EMV CARD/CREDIT CARD CHIP NOT WORKING: A Simplified Guide
Don’t you hate it when your credit card chip not working in an emergency situation?
Yes, you are going to see the best ways to fix the credit card chip issue, but before that let me tell you a story.
Sam is a gentleman, a loving husband, and a great father. He is working in one of the top finance companies. Out of his busy schedule, Sam promised his wife and daughter to take on dinner in a fancy restaurant on the weekend. After dinner, when he gave his credit card for payment, his card declined because of some non-technical issues.
The shocking thing was his every card declined that day. And finally, his wife paid for dinner. It was a very embarrassing situation for a gentleman like Sam. And after investigation, he found that his cards were damaged because he used to keep his cards with other sharp metallic objects like keys, coins, etc.
So, you see how the smartest person can get into trouble because of some silly mistake which he wasn’t even aware of? Read this full article if you don’t want to end up like Sam.
CREDIT CARDS: YOUR EVERYTHING
It was always inconvenient and stressful to carry cash in your wallet for transactions every time until the debit and credit card, or we can say plastic money came into the market.
With the advancement of technology all over the world, America came up with the idea of credit cards where the cardholder can do the transaction without cash in hand. Fascinating Invention, isn’t it?
Magnetic Stripes Credit Cards:
Around 1970, IBM came up with the prototype of magnetic stripes credit cards.
These magnetic stripes were able to store data of cardholders in the tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card.
Instead of carrying cash, users just had to swipe the card in swiping machines for transactions to be successful, and that’s why it is also known as “Swipe Card.”
The downfall of magnetic stripe credit card
Like every coin has two sides, here also the dark side of technology was growing day by day. With the rapid advancement of technology over decades, it became easier for thieves to steal the cardholder’s information from the magnetic stripes credit card and use that information to create a new card or duplicate the card either for their use or to sell them.
Introduction of Chip Credit card
Because of high reported fraud and scams with Magnetic stripes credit cards, European countries came up with the idea of Chip credit card introduced by two German brothers (Helmut Gröttrup and Jürgen Dethloff.)
Now chip card technology has become the standard at merchants throughout the world.
In simple words, it’s a plastic card that holds a microchip embedded in it instead of those traditional magnetic stripes. This chip stores cardholder information but in an encrypted way, which provides more data security when making a transaction at ATM, stores, or elsewhere.
Chip cards are also known as:
- Smart card
- Chip and pin cards
- Smart chip cards
- Chip-and-Choice cards
- Smart payment cards
- Chip and signature cards
- EMV cards
- IC card
Based on EMV Technology
EMV is the acronym for “Europay, MasterCard, and Visa,” the three companies that began this initiative. It’s a global security standard for storing user information on credit cards.
This is a more secure way to store information, providing better protection against some forms of credit card fraud than the older magnetic stripe, because it can’t be as easily “skimmed” by fake credit card readers.
How do EMV cards solve the problem?
Earlier when magnetic stripes were in use, thieves quickly copying our information after getting card swiped. But in EMV technology, the card generates a unique code for each transaction while the cardholder’s information remains the same.
So even if the thieves somehow managed to copy the code from POS (point of sale) transaction, they could do nothing with that piece of information as your card will generate new code in the next transaction. This makes it impossible for fraudsters to use credit or debit card information.
This is also true that the chip card is also not the safest way. Still, thieves can steal your personal information if they want from your card. It just minimizes the risk of becoming a victim.
How Smart Chip Cards Work
What makes smart cards unique is the memory chip, which is embedded in the contact pad of the card. Without that chip, it’s just like any other regular card.
And this chip embedded contact pad is the primary thing for any transaction, but the only card itself is not enough for transactions.
For successful transactions, we need a smart card along with a smart card reader to function.
When you swipe your chip card in a card reader, then the contact pads come in contact with the card reader, and instantly, they establish electronic interaction between each other. It gives time to the card reader to analyze and check your secure personal information from the chip. After validating, it enables you to make payments through the payment system to complete the payment transaction but not without entering the cardholder’s security code.
However, there is one more type of smart card available in the world market, i.e., contactless smart card. With this card, you don’t need to insert or swipe with a card reader to continue the transaction at POS., and because of its convenience, it is gaining worldwide popularity day by day.
