chip technology makes your card almost impossible to counterfeit, compared
to cards that only have a magnetic stripe. Security is enhanced by the
use of a personal identification number (PIN) in conjunction with the
What is a microchip card?
It is a plastic card of ordinary size which looks just like a regular
credit card, but differs from a regular credit card in that it contains
a silicone computer microchip (until all parties are chip-enabled, your
credit card will still be issued with the magnetic stripe on the back
of the card as well).
This card will be PIN-driven, which means that a transaction cannot
take place without a PIN. A PIN can be selected at any Absa branch.
The same number can be used for ATM purposes.
What will using a PIN at the point of sale be like?
A transaction using a PIN will be very similar to a transaction that
uses signature as the method of identification, the only difference
being that the cardholder will use a secure PIN pad to enter a four-
or five-digit number. As is done now, you are required to check the
amount before confirming the transaction.
What is a hybrid card?
The magnetic stripe will remain on credit cards in parallel with a chip
for a number of years to ensure that cards with the old and new technologies
can be used around the world.
What do I do when I receive this new microchip card?
The most important thing is to get a PIN for your credit card (if you
do not have one already) from your nearest Absa branch.
Will I be liable for fraud losses if my chip card is lost or stolen?
Cardholder liability for fraud losses will remain as it is now. As long
as there is no negligence in protecting cards to a reasonable degree,
including keeping the PIN private and not writing it down, cardholders
are well protected against fraud.
Can I use my chip card in the same way as my magnetic stripe card?
You may continue using your chip card as you did with the magnetic stripe
one. Some merchants will still use the magnetic stripe as before, while
others will use the microchip facility.
Note: Microchip cards can be used at all terminals and will not be
restricted to terminals that are chip compliant. This is one of the
reasons why the magnetic strip remains on the credit card.
How will this chip technology influence the working of my credit
Your credit card still has the same features and benefits. The limit,
minimum payment, interest calculations, etc. will remain the same. You
will only be required to enter your PIN at the point of sale when transacting.
How much will the new microchip card cost me?
There is no additional cost attached to the chip card.