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Chip FAQ



What is a chip card?

Chip cards are payment cards that have an embedded chip. Chip cards offer you advanced security when the card is used at a store or ATM with a chip-enabled terminal.

What is EMV?

Chip cards are based on a global card payment standard called EMV, currently used in more than 80 countries.


Why are chip card transactions more secure?

Chip card transactions offer you advanced security in-store and at the ATM by generating a unique code during each transaction. This way your chip card is more difficult to counterfeit or copy: If the card data and the one-time code are stolen, the information cannot be used to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud.

Can my card information still be stolen?

The chip in your card is an extra layer of security that alone doesn’t make your card more secure. This added layer makes your information more difficult to recreate for counterfeiting purposes.

How else does NASA Federal protect my information?

NASA Federal credit cards also include Zero Liability Protection.*

If there is more than one person on my credit card account, will we each get a new PIN?

Yes, each person on the account will receive their own unique PIN. Each person will receive their new PIN shortly after receiving their new credit card.

Can I change my PIN?

Yes, the PIN can be changed over the phone by calling 1-866-708-9364 or at an ATM.

Please note: if you are calling to activate your card and change the PIN at the same time, you will not need to know the existing PIN. However, if the card was already activated, you will need to know the existing PIN in order to change.

Using Your Chip Card

How do I use my chip card in stores?

During the transition to chip, you can swipe your card as you normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert it instead. If you already know your chip card works there, start by inserting your card. These basic steps will help ensure successful transactions:

  1. Insert your card in the front of the chip card reader, with the chip facing up. (You will not need to swipe the card.)
  2. Keep your card in the terminal and provide your signature or PIN when prompted. Some transactions may not require either of these.
  3. Wait for the transaction to process and the terminal to indicate it’s complete before removing your card.

Always remember when you use your chip card to follow the prompts on the terminal and leave your card inserted until prompted to remove it.

Can I still use my chip card at a non-chip-enabled ATM or merchant terminal?

Yes. Your card will have a chip and a magnetic stripe to accommodate any situation.

Can I still pay in store or use an ATM if I don’t have a chip card?

Yes, merchants and ATMs will continue to accept magnetic stripe cards.

Can I use my chip card at an ATM?

Yes. You can use your card at an ATM just as you do now. ATMs are transitioning to chip-enabled ATMs, at which time you’ll need to keep your card in the ATM slot just as you do at payment terminals now.

How does a chip card for work online or telephone purchases?

Using your chip card online or over the phone works just as it does now. Simply give the merchant your card name, number, expiration and, if needed, the three-digit CVV security code on the back.

Will I be able to use my chip card at all merchant and ATM locations?

Yes, merchants and ATMs will continue to accept magnetic stripe cards.

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 and complete ATM transactions when you travel internationally.

*U.S.-issued cards only. Zero Liability Protection does not apply to ATM transactions or PIN transactions not processed by Visa, as applicable.