That does sound a lot safer. Do I still need to be on the lookout for scams?

Of course you do; nobody is ever 100% safe from becoming a victim of identity theft. And with EMV chip-enabled card use popping up all over the globe, many scams are beginning to surface.

In particular, one of the more noteworthy scams involves a scam artist sending you an email, posing as your credit card provider. In the email they may claim that they need to update your personal account information so they can send you a new EMV chip-enabled card.

Remember: There is no reason that your legitimate credit card issuer would contact you by email to confirm personal information before providing you with a new EMV credit card.

If you happen to receive an email concerning your EMV chip card, and you’re unsure if it’s legitimate, be sure to check the address of the sender, as well as the salutation. If the email begins “Dear Cardholder,” with the last four digits of your account number or in another generic fashion, it’s most likely a scam. If you’re still unsure, you can always call the 800-number on the back of your current card.

Fantastic. So, when do I get my new credit union EMV debit card?

Dane County Credit Union will be issuing new Mastercard chip-embedded debit cards in early 2018. Your new card will have a new number, expiration date and CVV number, so you’ll want to be sure you update your information with billers. Most importantly, there aren’t any additional fees associated with the new EMV cards, and you’ll continue to earn points or other rewards just as you did with your old card. 

And, once I receive my new debit card, what do I do with my old one?

Once you have received your new EMV card, you should properly discard your old card. Some good ways to do this involve taking a powerful magnet to your old card’s magnetic stripe, shredding it in a shredder with cross-cutting capabilities and bagging the pieces separately.

Dane County Credit Union also offers annual shredding events, the dates of which you’ll find listed on our Facebook or Twitter feeds or on out website.

If you have any further questions about your new chip cards, Dane County Credit Union is always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to call our Member Service Center or stop in at your nearest branch!

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Tom S.

Tom is a 2006 graduate of UW Madison, currently residing in Verona with his wife and 2 girls. He has been passionate about writing ever since he was 15 years old, and displays that same enthusiasm in his work today. When he’s not sharing insightful financial wisdom, you can find Tom chilling on the Union Terrace, enjoying craft beer at the Great Dane, or hiking at Governor Nelson State Park. In the Fall he loves to take his family to Badger Football games!