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First Citizens Visa Debit Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Visa chip credit, debit or prepaid card?

Chip cards, or “smart cards” have a microchip embedded in the credit or debit card. The microchip generates a dynamic one-time use code for each transaction called a cryptogram that can be validated by the issuer or by Visa on the issuer’s behalf. A chip card also has a magnetic stripe on the back of the card, so the card can still be used at retailers that have not installed EMV terminals or online with eCommerce merchants.



2. What does a chip card look like?

Many features of a chip card are the same as a magnetic stripe card. Both cards are embossed on the front with the card number, cardholder name and expiration date and provide the three-digit security code on the back of the card. The key difference is an embedded contact chip on the front left side of the card that is covered with a metallic chip plate.



3. What are the benefits of a chip card?

The benefits of a chip card include enhanced security, leading to a reduction in card-present counterfeit fraud, and enhanced international acceptance, as EMV chip cards are currently used in 130+ countries. Along with tokenization, chip technology also paves the way for secure mobile payments and moves the U.S. closer to dynamic data authentication. Of course, cardholders with chip cards are still protected with Visa’s Zero Liability policy.



4. Does this mean that a magnetic stripe card is not secure?

Cardholders should be confident about the safety and security of using magnetic stripe cards. Fraud within the Visa system is just 6 cents out of every $100 transacted and that’s half of what it was a decade ago. Further, consumers are also protected against fraud with Visa’s Zero Liability policy, which means they won’t pay for unauthorized purchases.



5. What information is on a chip card?

The microchip embedded in the card stores information required to authenticate, authorize, and process transactions. This is the same type of account information already stored in the magnetic stripe.



6. Where are chip cards used now?

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.



7. What does EMV stand for?

EMV is a global payment industry specification named for the organizations that jointly created it--Europay, MasterCard and Visa.
The EMV specifications address the secure interoperability between chip-based payment applications and payment terminals.

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