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Chip Cards - Frequently Asked Questions




General

1. What is a chip card? What is the difference between chip and magnetic stripe card?
Chip cards are sometimes called "smart cards". Chip cards are cards with an embedded microchip on the face of the card, and this is the major difference between a chip card and a magnetic stripe card. Chip cards would still have a magnetic stripe at the back of the card.
2. When will HSBC start issuing chip credit card?
We have already started issuing Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay Credit Cards on chip in Hong Kong.
3. Why does HSBC move to chip?
HSBC is moving to chip cards to offer greater security to customers. Chip cards are more secure and will protect you from getting your card copied to make counterfeit cards.
4. How safe are the chip cards?
Chip cards offer greater security for customers by storing and processing information securely. Chip cards are also more effective in preventing your cards from being copied to produce counterfeit cards.

Acceptance

5. I have a few cards from HSBC. Can I continue to use the magnetic stripe cards before they are replaced with chip?
Yes. Both chip cards and magnetic stripe cards are accepted in the market.
6. Can I use my chip credit card outside Hong Kong?
Yes, your chip credit card is accepted worldwide, just like your magnetic stripe cards.
7. What if a merchant asks for PIN verification during a purchase?
You can request the merchant to follow the instructions displayed on the terminal, and you should only be required to sign the sales slip to complete the transaction. However, when you use EPS function to purchase, you will still be required to input PIN.
8. What if a merchant refuses to accept my chip credit card?
You can request the merchant to swipe the card and follow the instructions displayed on the terminal to complete the transaction.
9. What if the merchant insists not to accept the chip credit card?
Please do not take this personally. You only need to promptly report to credit card hotline the details of the problem and we will follow up.
Please try to provide us with the following information:
- Merchant name and address,
- Date and time,
- Card number,
- Type of transaction, e.g. purchase, manual cash disbursement, etc.
10. Merchant A swiped my chip credit card in a terminal, but merchant B inserted the card into a terminal, why did they handle my chip card differently?
Not all merchants use the same terminals. Some merchants have already installed chip terminals and will therefore insert the card into the terminal rather than swiping it. Some merchants may have not moved to the new terminals yet so they would process your card in the traditional way, i.e. swiping the magnetic stripe.
11. Why did some merchants always swipe my chip card, and then insert the chip card to process the transaction?
As some merchants are used to the practice of swiping the card, however a chip terminal will prompt the merchant to insert the chip card.

Usage

12. Is there any difference in the way we use chip credit cards and existing cards?
The processing of a chip card is very similar to that of a magnetic stripe card. Merchants that are capable of handling chip cards will insert the card into the terminal instead of swiping the card. The cashier will keep the card in the terminal until a sales slip is printed out. Merchants that are yet to upgrade will continue to swipe the card through the terminal. In both cases, you will be asked to sign the sales slip to complete the transaction. Furthermore, a chip capable terminal can also accept magnetic stripe cards.

The way you use the chip card at ATMs and other self-service terminals will remain the same.
13. My magnetic stripe credit card has EPS and PPS functions, are the functions still supported on the chip?
Yes. You can still use EPS and PPS as usual. In case of EPS processing, the merchant will swipe your card through the terminal to process the transaction.
14. Can I still use my chip credit card at an ATM?
Yes. You can still use credit card at an ATM as usual.
15. Can I continue to use my existing PIN on my chip credit card?
Yes. You can continue to use your existing PINs for ATM & phone banking.
16. Will the transaction processing time take longer with the chip card?
As the chip card and chip terminal need to authenticate each other, the transaction processing time may take a little longer.
17. What about using a chip card in mail orders, telephone orders and on the internet?
There are no changes when making these transactions, and you can follow the same procedure as when using a magnetic stripe card.
18. How do I know the chip is damaged?
If the cashier inserts your chip card into a terminal and is unsuccessful and needs to swipe the card to complete the transaction, and this happens very often, the chip on your card may be damaged.
19. What should I do if the chip is damaged? Can I still use the card to make a purchase?
If the chip is damaged, please contact us to arrange for a replacement card. Before you receive the replacement card, you can continue to use the credit card as long as the magnetic stripe is still working.

Card Conversion Issues

20. What about my ATM /Private Label cards? Will these cards be converted to chip as well?
Only Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay Credit Cards are included in this exercise.
21. How do I get my existing credit card replaced with a chip credit card?
In general, we will issue you with a chip credit card upon expiry of your existing credit card.
22. What should I do if I lost my chip credit card?
Please report the lost or stolen card to us immediately, and we can arrange a replacement card for you. The hotline number is (852) 2233 3000.
23. Can I have a chip card if my existing magnetic stripe card is not due to expire?
In general, we will issue you with a chip credit card upon expiry of your existing credit card. We can replace your unexpired magnetic strip card with a chip card and a card replacement fee will be incurred for each card.
24. Can I keep using a magnetic stripe card rather than a chip card upon expiry of my existing credit card?
When you have been issued with chip card, magnetic stripe card will not be re-issued.