Why your Smart chip card does not work sometimes:
There can be many reasons why your card is not working. Sometimes the cause can be physical, and sometimes it’s technical. Let’s discuss some basic causes for your chip credit card malfunction:
Friction with sharp objects: your credit card chip can be damaged by friction with Keys, coins, or any other sharp object rendering the card unusable for point-of-sale payments.
Wear and Tear: constant use of your card over time can get frayed your card, which might be unnoticeable to you.
But it may it will tear down your chip and make it useless after a point of time. But luckily, magnetic stripes won’t get affected by it, and yet you can use your card.
Magnetic field effect: in this situation, your card when exposed to external but strong magnetic fields, it would stop working as magnetic fields can alter your technical settings and reset the information in the chip.
Physical force: chip credit cards can get easily damaged by physical force. It can bend, pushed hard with other objects of surrounding, or by unwilling physical strength; it can lose its chip holding capacity. And most of the cards get damaged by physical force only.
Water: it may be raining outside, and you did not put your card safely in your pocket, or you visited a beach, and it fell from your pocket. Chip is something technical, and you should keep your technical things away from water.
Fiddling: if someone is constantly fiddling with your card, then also it can stop working because it is protected with authentication from two parties every time. If it detects falsifying, it will lock itself or by company.
Scratch: never leave your card where it will get scratched. The bottom of your purse or putting it with other hard metal materials can result in scratch on-chip. And once the chip got damaged, the card reader can’t read it correctly, which causes none working of your card.
Wrong insertion: if the card reader is saying “failure” of the card or “try again,” then it may be the possible reason that card is inserted at a wrong angle. So better to remove your card and insert it again tills the card reader reads your card. Sometimes, the card reader can also be malfunctioned and destroy your chip.
Extreme heat: never expose your card directly to heat. Heater, ventilation, or dryer, they are not well-wisher of your chip smart card. Direct contact with heat will cause your card to bend or change its shape, and ultimately, it will not insert properly.
How to clean your EMV chip credit cards:
Apart from technical issues, if the credit card chip not working in the card reader, then it may be because of reasons like dust and bacteria, which makes your card not working sometimes.
These problems are very common, and you can handle it by yourself if you know about the hacks for cleaning smart chip cards.
- Alcohol Solution: The best way to clean your smart chip card is with the help of alcohol. You only need alcohol and some cotton. Gently pour some alcohol in the cotton and swipe your card with it. It will at least clear all the physical impurities which make your card unreadable.
- Nail polish remover: This is a smart and cheap hack to remove the physical impurities from your chip card. Just take a cotton ball, soak mildly in remover, and wipe the card.
- Eraser trick: take some antibacterial wipe and wipe it at first gently. Then with the help of clean tissue paper or something dried. And finally, with the help of an eraser, erase the area gently. Eraser will help to remove the junk particles and make your card clear like before.
Caring for smart chip cards:
Your card is valuable as anything for you nowadays. Unless it’s technical, you can do some simple things to secure the outer body of your card so that it will stay for long as possible and function properly. Some simple things to protect your card are:
- Keep your card properly in your wallet as much as possible.
- Avoid contact with liquid, fire, and sharp metallic objects
- Don’t put it in your bag or purse randomly, along with other materials
- Use a cardholder to keep it secure and clean.
- Never put your keys and card together.
- Clean it regularly or as much as possible.
How to fix Credit card chip not working
If you are at the counter for making payment and your card is denied then here are some tricks to fix the credit card chip malfunction to cover that embarrassing situation smartly if denial is not technical:
- Insert your card normally; if the machine is not accepting it, then reinsert your card again and again continuously for three times. Generally, after three fails with the chip, the machine will allow you to swipe the card.
- Some say that you can also clean the chip card by rubbing the paper money on it. It helps in removing the dust and cleans the card enough instantly so that you can use the card on the spot.
- Sometimes, the problem is not in your card but the store’s card reader. Try to wait for some time or use other card reader machines to continue the transaction.
In case if you’ve tried everything from cleaning to fixing the card and still the card is not working, then contact your credit card issuer as soon as possible and file a complaint for replacing it. The issuer company will send you a proper functional new card soon.
Note: These methods tested on Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Icici, Hdfc, Capital one, Citibank credit cards.
If you are a business owner and have problems with the credit card machine, Checkout our guide on the Credit card machine not working Fix.
I hope this article answered your lot of queries and gave you an idea about your day to day credit card problems and their solution to how to handle them spontaneously. Do share with your friends so they can also save themselves from being Sam anyways.