Chip Cards...Your Security Is Our Priority

APGFCU is now issuing Visa® credit and debit cards featuring chip technology. This is great news – chip technology provides an added layer of security to your card at no cost to you. Thousands of stores already have chip-enabled terminals.

How is the chip card more secure? The chip stores data on your card that is harder to counterfeit. Every time you use your card, the data on the chip changes making it difficult to copy. Chip card use is already common around the world and is growing in the United States. Learn about chip cards in the U.S. Travel is easier in over 130 countries, including Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom because of the widespread use of chip cards.

To use the new chip card, just insert and leave your card in a chip-enabled terminal, sign your name and then remove your card. It’s that simple! Stores without the new chip technology will work the same way they do today, just swipe your card and sign your name.

How do you use a chip card?

1.    Insert the card, face up and chip end into the chip-enabled terminal.
2.    Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction.
3.    Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign or enter a PIN. Remove the card and take receipt.

There are no changes to the way payments are made on the internet or by phone.


1. What are chip cards?
A chip card, also called a smart card or an EMV card, can be a debit or credit card. The card contains a microprocessor that enhances the security of cards during point-of-sale (face-to-face) transactions.

2. When will APGFCU reissue credit and debit cards?
We are now issuing credit chip cards in three ways:  
1. As current cards expire
2. As new cards are requested
3. When existing cards are reported as lost or stolen.
Debit cards will be issued starting January 2017.

3. How is a chip card different from a magnetic stripe card?
A chip card is more secure. Each time a chip card is used the embedded microchip generates a code that is unique to that transaction. That code provides more protection from fraud and unauthorized use than a magnetic stripe.

4. What information is on the chip?
The chip contains information about a cardholder's account and the card expiration date. It generates a unique code for every transaction when used with a chip-enabled terminal at the point of sale.

5. How do you use a chip card?
1. Insert the card, face up and chip end into the chip-enabled terminal.
2. Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction.
3. Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign or enter a PIN. Remove the card and take the receipt.
There are no changes to the way payments are made on the Internet or by phone.

6. How are chip cards used at ATMs?
The same as today, using a PIN.

7. Can a chip card be used anywhere?

Yes. Chip cards also have magnetic stripes and can be used anywhere Visa® cards are accepted.

8. What if a merchant doesn’t have a chip-enabled terminal?
Card is “swiped,” just as is done today. Our chip cards will still include a magnetic stripe.

9. Can cardholders still use their current card?
Yes. Once the new chip card is activated, the old one is deactivated and should be destroyed.

10. Can a chip card be used to make purchases online or by phone?
Yes, the same way as is done today.

11. Do I need to sign the back of the card?

12. What is the difference between chip & signature and chip & PIN transactions?
The answer depends on whether you are using a credit card or a debit card.

Credit Card Transactions
Use a chip & signature to pay for an item.
Use a chip & PIN for a cash advance at an ATM or branch.
Both amounts are added to your credit card balance.

Debit Card Transactions

Use chip & signature when you choose “credit” at check out.
Use chip & PIN when you choose “debit” at check out.
Both amounts are deducted from your deposit account.

For some unattended payments, such as a gas purchase or a payment at a kiosk in parking garages, a PIN may be required.

13. Is there a card replacement charge?
Please see service price list.

14. Will chip cards prevent data breaches?
No, they won’t prevent large-scale data breaches. They do make it difficult to produce counterfeit cards from stolen data.

15. Are merchants required to switch to chip-enabled terminals?
No, they are not required to do so. If a merchant hasn’t converted to chip-enabled technology by October 2015, the merchant could be held responsible for the costs of fraudulent transactions. For example, if the shopper has a chip card but the merchant has not upgraded the terminal, the shopper will need to use the swipe option to complete the transaction. If fraud results, the merchant will be responsible.

16. Is there a reason this is happening?
The goal in the U.S. is for debit and credit cards to be issued with chips and all merchants to convert to chip-enabled terminals to help reduce credit and debit card fraud.

17. Will there be any changes to fees?

18. Will anything change for the dispute process?

19. Can my card be loaded to a digital wallet?

20. Is there anything I should do before using the card abroad?
Yes, notify APGFCU that you will be travelling abroad, same as you normally would.

21. What countries use chip cards?
In some geographies (particularly Europe and Latin America), merchants may be more familiar with accepting chip cards than magnetic stripe cards. Chip technology is currently in use or is being implemented in 130+ countries around the world.

22. Will my card look different?
No, but you will notice a small gold-colored chip embedded in the front of the card.