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Chip and PIN FAQs

Chip and PIN is the next evolution of electronic payments, helping to make an already safe credit card payment system even more secure. Below are answers to some questions you may have about this new technology.

  1. What is a Chip and PIN card and what are the benefits?
  2. Why are Chip and PIN cards more secure?
  3. What information does a Chip and PIN card contain? Is the information private?
  4. If Chip and PIN cards are more secure, does that mean my existing magnetic stripe RBC credit card is not secure?
  5. Will my RBC Chip and PIN credit card still contain a magnetic stripe?
  6. I've heard of Chip and PIN cards being compromised, is this true?
  7. How will making a purchase with my RBC Chip and PIN credit card work?
  8. Are there any other changes I will notice with my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?
  9. Can my RBC Chip and PIN credit card be used everywhere?
  10. How do RBC Chip and PIN credit cards work for transactions made online or over the telephone?
  11. Will all merchants know how to process a Chip and PIN transaction?
  12. What should I do if the store or restaurant insists that I sign the receipt after I've already entered my PIN?
  13. Which RBC credit cards currently contain Chip and PIN technology?
  14. When can I expect to receive my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?
  15. Can I request my new RBC Chip and PIN credit card right now?
  16. If RBC Chip and PIN credit cards are more secure, why don't you just give them to all cardholders right now?
  17. Can I keep my current RBC credit card if I don't like chip or if I am unable to use a PIN?
  18. Where do I get a PIN for my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?
  19. Why did you set the PIN on my RBC credit card to be the same as my RBC Client Card PIN without my permission?
  20. How can I change my PIN or have it reset because I've forgotten it?
  21. If I'm travelling outside of Canada, will my current RBC magnetic stripe credit card still work?
  22. How will my RBC Chip and PIN credit card transactions work outside of Canada?
  23. Is Chip and PIN technology available for my debit card?
  24. I have an RBC Visa Platinum Avion card with a chip on it already. Is this something different?
  25. Will my new RBC Chip and PIN credit card be covered under the Zero Liability policy?
  26. Where can I get more information about Chip and PIN technology?
  27. Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns about my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?
 

1. What is a Chip and PIN card and what are the benefits?

A Chip and PIN card is a credit or debit card with a microchip embedded in it. The chip is encrypted and provides enhanced security and protection to help guard against fraud. When used at stores or restaurants with chip-enabled terminals and at ATMs, the system validates the chip and the PIN, helping to ensure a more secure transaction. The addition of a personal identification number (PIN) provides an extra layer of security above and beyond the chip as only you know your PIN.

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2. Why are Chip and PIN cards more secure?

The enhanced security of a Chip and PIN card comes from the chip itself as it is encrypted and employs a range of security features and measures that work in concert with each other to create a multi-layered defense against card fraud. When Chip and PIN cards are used at chip-enabled terminals, the transaction system identifies the cardholder through the Chip and the PIN. The enhanced security features of Chip and PIN cards make them virtually impossible to replicate and therefore less likely to be a target for criminals.

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3. What information does a Chip and PIN card contain? Is the information private?

Chip and PIN cards contain an embedded microchip which holds the same information that is currently contained on a magnetic stripe card (card number, cardholder name and expiry date), which is also the same information that is embossed directly on the card. Chip and PIN cards also contain added risk parameters and security keys to enable PIN transactions and to provide added protection. RBC employs a strict privacy code and is committed to always protect client information. For more information about the RBC privacy policy please visit the RBC Privacy Policy website (opens new window).

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4. If Chip and PIN cards are more secure, does that mean my existing magnetic stripe RBC credit card is not secure?

While Chip and PIN cards represent the latest advancements in card payment security, they will only make an already safe payment system even more secure. Rest assured that your magnetic stripe RBC credit card continues to be a safe, reliable and convenient method of payment. In addition, RBC has been very successful in protecting cardholders by reducing card fraud through continuous upgrades to its fraud detection systems. With one of the lowest fraud rates in the industry, RBC will continue its current fraud prevention practices to ensure cardholders are protected whether they have a magnetic stripe card or a Chip and PIN card. In addition, you will be protected under the Zero Liability policy provided you took reasonable precautions to protect your card and your PIN. For more information about this policy, see your credit card agreement.

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5. Will my RBC Chip and PIN credit card still contain a magnetic stripe?

It will take time for all stores and restaurants to be set up with chip-enabled terminals. To ensure your RBC Chip and PIN credit card continues to be accepted everywhere, it will contain a magnetic stripe in addition to the chip. You can therefore expect to experience two types of transactions with your RBC Chip and PIN credit card for some time to come.

