EMV Chip Security EMV Chip Security

EMV Chip Security

Your Bell Bank Debit Mastercard® features EMV “chip” technology, which is even more secure than the traditional magnetic strip. Your card’s chip actually contains your card number, name and other information in encrypted format. Chip security makes every transaction you make unique, and it is extremely difficult for the card to be copied or counterfeited.

(Of course, your card still has a magnetic strip on the back, so you can use it at merchants who do not yet have chip card terminals.)


Frequently Asked Questions About Debit Mastercard®



Is there a difference between Mastercard® and VISA®?

Mastercard and VISA are brand names of payment processors. Mastercard is accepted at 36 million merchants world wide. EMV chips stands for Europay, Mastercard and VISA, the three companies which originally created the standard for EMV chips. In the unlikely event you are trying to make a purchase with a merchant and they do not accept Mastercard, use your Bell Bank VISA or American Express Credit Card. It’s always recommended to carry more than one means of access to your account.

Why is my new card flat (not embossed)?
Your new flat card will be accepted at all terminals, whether it is flat or embossed. We have found that the flat cards are less likely to crack, as the embossing can weaken the plastic. Flat cards are becoming common among debit and credit card issuers.

Are there any new changes to the Elan Credit Cards that Bell offers?
No, there will be no changes to the Elan VISA or American Express cards.


Why is my existing debit card being replaced? We have partnered with Mastercard to improve your benefits and add chip technology to your card at no cost to you.

Are chip cards new?
Although chip cards are relatively new in the U.S., they have been used elsewhere for more than 10 years. In some countries, particularly in Europe, merchants may be more familiar with accepting chip cards.

Why is my card being upgraded to a chip card? Chip technology is more secure than traditional magnetic stripe cards. We are making every effort to protect your accounts against fraud. Chip cards are an essential piece of that puzzle.

What are EMV chip cards?
EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard and VISA, the three companies which originally created the EMV standard. The chip contains your card number, name and other account information in encrypted format. There is no other personal information stored on the chip. Due to security in the chip, every transaction you make is unique, which makes it extremely difficult for the card to be copied or counterfeited. Your chip card will also have the usual magnetic strip on the back so that you can continue using your card while merchants are transitioning to new chip card terminals.

How is this card different from a magnetic stripe card?
A chip card looks just like a traditional card with an embedded chip in addition to the standard magnetic stripe on the back of the card. Rather than swiping the card, you will insert your chip card into the card terminal to complete the transaction. If the merchant you are visiting does not have a chip card terminal, use your card the same way you do today and swipe the card to authorize the transaction.

What are the benefits of chip technology?
The embedded microchip provides dynamic transaction security features and other capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. A chip card is extremely difficult to counterfeit and provides the world’s most sophisticated fraud protection for debit and credit cards.

How does chip technology work?
Every transaction with a chip card has unique data in it. Chip transactions are dynamic, not static like magnetic stripe cards. If someone were able to intercept one of your chip transactions, they would not be able to use that information again; this stops fraudsters from being able to create counterfeit chip cards. 

How do I use my EMV chip card?

  1. Insert your card face up and chip end into the chip-enabled terminal.
  2. Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign your name or enter your PIN as needed. Be sure to remove your card and take your receipt when the transaction is complete.

Where can I use my chip card?
Use your chip card at the exact same merchants as you do now. Insert your card into the EMV card terminals that are chip-enabled or swipe your card at merchant locations that have not yet switched to chip-enabled terminals. You can also continue to use your card as you did before for online payments, telephone payments and at ATMs.


Am I required to use the chip-enabled machine?
It is possible, depending on the terminal, that you will be required to use the chip technology. For the added security, you will always want to use the chip technology when the terminals are available.

Are all chip-enabled machines the same?
No. It is possible that machines are different. Some may lock when you insert your card, and others may not. Ask the merchant how to use the card at their machine. As a general rule, insert your card and leave it in the terminal until the transaction completes, then remove your card.

How do I pay at a card reader that is not chip-enabled?
Your new chip-enabled card will work the same as a traditional debit card by swiping and signing or using your PIN number.

What do I do if I’m asked to enter a PIN?
You can either select the other option to sign for the transaction, or you can also use the PIN number you selected when activating your card. Both options will work to authorize your transaction.

Can I still use my chip-enabled card as either “Credit” or “Debit” when making purchases?
Chip-enabled cards allow for transactions to be processed both as a “Credit” transaction or a “Debit” transaction, although the card itself is a debit card. Merchant terminals may default to either a chip and PIN (debit) transaction type or a chip and signature (credit) transaction type. Regardless of the default, you should be able to select an alternative transaction type by using methods similar to what you’re used to (e.g., hitting cancel or a change payment button) at the retail terminals.

How does a chip-enabled card work for telephone transactions?
The chip-enabled card will work the same as your standard debit card does today for online and telephone transactions.



How long will my old Bell Bank Visa debit card continue to function? Your VISA card will be closed on January 31, 2016. Continue using your Bell Bank VISA card until your new Mastercard arrives.

What number do I call to activate my card and select a PIN number?
Call 1-877-821-3478.

Can I use my same PIN number from my VISA card?
Yes, during the activation process you will be asked to select a new PIN or your Mastercard, the number can be the same as your previous VISA card.



Will I be able to use my chip-enabled card at ATMs?

Absolutely, you should expect the same convenient ATM capabilities that you use today at all Bell Bank and other ATMs. (The first 4 domestic ATM fees will be refunded automatically, and you have continued access to Moneypass ATM terminals.)

The process is essentially the same as at a merchant. Insert your card, leave it in the ATM, and follow the prompts on the screen. Depending on the type of ATM, you might be prompted to re· insert your card. Leave the card in the ATM until the transaction is complete and the card is released, and then remove your card. A PIN is needed for ATM transactions.


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