Introducing Chip Cards
Enhanced Security for your Debit Cards
Effective January, 2016 First Federal began offering debit cards with chip technology. The embedded computer chip provides more security and wider international acceptance.
A microchip embedded in the card adds a new layer of protection against fraud for purchases made at the point of sale. Information programmed into the chip is personalized for your account and each transaction generates a unique code, adding an extra safeguard against unauthorized use and counterfeiting.
Even though chip cards have started being issued in the U.S. and some merchants have already installed chip-enabled card terminals for payment, the entire conversion process is expected to take a few years to complete. That's why chip cards will continue to have a magnetic stripe on the back. That way, if a merchant's terminal or an ATM is not yet chip-enabled, your transaction can still be processed using the magnetic stripe as it is today.
When will I get my replacement chip card?
Your card will be replaced with a new chip card as your current card expires. Once your new card arrives, be sure to activate it for use and then destroy your old card by cutting it up or shredding it. There is no need to request a new card. You'll automatically receive your new chip card in the mail before your card's expiration date. There is no extra charge for the new chip card.
Follow these steps to use your card at a chip-enabled terminal:
- Insert your card, face up and chip end into the chip-enabled terminal.
- Leave the card in the terminal during the entire transaction.
- Follow the instructions on the screen and either sign your name or enter your PIN as needed. Be sure to remove your card and take your receipt when the transaction is complete.
If a merchant isn't using a new chip-enabled terminal yet
You will 'swipe' your card to make your purchase, just as you do today. Chip cards will continue to have the magnetic stripe on the back.
Online or phone purchases
Provide your card information as you have done in the past. Chip cards will not change the way payments are made online or by telephone.
At an ATM
The process is essentially the same as at a merchant. Insert your card, leave it in the ATM, and follow the prompts 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. A PIN is needed for ATM transactions.
How do First Federal Debit Cards work?
With your First Federal Debit Card, you can access money from your checking account by using it to make purchases or for ATM cash withdrawals without ever having to write out a check. Your monthly statement will list all transactions made with your debit card, and since it's not a credit card, you will not pay interest charges or credit card fees.
The Debit Card gives you a faster, more economical, more convenient way to buy the products and services you need. When retailers ask you if you want to pay for your purchase with debit or credit, you have two options.
- Sign for your purchase like a credit card. Press the "Credit" button and sign for your purchases.
- Use your PIN at participating retailers. To get cash back when you make a purchase, if the retailer permits, press the "Debit" or "ATM" button on the retailer's terminal then enter your PIN.
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 your PIN at ATMs and it may be required at some unattended terminals such as fuel pumps and payment kiosks.
Where can I use my Debit Card?
You can use your Debit Card wherever MasterCard is accepted - at merchant locations across the U.S., including restaurants, hotels, and online retailers. If you want to use your Debit Card while traveling, or for cash withdrawals or purchases outside of the United States, please contact us so you may have use of your First Federal debit card. Purchases may be denied if fraudulent transactions are suspected. The Debit Card may also be used as an ATM card – get cash, transfer funds between accounts linked to your card and make deposits. Just access your accounts at our First Federal ATM or any Accel® Network, Maestro, or PLUS system ATM whenever it is convenient for you.
Special Note: With the new chip cards already in wide use around the world, if you are planning to travel internationally or have an immediate need for a chip card, please contact us.
Enjoy paying bills with convenience
Use your Debit Card to pay bills such as your club membership, utilities, internet, or cell phone service. You'll save valuable time spent on writing checks and mailing payments. Avoid mail delays and late fees when you use your Debit Card to pay bills. There's no service fee — just contact your service providers to set it up.
Make one-time payments – Pay your bills each month as they come in, but instead of writing checks and paying for postage, use your Debit Card.
Set up recurring payments – Contact your regular service providers just once, and tell them to use your Debit Card for future bill payments. After that, your recurring bills will be paid on the scheduled date you choose.
Chip cards add an additional layer of security to the safeguards that already protect your card. Each time you use 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.
