EMV Chip Card FAQ’s

Q:   What are chip cards?

A: The chip contains your card number, name, and other account information. There is no other personal information stored on the chip. Due to security in the chip, every transaction you make is unique, which makes it extremely difficult for the card to be copied or counterfeited. Your chip card will also have the usual magnetic stripe on the back so that you can continue using your card while merchants are transitioning to new chip card terminals.

Q:   Why is my card being upgraded to a chip card?

A: Chip technology is already used in other countries and now coming to the U.S. Your new chip card provides an extra level of security and is easier to use at international locations.

Q:   How is this card different from a magnetic stripe card?

A:  A chip card looks just like a traditional card with an embedded chip in addition to the standard magnetic stripe on the back of the card. Rather than swiping your card, you will insert your chip card into the card terminal to complete the transaction.

Q:   What are the benefits of chip technology?

A: The embedded microchip provides dynamic transaction security features and other capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. A chip card is extremely difficult to counterfeit.
Q:     How does chip technology work?

A: Every transaction with a chip card has unique data in it. Chip transactions are dynamic, not static like magnetic stripe cards. That is why if someone were able to intercept one of your chip transactions they would not be able to use that information again. This stops fraudsters from being able to create counterfeit chip cards.

Q:    What is my PIN number?

A:  The PIN on your chip-enabled card is the same PIN as on your previous card. If you forgot what your PIN is or want to change your current PIN, please call Freedom’s 24/7 Member Contact Center at 800-440-4120, or visit your local Freedom branch to request a new one.

Q:     Where can I use my chip card?

A:  Use your chip card at the exact same merchants you do now—by inserting the card into card terminals that are chip enabled or swiping your card at merchant locations that have not yet switched to chip-enabled card terminals. You can also continue to use your card as you did before for online payments, telephone payments, and at ATMs.

Making a purchase at a chip-enabled terminal:

How to use an EMV card
EMV cards

Step 1: Insert and leave your card in the chip-enabled terminal.
Step 2: Approve the transaction as you normally do, using either a PIN code or signing the screen.
Step 3: Remove your card once the transaction is complete.

Q:     Are chip cards new?

A:  Although chip cards are relatively new in the U.S., they have been used elsewhere for many years. In some countries, particularly in Europe, merchants may be more familiar with accepting chip cards.