(804) 323-6800
  Search
Featured Results

Search for
HomeLoans & MortgagesCredit CardsCardholder ResourcesChip Technology FAQs

Chip Technology FAQs

What is chip technology?

Why have we added chip technology to our credit and debit cards?

How is chip technology more secure?

Will my card still have a magnetic stripe?

Are chip cards safer to use than magnetic stripe cards?

Can I use my card with chip technology in the United States?

What does a chip card reader look like?

How do I use the chip card where there is an activated chip reader?

How do I use the chip card where there is no chip reader?

Is chip technology in both your credit and debit cards?

Is the credit card “Chip and Signature” or “Chip and PIN?”

When I use my chip credit card abroad for purchases will I be asked to provide a PIN?

Is the debit card “Chip and Signature” or “Chip and PIN?”

Where are chip card enabled point-of-sale terminals used?


What is chip technology?

Chip technology (also referred to as EMV for Europay, MasterCard, Visa) is a micro-chip built into VACU credit and debit cards which improves the global usability and security of your card when used at a merchant with an active chip-card reader.

Why have we added chip technology to our credit and debit cards?

We have added chip technology because it has greater worldwide acceptance and because it offers greater cardholder security. Chip technology is used in more than 80 countries around the world and is beginning to be used in the U.S.

How is chip technology more secure?

The chip contains encrypted information that makes it difficult for the card to be counterfeited. In addition, at merchants that use chip terminals, the card and terminal work together to add an additional layer of security to the transaction.

Will my card still have a magnetic stripe?

Yes, your card will have both a chip and a magnetic stripe. It can be used at both chip terminals and magnetic stripe terminals as a “swipe” transaction.

Are chip cards safer to use than magnetic stripe cards?

Yes, chip cards provide a higher level of security when used at a merchant's chip enabled terminal. The encrypted chip uses several measures that create a complex level of security, making a chip card difficult to counterfeit.

Can I use my card with chip technology in the United States?

Yes, your VACU credit and debit cards can be used worldwide. Your credit card can be used wherever MasterCard is accepted and your debit card can be used wherever debit is accepted.

What does a chip card reader look like?

At the bottom of a merchant’s card terminal, there is a slot where you would insert your chip-enabled card. That’s a different place from the traditional “swipe” reader.

How do I use the chip card where there is an activated chip reader?

Insert the chip portion of your card into the reader with the chip facing up, and leave it there for the entire transaction. Then follow the on-screen prompts to complete your transaction.

How do I use the chip card where there is no chip reader?

At all other merchants who have not yet installed or activated the chip reader, nothing changes. You can use your card as you normally would. Present your card to the merchant, swipe it through a conventional reader or provide your card details by phone or online.

Is chip technology in both your credit and debit cards?

All Virginia Credit Union credit cards support chip technology. Debit Cards will be reissued with chip technology as they expire, beginning in May 2016.

Is the credit card “Chip and Signature” or “Chip and PIN?”

Your VACU MasterCard credit card is Chip and Signature. Both Chip and Signature and Chip and PIN are more secure ways to pay with your credit card at merchants that have chip compatible terminals. Chip and Signature requires your signature at the end of the transaction, just like your current magnetic stripe card does. Chip and PIN transactions use a four-digit PIN on transactions.

When I use my chip credit card abroad for purchases will I be asked to provide a PIN?

Your chip-enabled credit card is “Chip and Signature.” When you use your card, you will be required to provide your signature at the end of the transaction, just like with your current magnetic stripe card.

Is the debit card “Chip and Signature” or “Chip and PIN?”

Your VACU MasterCard debit card is Chip and PIN. Both Chip and Signature and Chip and PIN are more secure ways to pay with your credit card at merchants that have chip compatible terminals. Chip and PIN transactions use a four-digit PIN on transactions and will be applicable for most debit card transactions. Some debit card transactions my require a signature based on the type of terminal being used.

Where are chip card enabled point-of-sale terminals used?

You will encounter chip card enabled point-of-sale terminals outside the U.S. and at an increasing number of U.S. retailers as they implement them.