We know that it's football season and tailgating is top of mind, but this blog is not about THAT kind of chip and dip (although we'd welcome your best recipes for spicy buffalo chicken dip...).
When we hear the word "chip" here at the Bank, we're thinking about microchips--the kind that are being embedded in credit and debit cards to combat card fraud and make using your card more secure. "Dip" is a term coined to explain how you use a chip card; instead of swiping your card at a checkout terminal, you insert--or "dip"--the card into a slot on the terminal that processes chip-enabled card transactions.
When you get a new or replacement debit or credit card containing a chip, your financial institution will most likely provide more information about chip card benefits (here's what we've prepared for Bank Independent customers).
In the meantime, here are five things you need to know about chip cards:
1. Chip cards aren't really that new.
In fact, the technology has been used internationally for several years. But more and more US card issuers are adding chip technology to their credit and debit cards, and more merchants are adding equipment to process them.
2. Chip cards are hard to counterfeit.
Chip card transactions require special equipment to read, because every time you insert your chip card into a terminal, a unique encrypted code is created that cannot be used again.
3. Most chip cards will still have a magnetic stripe.
In other words, if a merchant isn't ready to process chip card transactions, you can still swipe your card at the terminal like you do today.
4. October 1 was a big day in the chip card world.
Beginning October 1, 2015, merchants who haven't updated their terminals to process transactions with chip cards will be liable for fraud occuring at their registers. Right now, all card fraud is the responsibility of the bank that issued the card, even if it was caused because of a breach of the merchant's systems.
5. Banks are issuing chip cards on different schedules.
Some banks and card issuers are replacing all of their cards at once with chip cards, while some will replace cards as they expire. At Bank Independent, we're replacing all of our cards within a three-month period.
If you'd like to know more, MasterCard has produced some pretty cool videos explaining how chip cards work.