Chip Card Technology FAQs

Maximum Security At Your Fingertips

First Commonwealth Bank debit cards, company cards, and business line of credit cards are now being equipped with a security chip that makes using your debit card for all of your purchases even more secure. Shop with confidence at home and anywhere you go knowing that the chip in your card can help protect you from fraud while opening up the world for you. Read more about the new chip card technology, and get answers to frequently asked questions below.

What it means:

Enhanced chip technology means you can continue to enjoy the same benefits as you do today. Your card will continue to provide the same fraud protection but now has additional security features and the ability to be used at chip-enabled payment terminals-close to home and around the world.

Added security

Chip cards contain an embedded microchip for a more secure transaction. As with your current debit card, you will be required to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or sign for transactions at chip-enabled payment terminals.

Global acceptance

Chip technology is already in wide use around the world. This makes traveling internationally with your chip card hassle free.

How it works:

Your new card has an embedded microchip for a more secure transaction. Simply insert your card at checkout when possible. If a chip-friendly reader is not available, you can still swipe your card as you do today. When you use your chip card, you will either enter your PIN or sign to verify who you are at checkout. The card terminal will tell you what you need to do.

emv how it works

Watch a demo to learn more about how to use your card and enjoy maximum security protection.


What are chip cards?emv card

The chip contains your card number, name, and other account information. There is no other personal information stored on the chip. Due to security in the chip, every transaction you make is unique, which makes it extremely difficult for the card to be copied or counterfeited. Your chip card will also have the usual magnetic stripe on the back so that you can continue using your card while merchants are transitioning to new chip card terminals.

What are the benefits of chip technology?

The embedded microchip provides dynamic transaction security features and other capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. A chip card is extremely difficult to counterfeit.

How is this card different from a magnetic stripe card?

A chip card looks just like a traditional card with an embedded chip in addition to the standard magnetic stripe on the back of the card. Rather than swiping your card, you will insert your chip card into the card terminal to complete the transaction.

How does chip technology work?

Every transaction with a chip card has unique data in it. Chip transactions are dynamic, not static like magnetic stripe cards. That is why if someone were able to intercept one of your chip transactions they would not be able to use that information again. This prevents counterfeit card fraud.

Are chip cards new?

Although chip cards are relatively new in the U.S., they have been used elsewhere for many years. In some countries, particularly in Europe, merchants may be more familiar with accepting chip cards.

Where can I use my chip card?

You can use your card anywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted. As US merchants are transitioning to chip card readers, you will notice the transaction process works a little differently. At retailers with chip-enabled terminals, simply insert your card into the payment terminal--until the transaction is complete. Remember to follow the prompts on the screen. For merchants who have not made the transition yet, you can still swipe your card as you do today. You can also continue to use your card as you did before for online payments, telephone payments, and at ATMs.

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