Frequently Asked Questions

BIG Protection in a tiny CHIP…

WHY DOES MY THE HAMILTON BANK DEBIT CARD NOW COME WITH A CHIP?

As chip technology will soon become the security standard in the U.S., many merchants are beginning to accept chip cards and we want you to be ready. You’ll enjoy greater security when making purchases at a chip-enabled terminal since the chip provides better protection against counterfeit fraud. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, so you’ll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally.

HOW DOES A CHIP CARD WORK?

It’s easy. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal. The chip card will remain in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, just follow the prompts as you do today.

You’ll be prompted to enter your PIN or to provide a signature as you normally would to verify the transaction. You may not be asked for a PIN when travelling internationally. Your card is available to be removed from the terminal once the transaction is completed.

If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

 

WHAT IS A CHIP CARD?

A chip card is a standard-size plastic debit or credit card that contains an embedded microchip as well as a traditional magnetic stripe. The chip encrypts information to help increase data security when making transactions at terminals or ATMs that are chip-enabled.

You may hear chip cards referred to as “smart cards” or “EMV cards” – they’re all different ways of referring to the same type of card. Similarly, an EMV terminal is the same as a chip-enabled terminal.

 

WHERE CAN I USE MY CHIP CARD?

More terminals and ATMs are becoming chip-enabled throughout the U.S. You’ll also enjoy greater acceptance when traveling: Chip technology is common in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Your chip card will still work at terminals and ATMs where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

 

ARE CHIP CARD SECURE?

Yes. Chip technology has been around for over two decades and is already the security standard in many countries around the world. When purchases are made using the chip feature at chip-enabled terminals, the transaction is more secure because of a unique process that is used to determine if the card is authentic. This makes the card more difficult to counterfeit or copy.

While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to our customers. Whether you use the magnetic stripe or the chip to make your purchase, you can have confidence in the protection and security features we provide for all credit and debit card accounts.

Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.

 

WILL CHIP CARDS PREVENT THIRD PARTY DATA BREACHES

Chip card technology provides an additional layer of security when used at a chip-enabled terminal. The technology may help reduce certain types of fraud resulting from data breaches; however, it will not prevent a data breach.

 

WILL CHIP CARDS PREVENT ALL FRAUD FROM HAPPENING?

No. As the industry continues to develop new ways to protect consumers, perpetrators continue to look for new ways to commit fraud. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring we currently provide. As always, your purchases are also covered by our zero liability protection, where Bank of America credits your account back for fraudulent charges.

 

WILL CHIP CARDS ALLOW OTHERS TO TRACK MY LOCATION?

No. Chip card technology is not a locator system. The chip on your card is limited to supporting authentication of card data when you make a purchase.

 

DO THE SAME BENEFITS COME WITH THE CHIP CARD THAT I HAD WITH MY DEBIT CARD?

Yes. You’ll continue to enjoy the same benefits with your chip card as you do today with your debit card.

 

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