Chip cards are the cards of the future.

Chip cards are credit and debit cards embedded with a microprocessor on the front and the traditional magnetic stripe on the back. They are also known as “chip”, “smart” or “EMV” (Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®) cards.

Chip cards provide strong transaction security when used at a chip-enabled terminal. This added layer of security can help minimize cardholder impact when a data breach occurs.

Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world. It will become the standard in the U.S. as the number of retailers accepting chip cards is growing.

What are the advantages?

Answer: The primary advantage of chip card technology is that it provides stronger protection against “skimming,” a technique in which criminals copy the data from a card’s magnetic stripe and use it to create a duplicate or counterfeit card. When a retailer uses a chip-enabled terminal, the chip technology helps prevent theft of account information.

Will any retailer accept them?

Answer: As the U.S. begins to transition to chip technology, the number of retailers with chip-enabled terminals will grow over time. To ensure you can use your card at any retailer, your new card will have both the chip and the magnetic stripe. If the terminal is chip-enabled, you will insert your card in the slot located at the top or bottom of the terminal and follow the prompts. Otherwise, you will swipe the card as you do today.

Will they prevent data breaches or fraud?

Answer: Chip technology provides an additional layer of security to help minimize data breaches. While this technology can’t prevent all security breaches, a secure payment technology is an important first line of defense.

Will the chip card require a PIN?

Answer: Follow the prompts on the terminal and wait for the transaction to be processed. You may be required to sign or enter your PIN to complete the transaction. A PIN will be needed to withdraw cash at an ATM for credit cards and debit cards.

OU Federal Credit Union will begin issuing chip cards beginning in August 2017

We expect to have all of our members’ credit and debit cards replaced by 2018.

Although it will take us some time to issue all of the new chip cards, there’s no need to be concerned if your card is issued at a later date. A magnetic striped card will work whether or not the retailer’s terminal is chip-enabled.

Will my PIN change?

PINs will not change even if the card number does change.

Why does it take time to transition to chip cards?

The U.S. financial system is complex. There are thousands of financial institutions issuing cards and hundreds of thousands of retailers. Card issuers will have to replace all magnetic stripe cards with chip-based cards. Retailers will have to install new payment terminals and gas pump terminals. In addition, more than 400,000 ATMs will have to be updated.

Will they be accepted by all retailers?

Answer: You will begin to see an increasing number of chip-enabled terminals which will require you to insert your card into the terminal, rather than swipe it as you do today. Since it will take some time for all retailers to transition, your new card will have both the new chip technology and the magnetic stripe, which will still allow it to be swiped, if needed.

Why a chip card?

Much of the world uses chip technology in their credit and debit cards which makes them very secure and difficult for thieves to counterfeit. The U.S. will be transitioning to this more secure payment technology over the next few years

New cards are rolling out now.

There’s no need to request a new OU Federal Credit Union chip card to replace your current card. All cards on your account will automatically be changed to the new chip card at no cost and sent to you in the mail between August, 2017 and March, 2018. To ensure delivery, please be sure OU Federal Credit has your most recent address on file. You can login to the online banking system and change your address under “Settings.”

If you currently use a magnetic stripe card in the U.S., you can keep using it as you normally would. Cards with the magnetic stripe will work on chip-enabled terminals and chip cards can be used at terminals that read magnetic stripes.

You can be confident that we are always working to protect your financial security now and into the future!