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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a chip card?

A chip card, also known as a smart card, is a card containing an embedded computer chip. Chip enabled debit and credit cards are the next level of security for the payments infrastructure. Chip enabled debit and credit cards will require the use of a PIN (Personal Identification Number).

What are the benefits of the chip card to consumers?

Chip cards, along with chip terminals, ensure a highly secure transaction by validating the card and the cardholder. Unlike magnetic stripe technology, the chip is very difficult to copy, thus reducing counterfeit fraud.

Why is the industry moving to chip?

The move to chip card technology is the latest innovation in the payment industry's efforts to further secure Canadian electronic payments. Chip-enabled payment technology is based on a global standard known as EMV, a proven technology currently in wide use around the world.

Will chip card transactions be any different than magnetic stripe transactions?

Chip cards will be inserted into the chip terminal, and left in the terminal until the transaction is completed. Consumers will enter their PIN when prompted. PIN entry will replace signature as the method of cardholder identification, as PIN is a more secure method.

What happens if the terminal is not chip-enabled?

To ensure cardholder convenience, debit and credit cards will continue to carry a magnetic stripe for use at non-chip enabled terminal. The cards will be swiped and a signature will continue to be required for credit card transactions and a PIN for debit transactions.