Fort Financial began issuing EMV-enabled credit cards to members at the end of 2015 and consumer and HSA debit cards in August 2016. If you have a Fort Financial credit or debit card, it will be replaced with an EMV card when your old card expires or needs to be reissued.

What is EMV?

EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) is a micro-computer chip technology that provides increased security capabilities. EMV chip cards are equipped with a small metallic square on the front of the card that holds the cardholders information. Originating in Europe, EMV technology has been instrumental in preventing the spread of credit card fraud.

How do EMV cards work?

If a retailer has an EMV-enabled terminal, insert your card face up in the terminal. Leave your EMV card in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, follow the prompts as you normally do. You can remove your card from the terminal once the transaction is completed.

If the retailer is not equipped to read your EMV card, swipe it as you do today. You do not need to do anything different for transactions made over the phone or online.

If you have an EMV debit card, you will be able to continue to select “credit” and sign when using your EMV debit card. Purchases with cash back will continue to require a PIN.

Why are EMV cards and EMV payment transactions more secure?

EMV cards store payment information in a secure chip rather than on a magnetic strip and the personalization of EMV cards is done using issuer-specific keys. Unlike a magnetic strip card, it is virtually impossible to create a counterfeit EMV card that can be used to conduct an EMV payment transaction successfully.
EMV secures the payment transaction with enhanced functionality in three areas:

  • Card Authentication
    • The card is authenticated during the payment transaction, protecting against counterfeit cards. Transactions require an authentic card validated either online by the issuer or offline with the terminal. EMV transactions also create unique transaction data, so that any captured data cannot be used to execute new transactions.
  • Cardholder Verification
    • Cardholder verification ensures that the person attempting to make the transaction is the person to whom the card belongs, protecting against lost and stolen cards.
  • Transaction Authorization
    • The transaction is authorized either online and offline. For an online authorization, transactions proceed as they do today in the U.S. with magnetic strip cards. The transaction information is sent to the issuer, along with a transaction-specific cryptogram, and the issuer either authorizes or declines the transaction. In an offline EMV transaction, the card and terminal communicate and use issuer-defined risk parameters that are set in the card to determine whether the transaction can be authorized.

Are EMV cards secure?

Yes, when purchases are made using the EMV feature at chip-enabled terminals, the transaction is more secure because of a unique process used to authenticate the card. This makes the card more difficult to counterfeit or copy.

How does EMV help protect again fraud?

EMV cards protect against fraud by ensuring unauthorized users cannot access member data. EMV cards carry security credentials (known as keys) that are stored securely in the EMV card’s chip. These keys help prevent skimming and card cloning.

Will EMV cards prevent third-party data breaches?

EMV 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 EMV cards prevent all fraud from happening?

No, identity thieves continuously look for new ways to commit fraud. EMV cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring we currently provide.

Do EMV cards also have a magnetic strip?

Yes, EMV cards include a magnetic strip, giving the card dual-purpose technology to enhance purchasing capabilities. This means that you will be able to use the EMV chip at retailers who support EMV processing and the magnetic strip at all other locations.

If a merchant does not accept EMV cards, is using the magnetic strip as secure as using the chip?

No, if a merchant does not accept EMV processing and the magnetic strip is used, it will not be as secure as using the EMV chip. These transactions will process as they do today using standard magnetic strip cards.

Will the PIN on my old card transfer to the new card?

Yes, the PIN from your old card will transfer over to your new EMV card, as long as it is the same card (i.e. a reissue).

When making a purchase, how will I know to use the chip or magnetic strip?

If you use a payment processing terminal that is EMV-enabled, the terminal will require you to make your purchase using the EMV chip. If you swipe your magnetic strip on an EMV terminal, the terminal will tell you to place your EMV card into the designated slot. If the terminal is not EMV-enabled, you will be able to make your purchase using the magnetic strip.

Will my card number and CVV2 on the back of the card change?

No, your card number and the CVV2 number will remain the same when you receive your EMV card. However, your expiration date will change so it is important that you update any automatic payments you may have set up. If you receive a new EMV card due to it being lost or stolen, then yes, your card number and CVV2 will change along with the expiration date.

Are there any situations where I could experience issues using my EMV credit card?

When traveling outside the U.S., some card readers at unattended terminals, such as public transportation kiosks and gas pumps, will require a PIN. In these situations, enter the credit card PIN assigned to your card. Some international self-service terminals do not accept U.S.-issued credit cards and may display a message such as “Transaction Canceled.” This is known to happen on French toll roads or automated fuel dispensers depending on your location. In these cases, please locate an attended terminal to complete your transaction or plan for an alternative payment method, such as local currency.