What are Chip Cards ?

Chip-enabled debit cards contain a microprocessor in the form of a small chip embedded in the card plastic. Cards with this “Europay, Mastercard and Visa” (or “EMV”) security standard, already widely in use outside of the U.S., add an extra layer of security to fight against point-of-sale transaction fraud resulting from card theft, skimming or counterfeiting.

How does the chip technology work?

The chip contains information about your account and the card expiration date. Each time you use your First Federal Bank chip card in a chip-enabled terminal or ATM, it generates a code that is unique to that transaction, making it much harder to counterfeit your card or to use it fraudulently for in-store purchases.

Although the use of chip card technology is becoming more widespread in the U.S., with many merchants now installing chip-enabled card terminals and accepting transactions, the large-scale process of moving from magnetic stripe to chip cards is expected to take several years. That's why the new chip cards will continue to have a magnetic stripe on the back. That way, if a merchant's terminal or an ATM is not yet chip-enabled, your transaction can still be processed using the magnetic stripe as it is today.

Why is First Federal making this change with debit cards?

Helping you protect your accounts against fraud is a priority at First Federal Bank and bringing our customers this additional level of security makes sense.

When will I get my chip card?

Visit any of our KC-area Banking Centers or call 816-245-4225 to get your new chip-enabled debit card from First Federal Bank of Kansas City. Alternatively, as your existing card expires, a new chip-enabled card will be sent to you.

**It’s important to note that when you receive a new First Federal chip debit card, a new card account number will be issued. This means that any automatic payments to vendors or merchants that you’ve established will need to be updated with your new card number.

How else am I protected?

All debit cards that we issue come with 'zero liability protection' so you are not held liable for unauthorized transactions if a card is stolen, lost or fraudulently used at a merchant or online. **As always, it’s important that you promptly report a lost or stolen card or any suspicious transactions by calling (800) 264-5578. See the applicable agreement for your account on liability and reporting requirements for unauthorized transactions.

What's different about them?

When used at merchants with chip-enabled card terminals it's as easy as:

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

For merchants without chip-enabled terminals, you will 'swipe' your card through the terminal, just as you do today.

Can I use my chip card anywhere?

Yes. Your chip card can be used virtually anywhere this brand of card is accepted in the U.S. and around the world.

Do I need to sign the back of the card?

Yes. You still need to sign the back of your card.

Can I use it to make purchases online or by phone?

Yes. You can use your chip card to make these purchases as you do today.

Can I use my card at an ATM?

Yes. For ATM transactions, insert your card into terminal and follow the instructions 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 and any money you might have withdrawn.

What is the difference between chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN?

You may be asked to provide your signature or enter your PIN to complete a transaction when you use your card. You will need to use your PIN at ATMs and it may be required at some unattended terminals such as fuel pumps and payment kiosks.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

 As always, it's important to report a lost or stolen card or any suspicious transactions immediately by calling 800-264-5578 . Keep a record of the telephone number on the back of your card and call it if necessary.

Will chip cards prevent data breaches?

While chip cards won't prevent the types of large-scale data breaches that have hit some merchants, they do make it extremely difficult to produce counterfeit cards from that stolen data.