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Smart Chip (EMV) Frequently Asked Questions

What is a chip card?

It is a card that has a chip on the front as well as the traditional magnetic stripe on the back. The chip provides added security when used with a chip-enabled terminal or ATM and greater global acceptance. Many countries worldwide have adopted chip technology, and it will become the standard for card payments in the U.S. If a merchant or ATM has not yet adopted chip technology, your transaction will be processed using the magnetic stripe as it is today.

What benefits do I get with a chip card?

The chip in your card makes your card more broadly accepted internationally and more secure when making purchases where this technology is available.

Why are chip cards more secure?

Cards with chip technology are extremely difficult to counterfeit or copy when used with a chip-enabled terminal or ATM. In addition, all Foothill Cards come with Zero Liability protection at no additional cost.  With Zero Liability protection, you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized card transactions, as long as you report them promptly.

What information is stored in the chip?

The chip contains information used to process your transactions at a merchant terminal or ATM. No personal information or location tracking capability is stored on the chip.

How do I use my chip card to make purchases at a chip-enabled terminal?

  1. With the chip facing up, insert the chip end of your card into the terminal.
  2. Follow the prompts on the terminal screen, and if necessary, enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  3. Keep the card in the terminal throughout the transaction, or the transaction will be canceled.
  4. When your transaction is complete, remove your card.

Can I use this card at locations without a chip-enabled terminal?

Yes, you can continue to use the magnetic stripe on the card as you do today at merchants and ATMs that do not yet have chip-enabled terminals.

Can I use my chip card in the U.S.?

Yes. Chip technology is beginning to be installed at merchant terminals and ATMs in the U.S. In the meantime, you can continue to use the magnetic stripe on your card as you do today.

Is there any additional cost for a chip card?

No, there is no additional cost.

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