Chip Technology FAQs for Consumers
What is EMV/chip card technology?
EMV is an acronym that stands for Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®. They are the founding companies for chip card technology. EMV is a payment application that resides in a computer chip embedded in a credit or debit card. The application specifications were developed by Europay, MasterCard® and Visa® in order to help fight fraud. The specifications define a set of requirements that ensure compatibility between payment chip cards and card terminals.
The term “EMV” and “chip card” are interchangeable.
EMV/chip card technology has been widely used in Europe for many years, and the US card issuers are now taking steps to make chip card technology the standard payment application for enhanced card security. The adoption of chip card technology will require financial institutions, payment networks, card issuers, payment processors, and businesses to make substantial changes to card issuing, transaction authorization and related processes as well as point-of-sale and/or ATM equipment.
Why the change to chip cards?
The move to chip cards is intended to reduce fraud in the card payment system and to increase international acceptance of cards issued by US issuers.
While magnetic stripe technology can usually be used in countries where chip card technology is prominent, some merchants now require customers to use a chip card.
How does EMV/chip card technology work?
During a payment transaction, the chip performs cryptographic processing by assigning a unique code to each transaction. This helps prevent the transaction data from being fraudulently reused. Chip processing takes place only when the card is used at a chip-enabled terminal.
An EMV/chip-enabled terminal is a point-of-sale (POS) device or ATM that is able to process chip transactions. Instead of swiping your card, you insert it in a chip-enabled terminal and leave it in the terminal until the transaction is complete. If a merchant does not have a chip-enabled terminal or if the merchant’s chip terminal is not yet activated, transactions will be processed by swiping the card’s magnetic stripe, just as they are processed today.
Make sure you remove your card from the terminal before leaving the merchant’s premises! This is a common challenge people face when getting used to using a chip card.
Where are EMV/chip cards used today?
EMV/chip cards are in use throughout Europe and in most of the Middle East, Asia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Africa.
When will I be able to get a chip card?
Commercial credit cards are available now as are credit cards for consumers and small business cardholders. Debit cards for businesses and consumers are also available.
Zions Bank will initially send chip cards as replacement cards to cardholders who’ve lost a card, requested a replacement or whose current card has expired. Cardholders will be notified when this takes place. To request a chip card before your expiration date, simply call the number on the back of your card.
How do I get a chip card?
Once chip cards are available, you will be issued a chip card when your current card expires. Please make sure that the contact information Zions Bank has for you is up-to-date. You can verify and update your information by logging in to Online Banking and selecting Services > My Preferences > Address/Email Preferences from the top navigation menu. If you’re not enrolled in Online Banking, please call the number on the back of your card or visit your nearest Zions Bank Financial Center.
To request a chip card before your expiration date, simply call the number on the back of your card.
Is there a fee for ordering a chip card?
No. There’s no fee for a chip card. If you request expedited replacement of your current card, we may charge a fee based on the delivery method.
If I am traveling outside of the US before the chip card is available, can I still use my current card?
Yes, subject to Zions Bank fraud monitoring and ATM limits, you can continue to use your magnetic stripe card outside the US. Please notify Zions Bank in advance of traveling abroad to better ensure your legitimate foreign transactions are not declined.
Magnetic stripe-only cards are still accepted outside the US though some “unattended” kiosks (parking meters, gas station pumps) may take only chip cards. For foreign travel, Zions Bank recommends that you consider having another method of payment available just in case.
What type of fraud prevention is available with my card?
Zions Bank takes card security very seriously and has sophisticated fraud detection services in place:
- 24/7 Fraud Monitoring—Zions Bank monitors your accounts for suspicious activity every day and attempts to contact you when something out of the ordinary is detected. To ensure the best possible service, please maintain accurate contact information with the bank and take advantage of our other fraud fighting tools like Mobile Card Fraud Alerts1 and Purchase Alerts.
- Mobile Card Fraud Alerts1—Receive near real-time alerts of potentially fraudulent card activity on your mobile device or by email. Enrollment is available through Online Banking.
- Purchase Alerts®2—Receive one-way text notifications on certain purchases. Enroll by logging in to Online Banking, navigating to the “Services” tab and selecting “Purchase Alerts.”
- Zero Liability®3—Lets personal and small business customers shop with confidence knowing Zero Liability helps protect you from liability for unauthorized purchases made with your card or account information.
Can chip cards be used at contactless POS terminals?
No. Currently, Zions Bank doesn’t plan to issue contactless chip cards. Chip cards will need to be inserted in an EMV/chip-enabled terminal. If you have a contactless card, the contactless feature will end when your card is replaced by a chip card.
Will I still be required to sign for my credit card purchase?
If you’re prompted by the chip terminal, you’ll be required to sign for credit card purchases. You’ll insert your credit card in the EMV/chip-enabled terminal, wait for the transaction to process, remove your card and then sign for your purchase. Some merchants, though, don’t have customers sign the receipt if the sale is below a certain amount.
For debit cards, you have the choice of signing or using your PIN if the merchant’s terminal supports PIN entry.
Is my card considered “chip and signature” or “chip and PIN?”
Both “chip and signature” and “chip and PIN” refer to the way a card is authenticated at the terminal. Your card will be authenticated using chip and signature. Chip and signature offers the same cryptographic security as chip and PIN.
While most of the banks in Europe chose chip and PIN authentication, the US market has leaned toward chip and signature in an effort to ease transition by maintaining the current experience of signing receipts. We expect our customers will also appreciate not having to remember a separate PIN in order to complete their transactions. The terminal recognizes that the card is chip and signature and won’t prompt for a PIN, even if it’s used in Europe.
Can I use my existing PIN with my chip card?
For credit cards, your existing PIN can be used for ATM-based transactions only. For debit cards, you can continue to use your regular PIN at EMV/chip-enabled terminals that support PIN entry.
Can I use my chip card at an ATM?
Yes. At ATMs that are’t EMV/chip-enabled, the transaction will be processed using your card’s magnetic stripe technology in combination with your PIN. At ATMs equipped with EMV/chip readers, the transaction will be processed using the chip technology in combination with your PIN.
Will there be any changes to my account other than adding a chip to my card?
Your card account number and the benefits, terms and conditions of your account remain in effect. You’ll receive a new expiration date when you’re reissued a chip card.