The Chip on the Front Means We Have your Back
August 16, 2016
Within the next few months, all Essex Bank customers who currently hold an Essex Bank debit card will be receiving a new card with the new EMV chip on the front.
EMV is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the readers used to authenticate the chips for card transactions. Essex Bank is migrating to this technology to help protect our customers from a wide-spread increase of debit card fraud brought about by large-scale data breaches at retailers and other institutions.
Why the EMV-chip is important:
The magnetic strip on all debit and credit cards contains account information. When a card is “swiped” using the magnetic strip, this account information is gathered and stored by the retailer. Consequently, thieves could access this information from the retailer, causing a “breach,” or a theft of personal data. The EMV chip bypasses the magnetic strip technology by communicating directly with the bank; no personal data is read or stored by the retailer. This provides an additional layer of protection for the cardholder.
Frequently Asked Questions about EMV Cards:
1. How soon will I receive my new Essex Bank EMV chip-enabled debit card?
- New cards will be sent out by mail shortly, and all Essex Bank debit cardholders should have received them by November 30th. If you have not received your new card in the mail by December 31st, please call our Customer Service Center at (800) 443-5524.
2. How do I activate my EMV-chip card?
- Your card will have a sticker with activation instructions. You will be able to activate it by calling 844-202-0845. Unlike your previous card, the EMV-chip cards can be activated via the telephone. It will not require you to bring the card to an Essex Bank ATM first.
3. Will my debit card number change?
- No, your debit card will have the same number. However, the three-digit verification number on the back will change as well as the expiration date. Please be advised that you may have to re-submit your card information to current payees that automatically debit your card for payments.
4. What happens to my old debit card once I activate my EMV-chip card?
- Once you activate your new Essex Bank EMV-chip card your old Essex Bank card will immediately deactivate. Please note that this will also deactivate your card status with some payees who currently automatically draw payments from your card.
5. Where can I use my EMV-chip card?
- Use your chip card at the exact same merchants you do now by inserting the card into card terminals that are chip enabled or swiping your card at merchant locations that have not yet switched to chip-enabled card terminals. You can also use your card as you did before for online payments, telephone payments and at ATMs.
6. When do I Swipe? When do I insert?
- When in doubt, swipe your card. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will recognize that your card has a chip and prompt you to insert it instead.
7. What if a merchant doesn’t have a chip-capable terminal? Will my card work?
- Yes. Just swipe your card’s magnetic strip, like you would with your old card. Online purchases still work the same way they did with your old card.
8. Does the chip contain personal information about me or my account that can be read by the retailer?
- No. The EMV chip only communicates directly with the bank and does not send your personal data to the retailer.
9. Does the EMV chip emit a signal that can be read by someone near me without my knowledge?
- No. Your Essex Bank debit card EMV chip does not emit any kind of radio or wireless signal. The chip and your card must be in direct contact with a pay station in order to work.
10. Why do some retailers use the EMV chip and others don’t?
- Retailers must be certified to accept payments using the EMV-chip technology; because of the volume of retailers making the conversion, there is currently a backlog of requests for certification. Until a retailer is certified, they cannot use the EMV-chip technology even if they have a chip-enabled pay station.
11. How do I report a lost or stolen card?
- You may cancel your card by using your eBank Online Banking, mobile app, or call 866-546-8273.
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