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What is EMV?

EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard® and Visa® — a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip card transactions. In the wake of numerous large-scale data breaches and increasing rates of counterfeit card fraud, U.S. card issuers are migrating to this new technology to protect consumers and reduce the costs of fraud.

What is the card called?

As the U.S. payment industry transitions to EMV technology, there’s a lot to adjust to, starting with what to call the new cards.  They might be called:

  • Smart card
  • Chip card
  • Smart-chip card
  • Chip-enabled smart card
  • EMV smart card
  • EMV card

At Vantage West, we refer to our cards as smart chip cards.

When will I receive my smart chip card?

You will receive your smart chip card when your current Vantage West consumer/business debit or credit card expires; or when reported lost, stolen or damaged. All other terms associated with your debit or credit card will remain the same, such as your credit card interest rate and payment date.

Will there be anything different about my card?

You will notice three main differences:

  1. The look of your card will change.
    –  Each credit card type (consumer, home equity, business) will have a distinct color, and consumer credit cards will no longer have a printed indicator (Gold, Platinum, etc.) but will all be gray in color.
    –   Each debit card (consumer, business) will have a distinct color.
  2. Your CVV number (on the back of the card) will change.
  3. Each card will have a small metallic square chip on the face of the card.

If you have automatic payments set up through you card, you will need to give the merchants your new card information.

Are there any new features that come with my smart chip card?

Yes! If you have a Vantage West debit or ATM card, you will now be able to set up or change your card’s PIN over the phone through an interactive system.   You will receive more information when issued a new card. You may also contact us for details.

Why are smart chip cards more secure than traditional cards?

The small metallic square on the new cards is a computer chip. This is what sets apart the new generation of cards. Unlike magnetic strip cards, every time a smart chip card is used for payment, the card chip creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again.

How do I use a smart chip card to make a purchase?

Instead of going to a register and swiping your card, you are going to do what is called “card dipping.” This means inserting your card into a terminal slot and waiting for it to process.

When a smart chip card is dipped, data flows between the card chip and the issuing financial institution to verify the card’s legitimacy and create the unique transaction data. Unlike a traditional swipe transaction, when you dip your smart chip credit card, you leave it in the merchant terminal for the entire transaction.  While more secure, this process takes a few seconds longer than traditional “swiping.”  If you “dip” your card and remove it too quickly, the transaction may be denied.

Insert card, wait, sign

If I want to use my smart chip card at a merchant that doesn’t support the smart chip card technology yet, will it work?

Yes, your smart chip card will be equipped with both chip and magnetic strip functions so that consumer spending is not disrupted and merchants can adjust.

If you find yourself at a point-of-sale terminal and are not sure whether to dip or swipe your card, the terminal (or merchant) will walk you through the process.

  • If you dip a smart chip card into a chip reader but the reader isn’t activated yet, it will come up with an error and you’ll be prompted to swipe the card in order to use it.
  • If a consumer tries to swipe a smart chip card instead of dipping it, an error will appear and you will be prompted to dip the card for chip processing instead.
  • If chip card readers are not in place at a merchant at all, your smart chip card can be swiped just like a traditional magnetic strip card.

What happens if I have fraud on my smart chip card?

There is no change to this process and will continue to be protected against any fraud. You will still need to contact Vantage West to process your fraud claim.