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6 FAQ's about EMV Chip Cards

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July 21, 2016

6 FAQ's about EMV Chip Cards


EMV chip cards are everywhere in the United States. They come with many benefits, chief among them being fraud reduction and safer transactions. With the transition of chip cards continuing to take place, many consumers may lack a firm grip on the technology. Here is information to help them better understand.

  1. What is the benefit of paying with a chip card?

    The chip on the front of a card protects a person's personal information much better than the magnetic stripe on the back. When a user makes a purchase, the chip on his card "talks" with the chip in the terminal, creating unique codes for each purchase. These unique codes help protect against counterfeit card fraud. As of July 2016, 88 percent of MasterCard U. S consumer credit cards have chips.
  2. Is paying with a chip card really that much safer?

    Yes, it's safer for both users and retailers. No one likes finding out their card has been compromised or their information stolen and the use of chip cards helps prevent this. Think of chip cards as an evolution in security-like bike helmets. There was probably a time when some people swore they would never wear one, but now we know they keep us safe in the event of a bike accident. Chip cards keep users safe and reduce U.S. counterfeit card fraud by hundreds of millions of dollars.
  3. What else do chips do?

    Chip card technology is the foundation that enables the world beyond plastic, where people shop and pay the way they want with a simple tap, click or touch in-store, online or on a mobile device.
  4. Why do some stores accept chip cards and others don't?

    Figuring out whether to insert or swipe your card at any given store is frustrating; however, more and more stores are updating to new chip terminals. As of July 2016, MasterCard saw two million chip-active merchant locations on its network, a 468-percent increase in chip terminal adoption since October 1, 2015.
  5. Why does it take longer at some terminals to process the payments?

    The chip in the terminal and the chip on a person's card create unique codes for purchases and this takes just a few seconds longer. However, as users probably experience first-hand, transaction times vary from store to store. The process will feel more natural in time but, as with anything new, there is an adjustment period.
  6. Is the adoption of chip cards actually working in preventing fraud?

    Yes, counterfeit card fraud at chip-activated merchants fell by 54 percent in April 2016 as compared with the same period a year ago.