1. What is a “chip” debit card?
A chip card is a debit card with an embedded microchip that provides increased protection against debit card skimming and counterfeiting. Information stored on a chip debit card is encrypted, making it extremely difficult for that information to be obtained by fraudsters.
2. Why is Meridian making this change?
The migration to debit cards with chip and Personal Identification Number (PIN) technology is a mandatory regulatory requirement of the Interac® Association. The current debit cards with magnetic stripes are being phased out and will no longer be accepted at Canadian Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) after December 31, 2012. Point of Sale (POS) terminals will not accept magnetic cards after December 31, 2015. Although relatively new within North America, chip technology has been adopted in well over 100 countries world wide. During 2008 Meridian replaced all our ABM machines in advance of this new chip technology.
3. How does this new technology help me?
Your new Meridian debit card now has an embedded microchip that uses an increased method of protecting your financial information making it extremely difficult to duplicate. This new technology combined with your personal identification number (PIN) significantly reduces the chance of fraud.
4. When should I begin using my chip card?
Please activate you new chip debit card by using it right away, so that you can take advantage of its enhanced features and securely destroy your old debit card once your new chip card has been activated.
5. Do I need to change my PIN with my new Meridian chip debit card?
No. Unless you receive a notification advising that a new PIN will be sent to you, continue using your existing PIN on your new chip card.
6. How do I change the PIN on my new chip debit card?
There is a new option on the ABM to “Change PIN”. You can do this at your local Meridian ABM or ask for assistance at your local branch.
Please note – this does not mean you are required to change your PIN in order to access your accounts or that your PIN has been compromised and must be changed.
7. How do I use my new chip debit card?
Although this new card will work exactly the same way (PIN) as your old debit card you can expect some minor changes such as:
Chip debit cards require you to insert the end of the card with the “chip” into the ABM machine or Point of Sales (POS) terminal.
The process for ABM transactions remains unchanged.
The process for POS devices will now require you to insert the card into the end of the terminal, following the prompts until the transaction is complete and your debit card can be removed.
8. Will my old magnetic stripe card work once I have started to use my new Meridian chip debit card?
No, your old Meridian debit card with the magnetic strip card will not work once you have started to use your new chip debit card. However the magnetic strip on your new Meridian chip debit card can still be used for transactions in the United States or where chip card is not accepted. We recommend you destroy your old debit card.
9. Why has the look of my Meridian card changed?
The introduction of the chip technology has given us a great opportunity to provide you with a card offering both the best in security and a new more personal look – emphasizing our commitment to our Members.
10. Will I be able to use my chip debit card when I am traveling outside of Canada to the United States or Internationally?
Yes. You will be able to use you chip debit card anywhere your debit card is accepted today. You will be able to use your chip debit card in countries that already utilize chip technology as well as countries that have not yet implemented chip technology because your card has both a chip and magnetic stripe, facilitating both types of transactions.
We recommend that if you are travelling outside of Canada, you should carry more than one payment method (e.g. credit card, traveler’s cheques, local currency) in the unlikely event you experience service disruptions.
11. Are there additional fees with this chip debit card?
No. There are no additional fees associated with a chip debit card. The same fees that currently apply to your account will apply to your new card.
12. What if my chip debit card is lost or stolen?
Contact your local branch immediately or call us at 1-866-592-2226 if your chip debit card is lost or stolen.
13. Is there a change to my Point of Sale (POS) limit?
Depending on what your current daily POS limits are, you may not experience a change. In our ongoing efforts to offer our Members an additional level of security help protect your security. We have set all daily POS limits to a maximum of $1,000. If your limit was previously above $1,000 it will be changed to $1,000 and if your limit was below $1,000 it will remain unchanged.
It’s important to note bill payments at an Automated Bank Machine (ABM) have a shared daily maximum limit with POS. As a result, a Member’s total bill payment / POS limit will also be reduced to $1,000 per day such that the maximum combined ABM bill payment and POS transaction activity for a day cannot exceed $1,000.
For example, if a Member makes a payment of $500 towards a bill at an ABM, they will only have access to $500 for any combination of POS transactions and/or $500 towards ABM bill payments for that day.