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2.49%

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1.24%

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APY up to
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EMV Security

Already used in Europe, Canada and other high-commerce locations, EMV is the newest technology for point-of-sale terminals that offers you more security and prevention from card skimming, counterfeit replication and other types of card fraud. With your security as our top priority, your EMV card has an embedded microprocessor chip in it that encrypts transaction data differently for each purchase. A credit card or debit card with a microchip is more secure than one with just a magnetic stripe on the back because the account information is encrypted in the chip making it more difficult to fraudulently copy the card’s details.

Frequently Asked Questions about the SDFCU EMV chip-enabled cards

1. What is an EMV chip-enabled card?

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. It was named after a joint effort between these three companies to ensure a secure and global way for MasterCard and Visa to be accepted worldwide. Our State Department Federal Credit Union EMV Visa Credit and Debit Cards have an embedded microchip in them. When used to pay at chip-enabled merchants and ATMs, the chip is scanned and validated to ensure a more secure transaction.

2. What is the benefit of a chip-enabled card?

EMV Chip-enabled cards are a standard payment method around the world, so having this feature makes purchasing abroad much easier. A card with a microchip is more secure than one with just a magnetic stripe because the account information is encrypted in the chip making it more difficult to fraudulently copy the card details.

3. What information is on a chip-enabled card?

The microchip is encrypted with the information required to authenticate, authorize and process transactions. This is in addition to similar information already stored in the magnetic stripe. The chip allows the card authentication to occur prior to completing the authorization process. This additional authentication step decreases the chance the card could be counterfeited or duplicated which is a common practice in merchant data breaches.

4. Are there any additional fees associated with chip-enabled debit cards?

No additional fees apply to our EMV chip-enabled credit and debit cards.

5. Will my card work outside the United States?

Yes. Our EMV chip-enabled cards will work at merchant’s locations using a chip-enabled terminal or using a magnetic stripe reader. They can be used anywhere in the world where Visa cards are accepted.

6. Will I be able to use my card for everyday transactions domestically?

Yes. In addition to the embedded microchip, our card has a magnetic stripe on the back. This allows you to make purchases by swiping your card at merchant’s terminals or ATM’s unequipped with chip-enabled functionality.

7. Does the microchip protect me when making online or card not present transactions?

No. The chip data is not part of the transaction if the card is used online or is not present. There are other steps to protect cardholders from card not present transactions. For example; SDFCU Digital Wallet applications such as; Visa Checkout, Apple, Android, and Samsung Pay all use tokenization. Enroll your SDFCU EMV cards.

NOTE: Tokenization limits the exposure of cardholder payment data and mitigates the fraud risk for transactions occurring in both point-of-sale (at merchants) and e-commerce (online) environments.

8. Which is better when fighting fraud, a chip/signature or a chip/PIN priority card?

Unfortunately there is no silver bullet when it comes to fighting fraud. Merchants believe they are protected more when a PIN is used to complete the transaction; however, with the increase usage of skimming devices and merchants database being hacked, this is not proven to be true. Best practice is to monitor your accounts and promptly report suspicious transactions/activity to 703.706.5000 or 800.296.8882.

9. Should I continue to notify SDFCU before I travel?

Yes. Advance notification will help ensure legitimate purchases are approved when traveling. Notify us of your upcoming travel. We recommend to all our members to carry a backup form of payment in addition to their SDFCU Credit and Debit cards whenever traveling.

10. What is the process to make a purchase with an SDFCU chip-enabled card?

Here are the basic steps to process a chip enabled transaction:

1. Insert the chip portion of the card into the terminal for the duration of the entire transaction. Removing the card early will terminate the transaction.

2. Follow the prompts on the terminal’s screen.

3. Debit cards typically default to PIN in the United States and Signature overseas.

4. Credit cards typically default to Signature in the United States and overseas unless the cardholder selected PIN as the default.

Our cards can still be used by swiping them in the swipe reader of a terminal depending on the merchant’s terminal programming.

11. Will the PIN used for purchases be the same as the PIN used for ATM cash withdrawals?

Yes, the PIN used for purchases is the same as the PIN used for cash withdrawals. SDFCU cards are issued one PIN for each card account.

12. Where do I get a PIN for my SDFCU chip-enabled cards?

SDFCU chip-enabled debit card PINs are obtained by calling 866.985.2273. Also you can, Obtain your PIN online through our SDFCU website. Debit card cardholders also have the option to visit your nearest SDFCU branch. SDFCU system generated chip-enabled credit card PINs are mailed to the cardholder. Cardholders also have the option to customize their PIN by calling 800.631.3197.

NOTE: Custom PINs on credit or debit cards are created in real time. Cardholders who create a custom PIN must then first use the card as a signature transaction in order for the new PIN information to be updated on the chip. It cannot be used in a PIN transaction before the signature transaction takes place once a custom PIN has been created in real time.

13. What is the difference between a chip/signature and a chip/PIN card?

Both cards have the same benefits, however there is a difference at the time of check out or paying for goods. In the United States, when checking out or paying for goods most merchants will require a signature to complete the transaction. Overseas, when checking out or paying for goods a PIN is typically required. While overseas, merchants can accept cards as a chip/signature transaction; however, cards may not work at unmanned kiosks. For members planning to be frequently traveling overseas or staying overseas for a prolonged period of time, the chip/PIN-priority card is recommended.

14. Can I choose to have signature or PIN as my default when using the SDFCU cards?

For New Credit Cards: The application process for a new credit card asks the question if the cardholder will be frequently traveling or living overseas. If you select Yes, you will receive a credit card with the PIN as the default. If you answer No, you will receive a credit card with the signature as the default.

For Existing Credit Cards: If you already has a credit card, contact SDFCU’s Member Services Department by calling 703.706.5000 or 800.296.8882. Alternately, you can send an email request to sdfcu@sdfcu.org.

NOTE 1: A new card with the same card number will need to be generated. The expiration date and 3 digit security code on the back of the card will change.

NOTE 2: Creating a custom PIN on credit or debit cards is done in real time. Cardholders who create a custom PIN must then first use the card as a signature transaction in order for the new PIN information to be updated on the chip. It cannot be used in a PIN transaction before the signature transaction takes place once a custom PIN has been created in real time.

Debit Cards: We currently do not have the option to change the debit card default from signature to PIN. However, whether the transaction is completed with a signature or PIN is determined by the merchant.

15. Can my PIN be changed?

Yes, the PIN can be changed please refer to question 12.

16. How can I get my PIN if I have forgotten it?

Follow the instructions in question 12. Debit card cardholders also have the option to visit you nearest SDFCU branch.

17. My card isn’t working, what are some possible reasons why?

Make sure the card is inserted with the chip portion of the card into the terminal for the duration of the entire transaction. Do not remove the card from the terminal before the transaction has been completed. Removing the card early will result in a cancellation of the transaction. The terminals prompt the cardholder when the card can be removed.

NOTE: Creating a custom PIN on credit or debit cards is done in real time. Cardholders who create a custom PIN must then first use the card as a signature transaction in order for the new PIN information to be updated on the chip. It cannot be used in a PIN transaction before the signature transaction takes place once a custom PIN has been created in real time.

18. Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about the SDFCU chip-enabled card?

Members should contact SDFCU’s Member Service Experts at sdfcu@sdfcu.org or by calling 703.706.5000 or 800.296.8882

emv steps

Please note: You can still use your card in the traditional way by swiping the magnetic stripe in the swipe section of a terminal if it permits.

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