Approximately half of all American credit and debit cards will have chips by the end of this year, according to the Payments Security Task Force. For example as existing cards expire or need replacement, new cards with embedded microchips may be emailed in their place.
If you are a frequent international traveler or if you have a corporate card, you may be one of the over 100 million people in the U.S. who have a chip card. You already know the cards are easy to use and provide better protection against counterfeit fraud.
You may be someone who has heard about but not yet received a chip card. If interested, please contact your bank or credit union to find out about their chip distribution plans.
Maybe you have heard but didn’t pay much attention and now your first chip card is in your hand. Follow our four steps below to take full advantage of the new security built into your card:
- Activate it. The sticker on the front of the new card will direct you to your bank’s website or customer service line where you can initiate the card for use. Follow instructions and, when applicable, also set up your 4-digit PIN.
- Insert it. Chip cards are different than magnetic stripe cards. Insert the end of your card with the chip into the payment terminal and leave it there until the purchase is complete. To the right is an infographic that explains chip card use.
- Follow the leads. Just like today, the instruction from the terminal will guide you through the transaction. You’ll finish some purchases by signing your name or entering a PIN. For some low-cost purchases, e.g., buying a coffee on your way to work, neither PIN nor signature may be required. Follow the prompts on the terminal or ask the clerk for help. Magnetic stripes will still work during the chip migration. In a store that doesn’t have upgraded terminals, you may still swipe your card. Regardless, you won’t leave the store empty-handed.
- Don’t forget it. When your transaction is complete, the terminal will tell you. Don’t forget to remove your card and return it to your wallet or pocket.
Enjoy sweet security. We have many, many processes and tools that keep your personal information safe. Below is a short, fun video on how MasterCard layers our security, like a layer cake, to protect you with chips, verification and authorization, to name a few.
And sign up for more. Identity Theft Alerts are a core benefit provided to all U.S. cardholders free of charge. Simply sign up at http://www.mastercard.us/idtheftalerts to receive alerts if your personal information, including bank and payment cards and health care accounts, is bought or sold online.