EMV Overview

What is an EMV chip card?

Developed by EuroPay, MasterCard®, and Visa® (EMV), these next-generation cards include an integrated microchip to enhance security and make transactions quick and easy. This technology has been used in other parts of the world—particularly in Europe—for many years and has proven successful in reducing credit card fraud. As the transition in the U.S. continues to the new cards, the industry is embracing the term “chip card” and the way consumers use them is to “dip” their card. We will be referring to EMV cards as “chip cards” in all Heartland communication.

Why am I getting a new card?

Because chip cards offer an added layer of security to every purchase, we are transitioning all customers to this new technology. Credit customers will be getting new cards first, with cards being transitioned by mid 2016. Debit customers will transition to new cards as their cards expire later in 2016.

How does the chip card enhance security?

Chip cards enhance security in several ways, including:

  • The integrated microchip securely stores information about the cardholder and account.
  • Chip cards assign a unique one-time-use cryptogram to each transaction.
  • Unlike magnetic stripe cards, chip cards are virtually impossible for criminals to copy.

Do chip cards prevent all fraud?

We employ the latest technology and processes to keep our customers’ transactions safe. Though chip cards offer another layer of security, they will not prevent all credit card fraud. All credit cards—whether magnetic stripe or chip—can be exposed to fraud, including:

  • Outside data breaches
  • Unauthorized use of lost or stolen cards

However, the microchips embedded in chip cards make it more difficult to perpetrate some types of fraud. For example, the illegal collection of data using a device connected to ATM and credit card terminals—known as ‘skimming’—is virtually impossible with chip cards.

What if my chip card is lost or stolen?

You will need to follow the same procedure as you would for any lost or stolen card by contacting us as soon as possible to prevent unauthorized purchases. Please call 866.260.8708 to report lost or stolen cards.

Can I just keep my current/old card?

No. Because chip cards offer an added layer of security to every purchase, we are transitioning all customers to this new technology.

Magnetic stripe cards contain “static” data, including your account number, expiration date and security code. This information never changes. Chip cards generate “dynamic data.” In addition to the information stored on a magnetic stripe card, chip cards create a unique code—or cryptogram—for each purchase. Because each cryptogram is good for only one purchase, and chip cards are virtually impossible to clone, they are less attractive to thieves.

What type of information is stored on a chip card?

Chip cards will contain the account information needed to process transactions. No other personal information is stored on the card and it does not allow for location tracking.

Can the new chip card be used everywhere?

Merchants across the U.S. are installing chip card terminals and the technology is expected to become standard in the coming years. In the meantime, our customers will be able to use their new card anywhere that accepts debit or credit.

Outside of the U.S., chip card holders will find it even easier to make purchases. Many overseas merchants have already transitioned from traditional cards to chip cards. Chip-and-Signature cards should be readily accepted where the transaction is being completed with personal interaction such as hotels and restaurants. Chip-and-PIN cards may be needed when making purchases from kiosks at places such as train terminals.

Will it cost more to use a chip card?

No. Your new chip card will have the same—if any—fees as their current card.

Will the new chip card have the same benefits as the old card?

Yes. Your card benefits will not change.

Will the new card look different?

Your new chip card will look the same as the card you have been using, with the addition of a small microchip visible on the front. The new card will also have a magnetic stripe, like your current/old card, which can be swiped at merchants that have not yet upgraded to chip card terminals.