Chip Technology FAQ

A chip card – also called a smart card or EMV card – is a debit or credit card that contains a microprocessor that enhances the security of your card. Chip cards add an additional layer of security to the safeguards that already protect your card. Each time you use your chip card, it generates a code that is unique to that transaction. This makes it harder to counterfeit your card or use it fraudulently for in-store purchases.

When used at merchants with chip-enabled card terminals, it’s as easy as: 

  1. Insert the card, face-up and chip-end first, into the terminal.
  2. Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction. 
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign or enter your PIN, as needed. Be sure to remove your card and take your receipt when the transaction is complete. 

For merchants without chip-enabled terminals, you will swipe your card through the terminal, just as you have always done. 

Yes. Your chip card can be used virtually anywhere Mastercard® is accepted in the U.S. and around the world. If a merchant has a chip-enabled card terminal, you will insert your card during the transaction. In the U.S., you will still be able to swipe your card to make your payment if a merchant has a regular terminal. You will need a PIN to be able to make a transaction at an ATM.
Yes. You should always sign the back of your card.
Yes. You can use your chip card to make these purchases.
Yes. Since you are still able to use both swipe cards and chip cards in the U.S., you must first allow the ATM to determine which type of card you have. All you have to do is insert and remove your card from the ATM and then follow the instructions on the screen. You will likely be instructed to re-insert your chip card into the ATM. Leave the card inserted until the transaction is complete and your card is released. Take your card and any money you might have withdrawn.

There are certain ATM terminals that only require you to insert the card once. These ATMs have a motorized card reader which identifies the chip card immediately when inserted and returns the card to you at the end of your transaction.
All ATMs are unique. At an F&M ATM, you will be instructed to insert your card and remove it. Once the ATM recognizes the chip card, it will ask you to re-insert the card and leave it. This allows the ATM to read the chip and process your transaction.
You may be asked to provide your signature or enter your PIN to complete a transaction when you use your card. You will need to use your PIN at ATMs, and it may be required at some unattended terminals such as fuel pumps and payment kiosks. In either method, your funds will be debited from your checking account.

While chip cards won’t prevent the types of large-scale data breaches that have hit some merchants, they do make it extremely difficult to produce counterfeit cards from that stolen data.