By now you may have heard a thing or two about new “chip cards” that will replace your current debit and credit cards. This may have left you with a question or two about the purpose of the cards, what benefits the offer and if they can only be used to buy bags of chips (no, but the real-life benefits are much better!).

To better help you understand EMV cards we have put together a list of common questions. Give them a quick read to get to know more about these secure pieces of plastic.

When will the change to EMV cards happen?

Across the United States, the switchover has already started and will continue through the end of the year. For Heartland Ba
nk customers, we are hoping to have things in place by the end of November for you to start using your new card. 

What does “EMV” stand for?

Europay®, MasterCard® and Visa®. These three companies are working together to increase the security of MasterCard and Visa credit cards around the globe. 

Do EMV cards have other names?

You may hear EMV cards referred to as:

  • Smart card
  • Chip card
  • Smart-chip card
  • Chip-enabled smart card
  • Chip-and-choice card (PIN or signature)
  • EMV smart card 

Are EMV cards more secure than my current credit card?

Yes, and here’s how. Credit cards with magnetic strips contain unchanging data, meaning if someone accesses data, they can easily make purchases with the card and cardholder information.

In contrast, EMV cards have data that is always changing. Whenever you use an EMV card to make a purchase, the chip within the card creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again. This means that if a hacker stole the transaction code from a transaction, they wouldn’t be able to make any additional purchases with your card. 

Do I have to do anything different when paying with an EMV card?

Yes. Instead of a swipe, EMV cards use a process called “card dipping.” When making a purchase, you insert your card into a slot and wait for it to process. This is when the unique transaction code is created. While it may take longer than swiping, it is worth it for the extra security. 

Is “card dipping” the only way to pay?

Not always. EMV cards can also support contactless card reading. This technology uses what is known as near field communication, or NFC. This allows you to simply tap the card against a terminal that is equipped for NFC to complete your transaction. While this is popular around the world, most EMV cards in the United States are or will be cards that require dipping.

If you have further questions regarding EMV cards and our plan for distributing them to customers, please contact Heartland Bank.

Heartland Bank, Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC