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EMV Cards: What You Need to Know

Posted on September 18, 2015 Your Money 10 comments

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What is an EMV card?

An EMV card is a standard-size credit or debit card that has a microchip embedded on the front of the card in addition to the traditional magnetic strip on the back. Also known as a smart card or chip card, an EMV card functions similarly to a traditional magnetic strip card, but can be more secure.

How do EMV cards work?

When an EMV card is used to make a purchase, the microchip in the card generates a unique code that's needed for the transaction to process. Each code is used only once – for each new transaction, a new code will be generated, thus adding an extra layer of security for the cardholder. This extra layer of security is not available when the card is swiped and payments are completed using the traditional magnetic strip.

What's the benefit of using an EMV card?

Because each code generated during a transaction is unique, EMV cards protect against fraud better than traditional magnetic strip cards. While chip technology provides an extra layer of security, it won't eliminate fraud and data breaches entirely. It will, however, catch the U.S. up to other countries, as chip card technology has been around for more than 20 years and is used in over 130 countries around the world.

Even with the added security of EMV cards, it's important to exercise caution when making purchases online, over-the-phone and at card terminals that are not EMV chip-enabled. In these instances, the layer of security afforded by the chip is not available and the transaction is no more secure than a transaction conducted with a traditional magnetic strip card.

How do you use an EMV card?

To use an EMV card, insert the card into a chip-enabled terminal and follow the instructions on screen. The card must be left in the terminal during the transaction and removed once the transaction is complete. If you swipe your card at a chip-enabled terminal, you will be prompted to insert your card into the terminal instead.

If a merchant does not yet accept or have the ability to process EMV card transactions, you can simply swipe your EMV card using its magnetic strip to complete the purchase. For the time being, online purchases will continue to be processed just as they are now.

By the end of 2015, it's estimated that nearly 60 percent of merchants in the U.S. will be able to accept EMV cards. It will take several years for all merchants to change their payment terminals to accommodate EMV cards.


How will EMV cards affect UHCU members?

United Heritage Credit Union is currently investigating EMV technology and developing a plan to replace all UHCU cards with cards that contain EMV chips. We'll provide more information closer to the replacement date.  

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10 comments

UHCU

Posted on: September 26, 2017

Shirley,

Thank you for contacting United Heritage Credit Union. United Heritage is currently rolling out EMV Chip Cards to members. For more information regarding your card, please stop by a UHCU branch or give us a call at 512.435.4545, 903.597.7484 or 800.531.2328.

Sincerely,
UHCU

UHCU

Posted on: September 26, 2017

Brian,

Thank you for contacting United Heritage Credit Union. United Heritage accounts cannot be flagged to only accept transactions using the EMV code. If you have any questions, please stop by a UHCU branch or give us a call at 512.435.4545, 903.597.7484 or 800.531.2328.

Sincerely,
UHCU

Brian

Posted on: September 26, 2017

Can an account be flagged to ONLY accept transactions using the EMV code? No online or swipe tranactions?

UHCU

Posted on: September 26, 2017

Kassandra,

Thank you for contacting United Heritage Credit Union. EMV cards are being phased in over the next few months. If you would like to receive a card sooner, please stop by a UHCU branch or give us a call at 512.435.4545, 903.597.7484 or 800.531.2328.

Sincerely,
UHCU

Kassandra

Posted on: September 26, 2017

I just saw in the Observer that the EMV cards are now available. When should I expect to receive a new debit card in the mail?

Shirley Walker

Posted on: September 25, 2017

Please give me a lot of notice before the new EMV debit cards are ready for use as I have several automatic drafts from my debit card account set up already. Thank you much!

UHCU

Posted on: January 04, 2017

Kassie,

Thank you for contacting United Heritage Credit Union. We are currently in queue to launch EMV technology this year. We’ll be sure to notify members as more information is available, so stay tuned for updates!

Sincerely,
UHCU

Kassie

Posted on: January 03, 2017

I thought i read that December 2016 was the deadline to comply with EMV standards for institutions and retailers. What happens now?

UHCU

Posted on: April 11, 2016

Sheila,

Thank you for contacting United Heritage. We are currently reviewing options for EMV cards and hope to offer EMV chip technology to our members in the future. We will post updates on the UHCU Blog and our social media accounts as soon as more information is available.

Sincerely,
UHCU

Sheila Walden

Posted on: April 06, 2016

Are the EMV cards available at IHCU? I am a member and would like to get one.

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