Swipe and Sign — the magnetic stripe is swiped and authorized by a signature

OR

Chip and PIN — the card is inserted and left in the terminal as you input your PIN

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6. I've heard of Chip and PIN cards being compromised, is this true?

At this time, we are not aware of the chip being compromised on any Chip and PIN cards. Any compromised issues that have arisen have been due to the magnetic stripe that is also on the card. For the time being, all RBC Chip and PIN credit cards must also include a magnetic stripe to ensure continued acceptance everywhere (including locations that have not converted to Chip and PIN technology). Without the magnetic stripe, cards could not be used at non-chip-enabled terminals. Rest assured that transactions completed with the magnetic stripe on your RBC Chip and PIN credit card are as safe and secure as ever. RBC maintains aggressive fraud prevention practices to reduce card fraud and to ensure cardholders are protected. In addition, the Zero Liability policy protects you should your card ever be compromised due to fraudulent activity, provided you have taken reasonable precautions to protect your card and your PIN. For more information about this policy, see your credit card agreement.

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7. How will making a purchase with my RBC Chip and PIN credit card work?

When you make a transaction at a chip-enabled terminal with your RBC Chip and PIN credit card, you're in control. The process is quick and easy and your card should never leave your sight:

  1. Rather than swiping your card, it will be inserted into the terminal and left there for the entire transaction. Removing the card will terminate the transaction.
  2. You will follow the prompts on the screen and enter your PIN instead of verifying the transaction with your signature.
  3. When the transaction is complete, you will remove your card when prompted and wait for the receipt.

If the store or restaurant does not yet have a chip-enabled terminal, your card will be swiped and you will sign the receipt as you do today.

Please visit the Chip and PIN Technology page for more detail.

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8. Are there any other changes I will notice with my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?

At restaurants that have upgraded to chip-enabled terminals, you will need to do one of the following to complete:

  • A portable device may be brought to the table for you to insert the card and enter your PIN, or
  • You could be asked to walk over to a free-standing terminal in a central location to insert the card and enter your PIN.

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9. Can my RBC Chip and PIN credit card be used everywhere?

Yes, your RBC Chip and PIN credit card can be used anywhere in the world where the payment brand (Visa or MasterCard) is accepted.

At a chip-enabled terminal, you will insert your RBC Chip and PIN credit card into a chip reader, follow the prompts and enter your PIN to complete the transaction. Please visit the Chip and PIN Technology page for more detail.

If you are using your RBC Chip and PIN credit card at a location that does not yet have a chip-enabled terminal, your card will be swiped and the transaction will be completed with your signature as you do today.

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10. How do RBC Chip and PIN credit cards work for transactions made online or over the telephone?

Transactions made online or over the telephone with your RBC Chip and PIN credit card should be conducted the same way as with your current card. This may include using the three-digit verification code on the back of the card or by using a Verified by Visa® or MasterCard SecureCode password. Never disclose your PIN to anyone, even if it's requested to complete a transaction — whether in person, online (via email or the Internet), or by phone.

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11. Will all merchants know how to process a Chip and PIN transaction?

When a terminal is upgraded to accept a Chip and PIN transaction, the merchant will receive training from the terminal provider. Although the transaction process is straightforward when the terminal prompts are followed, it is a change that will take time for everyone to get used to. We also know that many merchants employ a wide variety of full and part-time staff who receive varying levels of training. Your transaction might be the first one for the clerk or server and it could take a little longer for them to complete (especially if they engage a colleague or manager for help). Your patience in these situations is appreciated.

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12. What should I do if the store or restaurant insists that I sign the receipt after I've already entered my PIN?

When completing a Chip and PIN transaction, there's no need to sign the receipt because the PIN serves as the validation. During the transition, some merchants may still ask for a signature. Even though it's not required, we recommend that you sign the receipt to avoid any disruption. This will only be a temporary practice until all merchants become more familiar and comfortable with the new process.

You will however still be required to sign your receipt when the magnetic stripe on your card is swiped. Rest assured that these transactions are just as secure as ever.

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13. Which RBC credit cards currently contain Chip and PIN technology?

All RBC credit cards are now being issued with Chip and PIN technology and existing cards will be replaced based on expiry date. Not all cards will be replaced at the same time and the process will take a few years to complete given the vast number of cards currently in the marketplace.

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14. When can I expect to receive my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?

RBC has already started to replace RBC credit cards with Chip and PIN cards based on expiry date.

Not all cards will be replaced at the same time and the process will take a few years to complete given the vast number of cards currently in the marketplace. You should receive a notification in your credit card statement approximately two months before your card expires advising that your new card is coming and that it will be a Chip and PIN card. This is an automatic process and there is no action required on your part. Until then, continue using your current RBC credit card with confidence, just as you do today.

