Chip Technology and INTERAC Flash > Frequently Asked Questions
Chip technology and INTERAC Flash is the next evolution of electronic payments, helping to make an already safe debit card payment system even more secure and convenient. Below are answers to some questions you may have about this new technology.
You are on: Chip
A chip 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.
The enhanced security of a chip 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 cards and a PIN are used at chip-enabled terminals, the transaction system identifies the cardholder through the chip and the PIN. The enhanced security features of chip cards make them virtually impossible to replicate and therefore less likely to be a target for criminals.
While chip 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 Client Card continues to be a safe, reliable and convenient method of payment. In addition, we have been very successful in protecting cardholders by reducing card fraud through continuous upgrades to our fraud detection systems. With one of the lowest fraud rates in the industry, we will continue our current fraud prevention practices to ensure clients are protected whether they have a magnetic stripe card or a chip card. In addition, you continue to be protected under the provisions of the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services.
It will take time for all stores and restaurants to be set up with chip-enabled terminals. To ensure your RBC Chip Client 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 Client Card for some time to come.
Swipe and PIN – the magnetic stripe is swiped and validated by your PIN just as it is today.
Insert and PIN – the card is inserted and left in the terminal as you input your PIN for validation.
At this time, we are not aware of the chip being compromised on any chip 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 Client Cards must also include a magnetic stripe to ensure continued acceptance everywhere (including locations that have not converted to chip 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 Client Card are as safe and secure as ever. We maintain aggressive fraud prevention practices to reduce card fraud and to ensure clients are protected. In addition, you continue to be protected under the provisions of the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services.
When you make a transaction at a chip-enabled terminal with your RBC Chip Client Card, you’re in control. The process is quick and easy and your card should never leave your sight:
If the store or restaurant does not yet have a chip-enabled terminal, your card will be swiped and you enter your PIN as you do today. Please visit the Chip Technology page for more detail.
We will begin replacing RBC Client Cards with chip cards in early 2009. 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. This is an automatic process and there is no action required on your part. Until then, continue using your current RBC Client Card with confidence, just as you do today.
Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate requests for RBC Chip Client Cards at this time. Cards will be replaced in due course. This is an automatic process and there is no action required on your part. Until then, continue using your current RBC Client Card with confidence, just as you do today.
As there are still a limited number of chip-enabled terminals in Canada, not all clients would benefit from having an RBC Chip Client Card right away. While each financial institution will have its own timelines for conversion to chip technology, we are all working in cooperation to set the standards that will result in the best experience for you.
Over the next few years, all RBC magnetic stripe cards will be replaced with chip cards. As RBC Client Cards are issued to you sequentially (with an issue number) it is important that you use the most recent card that has been mailed to you.
If you do not already have a PIN on your existing Client Card, please visit your nearest RBC branch to set your confidential PIN.
If you’d like to change your PIN or if you’ve forgotten your PIN, simply visit an RBC branch to have it reset. For your protection, please remember to bring 2 valid pieces of identification with you.
Yes, you can use your current magnetic stripe Client Card as you do today. 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 card to transact in these countries and can use your current RBC magnetic stripe Client Card with confidence. To ensure ultimate convenience and accessibility to funds when travelling outside of Canada, you should carry more than one form of payment, such as your Client Card and a credit card, traveller’s cheques or small amounts of local currency. This will help in the event that you encounter potential service disruptions like power outages or system problems. For additional information about travelling and your finances, please visit RBC Travel Essentials.
Chip card transactions will work the same way as magnetic stripe transactions do today. At merchants who subscribe to the NYCE network in the U.S., you will swipe your card and enter your PIN. At U.S and International ATMs on the PLUS‡ Network, you will insert your card and enter your PIN.
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.
Yes. RBC Chip Visa cards are currently in market. All new cards issued now contain a microchip and use a PIN for transaction authentication. It will take several years to convert existing cards to chip as cards are being replaced based on expiry date. Visit the RBC credit card chip and PIN technology page for more information.
Please note that chip technology is only available for RBC Visa cards at this time. RBC MasterCard transactions continue to be processed using the more traditional magnetic stripe and it is expected that all RBC MasterCard cards will contain chip technology within a few years. Until that time, rest assured that magnetic stripe RBC MasterCard cards continue to be safe, reliable and secure.
Please visit the following websites for more information about chip and PIN technology:
For questions or concerns about your RBC Chip Client Card, please contact us at: 1-800-769-2511
You are on: INTERAC Flash
The new INTERAC Flash enhancement increases the functionality of your chip Client Card by allowing you to pay for smaller purchases without having to insert your card or enter a PIN. Now, when you use your chip Client Card, you will have the ability to make both regular INTERAC Debit transactions or INTERAC Flash transactions.
You can call the number on the back of your Client Card or visit a branch near you to deactivate the INTERAC Flash feature. You will not be reissued a new card, but will continue to use the one mailed to you.
The data that passes from the card to the card reader cannot be used to conduct fraudulent transactions or ID theft. The card only contains information related to payment codes for debit transactions; the card does not contain personal or other financial information.
Merchants will provide you with a receipt for an INTERAC Flash transaction, just as they do for a regular INTERAC Debit transaction. Also, the transactions will be itemized on your bank statement and in RBC Royal Bank Online Banking.
Yes, INTERAC Flash is a safe and faster way to pay for smaller purchases. There are a number of anti-fraud measures in place to protect you and your card, such as transaction limits and being prompted to insert your card and enter a PIN from time to time.You are also protected under the INTERAC Zero Liability Policy.
RBC Flash Homepage
For questions or concerns about your RBC Chip or INTERAC Flash Client Card, please contact us at: 1-800-769-2511