EMV Chip Cards

We’re pleased to offer the added security of EMV Chip technology to our Heartland Visa® credit cards. Chip-enabled cards (also known as EMV or smart cards) provide enhanced fraud protection whenever you use a chip-enabled terminal in the U.S. and abroad.

What are chip cards?

A chip card is like the card you have today, but includes an embedded microchip. The chip contains information that is encrypted making 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-enabled terminals.

What are the benefits of chip technology?

The embedded microchip provides strong transaction security features and other application capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. A chip card is virtually impossible to counterfeit providing you with extra protection.

How do I use my chip card?

It’s simple – just insert the chip portion of the card into the merchant terminal with the chip facing up, leave the card in the merchant terminal until the transaction is complete, follow the prompts, and provide your signature if requested.

Where can I use my chip card?

Use your chip card at any merchant with chip-enabled terminals. If the merchant does not have the chip function on their terminal you can swipe your card instead. You can also continue to use your card as you did before for online payments, telephone payments, and at ATMs.

Are chip cards secure?

Chip cards are very secure. Chip-enabled cards are embedded with a microprocessor on the front (the small metallic square) which encrypts information to better protect you from a type of fraud called “skimming”. This is a technique where criminals copy the data from a card’s magnetic stripe and use it to create a counterfeit card.

Can I still use my card at merchants that don’t have a chip-enabled terminal?

Yes. Your card will also continue to have the traditional magnetic stripe on the back, enabling you to use it at merchants who do not yet have a chip-enabled terminal.

If I use my chip-enabled card for online purchases or swipe the card to use the magnetic stripe am I protected by the extra layer of security because it’s a chip card?

No. The extra layer of security only applies when the chip is processed through the terminal. Rest assured, we have 24/7 fraud monitoring that watches your transactions for suspicious activity and will alert you if they identify any. It’s also important, on all of your cards, to monitor activity. The sooner you notify us of unauthorized purchases, the sooner we can reimburse you and prevent further transactions from occurring. It’s also wise to practice safe shopping online by visiting only trusted sites that begin with https and never make purchases over Free WiFi networks – such as those offered at coffee shops and other public retailers. These public networks are not secure and easy for fraudsters to steal information from.