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15. Can I request my new RBC Chip and PIN credit card right now?

Unfortunately, RBC is not able to accommodate requests for RBC Chip and PIN credit cards at this time. Cards will be replaced based on expiry date. You should receive a notification in your credit card statement approximately two months before your card expires advising that your new card is coming and that it will be a Chip and PIN card. This is an automatic process and there is no action required on your part. Until then, continue using your current RBC credit card with confidence, just as you do today.

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16. If RBC Chip and PIN credit cards are more secure, why don't you just give them to all cardholders right now?

As there are still a limited number of chip-enabled terminals in North America, not all cardholders would benefit from having an RBC Chip and PIN credit card right away. While each financial institution will have its own timelines for conversion to Chip and PIN technology, we are all working in cooperation to set the standards that will result in the best experience for you.

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17. Can I keep my current RBC credit card if I don't like chip or if I am unable to use a PIN?

Over the next few years, all RBC magnetic stripe credit cards will be replaced with Chip and PIN credit cards. Current market research shows an overwhelming preference by Canadians for the use of a PIN instead of a signature to authorize their transactions. Clients with concerns about using a PIN should contact RBC.

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18. Where do I get a PIN for my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?

Information about your PIN will be sent with your new RBC Chip and PIN credit card. In some instances if you have been using the PIN on your current credit. In most instances if you have an RBC Client Card, the PIN on your RBC Chip and PIN credit card will be matched to it. Lastly, if none of the above are applicable, a new PIN will be assigned and will be sent to you separately from your RBC Chip and PIN credit card.

If you experience difficulties using your card, if you don’t know your PIN or if you are unsure of your PIN, visit any RBC Royal Bank branch to change it or have it reset. This is the best way to protect yourself and will help avoid potential disruptions or delays when using your card. For your continued convenience and protection, please remember to bring your card along with two valid pieces of identification with you when you visit the branch.

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19. Why did you set the PIN on my RBC credit card to be the same as my RBC Client Card PIN without my permission?

The PIN on your RBC Chip and PIN credit card was matched to your RBC Client Card PIN for your convenience. If you have concerns about the PIN on your RBC credit card, please visit any RBC Royal Bank branch to have it reset.

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20. How can I change my PIN or have it reset because I've forgotten it?

If you'd like to change the PIN on your RBC credit card or if you've forgotten your PIN, simply visit an RBC branch to have it reset. Along with your card, remember to bring two valid pieces of identification with you.

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21. If I'm travelling outside of Canada, will my current RBC magnetic stripe credit card still work?

Yes, you can use your current magnetic stripe credit card anywhere in the world where Visa or MasterCard is accepted. While many countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America have already moved to or will be moving to Chip and PIN technology, they also still accept magnetic stripe cards as a reliable and secure form of payment. You are not required to have a Chip and PIN credit card to transact in these countries and can use your current RBC magnetic stripe credit card with confidence.

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22. How will my RBC Chip and PIN credit card transactions work outside of Canada?

Chip and PIN credit card transactions will work the same way as they do in Canada.

  1. Rather than swiping your card, it will be inserted into the terminal and left there for the entire transaction. Removing the card will terminate the transaction.
  2. You will follow the prompts on the screen and enter your PIN instead of verifying the transaction with your signature.
  3. When the transaction is complete, you will remove your card when prompted and wait for the receipt.

When travelling however, you should consider choosing a four-digit PIN as some terminals and ATMs overseas will not accept a PIN with more than four digits.

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23. Is Chip and PIN technology available for my debit card?

Yes. Chip and PIN technology is currently available for RBC Client Cards. To learn more please visit the Client Card Chip Technology page.

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24. I have an RBC Visa Platinum Avion card with a chip on it already. Is this something different?

Yes. While we have been issuing chip cards to RBC Visa Platinum Avion clients since 2003, those cards require a signature for authorization, rather than a PIN. Over the next few years, Avion cardholders will receive new Chip and PIN cards as part of the national conversion to Chip and PIN technology. Similar to all other RBC credit cards, cardholders will now be required to enter a PIN to complete their transactions.

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25. Will my new RBC Chip and PIN credit card be covered under the Zero Liability policy?

Yes, should your RBC Chip and PIN credit card be exposed to fraudulent or unauthorized use, you will be protected under the Zero Liability policy provided you took reasonable precautions to protect your card and your PIN. For more information about this policy, see your credit card agreement.

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26. Where can I get more information about Chip and PIN technology?

Please visit the following websites for more information about Chip and PIN technology:

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27. Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns about my RBC Chip and PIN credit card?

For questions or concerns about your RBC Chip and PIN credit card, please contact us at 1-800-769-2512.

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