Coming soon: EMV debit cards

Aug 07, 2015

Washington Federal debit cards are becoming even more secure.

Debit Card Picture

As you may know, the US payment system is currently undergoing a change from the traditional debit and credit card magnetic strips to cards with an electronic EMV chip.

Beginning this fall, we will be sending all debit card holders new cards that contain an EMV chip. When you receive your new card, simply call the number on the new card to activate it.

Your card number and PIN will not change with your new chip card. However, your new chip card will have a different expiration date and 3-digit CVV2 code on the back. If you have automatic payments or transactions linked to your debit card, remember to give those merchants your new expiration date so that your payment(s) can continue to be processed.

 The benefits of chips.

  • Enhanced security & fraud reduction. EMV chips are more secure as they keep card numbers encrypted throughout transactions and thus are harder to duplicate than card account numbers.
  • Increased international acceptance. EMV chips are currently being used in many countries, making it easier and more secure to pay while you're abroad.
  • Protected with Zero Liability. If your card is lost or stolen, you've got protection again unauthorized use of your card or account information.*

How to use your new chip card.

Every time a chip card is used in-store at a chip-activated terminal, a unique one-time code is generated that's used to approve the transaction - providing an additional layer of security. This feature is virtually impossible to duplicate in counterfeit cards, helping to reduce in-store fraud.

  1. Insert the chip end of your card into the terminal with the chip facing up (instead of swiping.)
  2. Keep your card in the terminal throughout the transaction to complete your purchase.
  3. Remove your card when prompted.

What if there isn't a chip-activated terminal available?

Just swipe your card as usual! In addition to an EMV chip, your Washington Federal chip card also contains a magnetic strip that can be used at those retailers that have not yet converted to EMV chip processing. However, the United States payment processing system is changing magnetic strip hardware to electronic EMV chips, so the number of terminals is quickly growing.

For more information about EMV chip cards, please visit

*Visa's Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards only. Does not apply to ATM transactions, certain commercial card transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa or any other transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. For more information about Zero Liability, visit