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What is an EMV Chip Card?

SDCCU | 6/19/2015 08:00 a.m.
You’ve heard the term and maybe even seen a chip on one of your cards, but what does it mean?

EMV chip-enhanced cards provide advanced security because the chip technology makes it difficult for a fraudster to counterfeit your card. The chip is a small computer chip and it uses a unique one-time code for each transaction you make with the chip. If a hacker were to get that purchase information from a retailer, it would be of no use to them and your card information would still be safe in your wallet.

All you need to do with your new chip-enhanced card is “dip the chip” instead of “swipe the stripe.” When you make a payment at a retailer that has upgraded to chip card readers, you will insert the chip end of the card face up into the card reader. The biggest adjustment you probably need to get accustomed to is leaving your card in the reader. You can’t pull the chip out of the card reader until the machine tells you to remove it. You will then be asked to sign for your purchase, whether it was made with your debit or credit card. And don’t worry, if the retailer hasn’t upgraded to a chip card reader, you can still swipe the stripe as you traditionally have. 

Visa EMV Chip CardActivate your new SDCCU chip-enhanced card at

Chip Card FAQs

What is a chip-enhanced Visa card?
Your new SDCCU Visa card has an embedded microchip. The chip allows you to pay at merchants with chip cards readers. More importantly, it provides strong security and protection against fraud.

Why was my card replaced with a chip card?
SDCCU is proactively embracing this technology and making sure you can make payments domestically and abroad.
  • We value your financial security. Your new card comes with advanced security because the chip technology makes it difficult for a fraudster to counterfeit your card.
  • Although magnetic stripe cards continue to be the most common type of card in the U.S., many other countries, especially in Europe, have switched to chip cards. Giving you a new chip card is one way we can help simplify your purchase experience when you’re traveling domestically and abroad.
Has my card number changed?
Your SDCCU Visa credit card number has not changed. However, the expiration date and CVV security code on the back have changed. You will need to update any automated payments with this new information. 
The debit card for the primary account holder has not changed. The expiration date and CVV security code on the back have changed. You will need to update any automated payments with this new information. Joint cardholders will receive a new debit card number so that each account holder will now have a unique debit card number.

Why did I get a new debit card number?
The primary member’s new chip-enhanced card was issued with the same card number. Joint members were issued a unique card number to differentiate your spending and card security. Automatic debit payments will continue to be processed on the primary member’s card unless you update your new card information with your billers.

Will my PIN (Personal Identification Number) that I have now work on my new card?
Yes, regardless if you are the primary account holder or a joint cardholder, your PIN will remain the same from your previous card.

Will all of my new chip-enhanced cards arrive in the mail at the same time?
As a result of issuing unique debit card numbers to each cardholder, cards will be mailed individually and may arrive on different days. Your current card(s) will continue to function until your new card(s) arrive and are activated.

Where can I use my chip card?
For traditional terminals, like most in the U.S., you will continue to swipe the magnetic stripe of your card. For terminals that are chip-enabled, like those in Europe and some U.S. retailers, you dip the chip by inserting it into the terminal face up. You can continue to use your card as you do currently for online and telephone payments.

What if my chip card transaction doesn’t work?
Until all merchants are using the new chip card terminals, you will continue to swipe your card as you normally do.

How do I make a chip card transaction?
When making a transaction with your chip-enhanced card, you must leave the card in the terminal until the transaction is complete. (If you remove the card too soon, the transaction will end and your purchase will not be processed.)
  1. Insert the chip portion of the card into the terminal with the chip facing up
  2. Follow the prompts on the terminal’s screen
  3. The terminal will display the purchase amount
  4. When your purchase is approved, you will be prompted for your signature
  5. When your transaction is complete, you will be prompted to remove your card

Activate your new SDCCU chip-enhanced card at


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