If you use credit cards, you might begin to see something different about them in the weeks and months ahead. The difference is in a small, square area on the card (see sample card) that contains an embedded computer chip. The new cards are called “smart cards,” and employ microchip technology. They promise to make your in-person credit card transactions safer than ever before.
When your G.A.P. FCU VISA Credit Card renews, you will automatically receive the new “Smart Card”. A new PIN (Personal Identification Number) will be sent in a separate mailer. This does NOT include VISA Debit Cards at this time.
SAFETY AND SECURITY Financial institutions have invested heavily in recent years in the technology and infrastructure aimed at making your accounts safe from hacking and data theft. Enter the “smart card” with microchip technology, which adds a new layer of security to your card transactions. With chip technology, each transaction is approved using a unique encrypted authentication code, making it far more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access your personal information. That unique one-time transaction information also prevents a thief from making any additional purchases with stolen card data.
HOW WILL MY TRANSACTIONS CHANGE? You won’t see many changes in how you make everyday purchases. In the short term, card issuers will include both the microprocessor chip and the magnetic stripe technologies on newly issued credit cards. With magnetic stripe technology, a quick swipe is used to read the data. With smart cards, the chip is “read” when the card is dipped into the terminal.
SMART CARD PROTECTION It is important to remember that “smart cards” safety measures work only for in-person or card-present transactions at properly equipped retail point of sale terminals and ATM machines. Online retail transactions do not offer the same safety and security because the technology only works if a machine can physically read the chip on your credit or debit card.