NEW! First Federal is now offering CardValet®, a mobile app that helps safeguard your information by allowing you to monitor accounts with your smartphone and control how, when and where your debit card is used within the U.S. You can simply download the free CardValet® app from the Apple® App Store or Google® Play Store, and then you can actively manage your debit card.
It's easy to turn 'off' your debit card from your smartphone, and then turn it back 'on' when you want to use it. The on/off feature is only one of the safeguards available with CardValet. Using the GPS system in the smart phone, geographic use restrictions can be established. Other controls can restrict usage by merchant and spending limit.
CardValet puts the control of debit cards right into your hands. Real time alerts create another layer of fraud protection with notice that a transaction was attempted, declined, or both. Real-time smartphone alerts can be customized based on the types of information each cardholder would like to receive. For example, a cardholder can set up an alert to be notified when a card is used, when a transaction is approved and exceeds any of the permitted use policies, or when a card transaction has been attempted but has been declined based on the parameters established.
- Get real-time notifications when your card is used.
- Restrict transactions to a certain area using your phone's GPS.
- Set security preferences to match your spending habits for every debit card.
- Control your spending - set spending limits for general use.
- Enable or disable your card to be used within certain merchant categories such as gas and groceries, hotel and travel.
- Turn your debit card on and off to prevent fraud and theft
- Use the CardValet app to check your account balances.
A personal SecureCode™ is now required when making online purchases at participating merchants. You can shop online with added protection when you sign up for the free MasterCard® SecureCode™ online service. Once enrolled, this service provides a simple and secure way for you to use a private code for your Debit Card online transactions. Only you know what your code is – merchants aren't able to see it. This additional layer of security helps protect you against unauthorized use of your MasterCard online. You will be asked to enter your SecureCode™ before your online transaction is completed. If you haven't already signed up for your SecureCode™, you can during your transaction at the online merchant and proceed with your purchase immediately, or you can enroll now for MasterCard® SecureCode™.
MasterCard Zero Liability Protection
|Whether you use your First Federal Debit Mastercard to shop online, by phone or in a store, every purchase is backed by Zero Liability Protection*. That means you won't be held responsible in the event that someone makes unauthorized purchases with your card.
*Conditions and exceptions apply. Please see your First Federal Electronic Fund Transfer Disclosure for information on liability and reporting requirements for unauthorized transactions.
To help prevent unauthorized use of your debit card, First Federal utilizes a fraud detection system. This process tracks the type of transactions that are typically made with your debit card and compares the behavior with each new transaction and characteristics of fraud. If something appears suspicious, you may be called to verify the transaction. If we are not able to leave a message, a letter will be mailed to your home and your card will be restricted until you contact us, or the toll free number in this letter.
MasterCard Identity Theft Resolution Services
Your MasterCard card has benefits which include Identity Theft Resolution Services. To learn more about this valuable benefit, please call 1-800-MC-ASSIST (1-800-622-7747). To request a printed Guide to Benefits, call 419-238-1463. You can also visit www.mastercard.com/debitstandard-gtb for a full description of the new benefits and how to use them.
How do I apply
Just stop in to our office to apply for a card (application subject to approval). All you need is a First Federal Checking account to get started. When you receive your debit card in the mail, you will need to call 866-661-8548 to activate your card and select your pin number. This Card Self Service number can also be used to change an existing pin. You can also change your existing pin at our First Federal ATM.
First Federal's ATM card allows you to withdraw, deposit or transfer funds any time of the day. Our card can be used at our First Federal ATM, or at any number of machines that accept Accel® Network, Maestro, and PLUS Systems. First Federal's Debit card also acts as an ATM card by using your pin number. New ATM Cards received in the mail need activated and a pin number selected by calling 866-661-8548. This Card Self Service number can also be used to change an existing pin. You can also change your existing pin at our First Federal ATM. Our ATM is located in the first drive-up lane and is available 24/7.
It is important that you promptly report a lost or stolen card or any suspicious transactions. If your ATM/Debit Card has been lost or stolen and it is during normal business hours, please contact our office immediately at (419) 238-1463.
If it is after hours, please call (800) 472-3272 for lost or stolen support.