FAQ About EMV Debit Cards

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Q: What’s an EMV chip card?

A: Visa EMV chip cards are a major advancement in card security technology, with an embedded microchip that stores and generates the information required to authenticate, authorize and process transactions.

Q: When will I receive a chip-enabled GAFCU EMV Visa® Debit Card?

A: We are in the process of becoming EMV ready.  We anticipate being EMV ready in early part of 2016.   As we get closer we will send out a communication informing you about the New EMV Card.

Q: When will I receive a chip-enabled GAFCU EMV Visa® Debit Card?

A: When we are EMV ready we will automatically send you a chip-enabled card when your current card expires.

Q: How are chip cards different from existing magnetic stripe card technology?

A: The EMV “chip” is a secure microprocessor built into a card or other payment devices (e.g. mobile wallet on smart phone). The chip generates a unique number for each sales transaction, making it extremely difficult to use a cloned card fraudulently on a card-present transaction. Magnetic stripe cards use static cardholder data that remains the same for every transaction, which makes them attractive targets for theft , cloning and use in card fraud. In addition to strong security features, chip technology includes other capabilities—like Near Field Communications (NFC) technology—which lets merchants accommodate both contact and contactless payments.

Q: Why are EMV chip cards being promoted as a payment standard in the US?

A: EMV chip cards are already well-established outside the US, particularly in Europe. Crime migrates to the easiest targets, which right now includes the US. Upgrading to the EMV standard is anticipated to greatly reduce card fraud here in the US.

Q: Will I still be able to use my GAFCU Visa card the same as always?

A: Yes, EMV chip cards do everything the magnetic stripe on the back of your card does now, but the chip gives you added security benefits and you are still protected from fraud by Visa’s Zero Liability policy*.

Q: How does chip technology protect my information?

A: Every time you use your card at a chip-enabled terminal, the embedded chip generates a unique transaction code. This prevents stolen data from being fraudulently used.

Q: Where can I use my chip-enabled card?

A: Whether you check out using chip technology or swipe your card, more places than ever now accept Visa debit or credit cards.

Q: How do I pay at a chip-enabled terminal?

A: It’s easy to make purchases with your chip-enabled debit card. Simply insert the chip end of your card into the terminal with the chip facing up. Leave your card in the terminal and follow the prompts on the screen. Remove your card from the terminal when prompted, then sign for your purchase and take your receipt.

Q: Why do I need to leave my card in the terminal?

A: While your card is in the chip-enabled terminal, the embedded chip creates a unique transaction code. This prevents stolen data from being fraudulently used. If you remove your card too soon, your transaction will be canceled.

Q: Can I still swipe my card to pay?

A: Yes. If a merchant is not yet chip-enabled, you can still swipe your card.

Q: Will I have to pay any fees to use my chip-enabled card?

A: No. There are no additional fees to use your new card.

Q: Does my new card have all the same benefits?

A: Yes. You can count on the same level of benefits you always have.


*The Visa Zero Liability policy covers U.S.- issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Card holder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use.