Frequently Asked Questions

What are Chip Cards?
A chip card - also called a smart card or an EMV card - is a debit or credit card that contains a microprocessor that enhances the security of cards during point-of-sale transactions. These cards, already in use in much of the world, use a security standard originally developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) as a way to fight card fraud resulting from theft, skimming and counterfeiting. The EMV technology has been adopted by the other major card brands and issuers.

Is a chip card more secure than my current card?
Yes. Chip cards add an additional layer of security to the safeguards that already protect your card. Each time your chip card, it generates a code that is unique to that transaction. This makes it harder to counterfeit your card or to use it fraudulently for in-store purchases.

How Will I receive my Chip Card?
Your new card will arrive in the mail. New cards will be mailed out by the end of June 2018. Instructions for activating the card will be included with mailing. For more information you may call or visit our bank office.

Can I use my chip card anywhere?
Your chip card can be used virtually anywhere this brand of card is accepted in the U.S. (Alamosa State Bank's Visa chip debit card can NOT be used outside the U.S.) If a merchant has a chip-enabled card terminal, you will insert your card during the transaction. In the U.S., you will still be able to 'swipe' your card to make your payment if a merchant has a regular terminal. You will need a PIN to be able to make a transaction at an ATM.

Can I still use my current card?
You can use your current card until you get your chip card. At that time, activate your new chip card and start using it. Be sure to destroy your old card by cutting it up or shredding it.

Do I need to sign the back of the card?
Yes. You still need to sign the back of your card.

Can I use it to make purchases online or by phone?
Yes. You can use your chip card to make these purchases as you do today.

Can I use my card at an ATM?
Yes. For ATM transactions, insert your card into terminal and follow the instructions on the screen. Depending on the type of ATM you might be prompted to re-insert your card. Leave the card in the ATM until the transaction is complete and the card is released, and then remove your card and nay money you might have withdrawn.

What is the difference between chip and signature and chip and PIN?
You may be asked to provide your signature or enter your PIN to complete a transaction when you use your card. You will need to use PIN at ATMs and it may be required at some unattended terminal such as fuel pumps and payment kiosks. Please note that some merchants are now requiring you to use your PIN for debit card transactions whereas previously you could select "credit" to sign instead.

What if my card is lost or stolen?
It's important to report a lost or stolen card immediately. Keep a record of the telephone number on the back of your card and call it if necessary.

Will chip cards prevent data breaches?
While chip cards won't prevent the types of large-scale data breaches that have hit some merchants, they do make it extremely difficult to produce counterfeit cards from that stolen data.

Contact us for more information
Call us at 719-589-2564 or stop in if you have additional questions about chip cards, or if you are interested in opening an account.