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Chip Card FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

01. What is an EMV chip card?

A card with an encrypted microchip that makes it more difficult for your card data to be copied or counterfeited. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®—the three organizations that developed the initial technology.

02. How is this card different from a traditional 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 your card, you will insert your chip card into the chip-enabled terminal to complete the transaction.

03. Where can I use my chip card?

You can still make purchases anywhere that accepts MasterCard® debit cards and Visa® credit cards, including in-person, online and over-the-phone merchants. If a merchant does not have a chip card terminal, you can swipe your chip card at a traditional terminal using the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. You can also continue to use your card at ATMs.

04. What does a chip-enabled terminal look like?

Chip-enabled terminals have all of the features you are used to with a traditional payment terminal, with the addition of a slot to insert your card. The slot is typically located at the bottom or the top of the payment terminal.
Not sure if a terminal is chip-enabled? Simply swipe your chip card as you normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert your chip card instead.

05. Will my chip card continue to be accepted at traditional terminals?

Yes. You can still swipe your chip card using the magnetic stripe on the back of the card at terminals that haven’t yet been updated.

06. How do I use my chip card at a chip-enabled terminal?

Chip card transaction experiences can vary slightly depending on the situation, so it’s important to follow the instructions provided by the terminal. These basic steps will help ensure successful transactions:

  1. Insert your card with the chip toward the terminal, facing up. Do not remove until prompted.
  2. Provide your signature or PIN as prompted by the terminal. Some transactions may not require either.
  3. When the terminal says the transaction is complete, remove your card.

07. How do chip cards work for online and phone transactions?

Online and phone transactions will work just as they do today.

08. Are chip cards accepted at ATMs?

Yes, chip cards can be used for ATM transactions. Simply insert your chip card into the ATM and follow the prompts to complete your transaction. During your transaction, you may be prompted to select Associated Debit or MasterCard® Debit. Please select Associated Debit.

09. Do I have to pay to upgrade to a chip card?

No. This card is being issued at no cost to you.

10. Can my financial information still be compromised?

While chip technology makes it more difficult for your card data to be copied or counterfeited, your account information may still be subject to compromise. Please contact our 24/7/365 Customer Care Center immediately at 800-236-8866 if you see any suspicious activity on your account.

11. What should I do with my existing magnetic stripe card?

Your new chip card replaces your existing magnetic stripe card. After activating your new chip card, make sure to destroy your old card and transfer any recurring payments to the new chip card.

12. What if I don’t want a chip card? Can I continue using my existing card?

Chip-enabled cards are now the standard with U.S. and international merchants. Once your existing card has been converted to a chip card, it cannot be converted back to a magnetic stripe only card.

13. Can I use my chip card outside of the U.S.?

Yes. Chip cards are widely used in international markets and are accepted in more than 80 countries. Having a chip card will make it easier for you to make purchases when you travel internationally.


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Signature not required for purchases of $50 or less at participating locations. PIN may be required for debit transactions. All trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced in this material are property of their respective owners. Associated Bank, N.A. is a Member FDIC and Associated Banc-Corp. Equal Housing Lender.

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