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EMV Chip Cards

What is an EMV Chip Card?

EMV stands for Euro Pay, Mastercard® and Visa®.  They are also referred to as "chip cards" or "smart cards".  They contain a small metallic square that is a computer chip.  The chip will make it much harder for criminals to sucessfully profit from data breaches.  Because the data on traditional magnetic strip cards never changes, criminals can easily duplicate the information stored on your card.  An EMV chip changes data with every transaction to make duplication less attractive to criminals.  This technology has been in use in Europe, Asia and Canada for some time now and has proven to be a major deterrent to fraud.

When will I receive a chip-enabled debit card from Midwest Bank?

We will automatically send you a chip-enabled debit card when your current card expires.

How are chip cards different from existing magnetic strip card technology?

The EMV "chip" is a secure microprocessor built into a card.  The chip generates a unique number for each sale transaction, making it extremely difficult to use a cloned card frequently on a card-present transaction.  Magnetic strip cards use static cardholder data that remains the same for every transaction, which makes them active targets for theft, cloning and use in card fraud.  In addition to strong security features, chip technology includes other capabilities - like Near Field Communications (NFC) technology - which lets merchants accommodate both contact and contactless payments.

Why are EMV chip cards being promoted as a payment standard in the US?

EMV chip cards are already well-established outside of the US, particularly in Europe.  Crime migrates to the easiest targets, which right now includes the US.  Upgrading to the EMV technology is anticipated to greatly reduce card fraud in the US.

Will I still be able to use my Midwest Bank Debit Card the same as before?

Yes, EMV cards will be used the same as the magnetic strip cards we've been using.  The only change is added security from the chip.

How do I pay at a chip terminal?

It's very easy to make purchases using your chip-enabled debit card.  Instead of swiping your card, you will insert the chip end of your card in the terminal with the chip facing up.  Leave your card in the terminal and follow the prompts on the screen.  Remove your card from the terminal when prompted and continue to complete your transaction. 

Can I still swipe my card to pay?

Yes.  If a merchant is not yet chip-enabled, you can still swipe your card. 

Does my chip card work at the ATM?

Yes.  You can still use your card to get cash, check your balance and more.

Will EMV chip cards eliminate fraud?

Chip card technology provides an additional layer of security to help reduce the risk of fraud, but it cannot completely prevent fraud from occurring.  It's still very important to keep your card number and PIN information secure.

If you have additional questions, contact your local branch.