Advanced Chip Technology
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is EMV or chip card?
Credit and debit cards with chip technology, or “chip cards,” have a built-in microchip that provides greater security at chip-enabled terminals or ATMs. The microchip encrypts card information into a unique code, which means that the microchip is difficult to copy or counterfeit. Chip cards are also known as EMV cards.

2. What are the benefits of chip technology?
Chip technology, already used widely around the world, makes payment systems even more secure by reducing fraud at chip-enabled terminals. Chip cards contain an encrypted microchip, which has been proven to protect against counterfeit fraud.

3. How do I use a chip card?
It’s simple. Follow the prompts on the terminal:
• At merchants or ATMs with chip-enabled terminals, insert your chip card into the terminal. Your card stays in the terminal until the transaction is complete:

Debit cards Follow the prompts to enter your PIN, or sign if needed.
Credit cards Follow the prompts and sign for your transaction when at a merchant. If at an ATM, follow the prompts and enter your PIN.


When the transaction is complete, you'll be prompted to remove your card from the chip terminal.

• At non-chip-enabled terminals, when using your credit card, swipe and sign your name or, if using your debit card you can swipe and choose between entering your PIN or signing for the transaction.

• For phone or online purchases, nothing will change. Continue using your card as you normally do.

4. Will the magnetic stripe be removed from chip cards?
Chip cards will continue to have a magnetic stripe on the back. This ensures that chip cards will continue to be accepted where chip technology is not available. We expect that chip terminals will accept both non-chip and chip cards for several years to come.  

5. What do I do if I forget my PIN or need a new one?
If you forget your PIN, please call the customer service number on the back of your card and a PIN reminder will be mailed to you.

If you have a debit card and know your PIN but would like to change it, you can do so by calling 1-888-340-2265 or by visiting a BMO Harris ATM.

If you have a credit card and would like to request or change your PIN, please call the number on the back of your card to request assistance.

6. What happens if I enter an incorrect PIN at a merchant or ATM?
If you enter an incorrect PIN, the transaction will be declined as it would today.

7. How can I protect the security of my PIN?
Your PIN is very important. You should memorize your PIN and never disclose it to anyone. You have the ability to change your PIN to something easier for you to remember. If you wish to do so, please contact us at the number on the back of your card or 1-888-340-2265 for assistance. Debit card customers may also visit a BMO Harris ATM.

Here are some tips to protect the security of your PIN:
• Don't write your PIN down or store it electronically.
• Don’t write your PIN on your card.
• Protect your PIN. Use your hand or body to shield your PIN when you enter it into the terminal.
• If you suspect someone knows your PIN, please change your PIN immediately.

8. What if my credit card, debit card or PIN is lost or stolen?
If your BMO Harris Bank MasterCard® credit card, debit card or PIN is lost or stolen, call the customer service number on the back of your card or 1-888-340-2265 immediately.

9. Where can I use my new chip card?
Your card has both an embedded chip and a magnetic stripe. While a growing number of merchants in the U.S. have terminals that accept a chip card, not all have upgraded to these types of terminals. You can continue to use your new card’s magnetic stripe just as you do today. If the terminal is chip enabled, you will be prompted to insert your card into the terminal.

10. I have a mobile wallet and/or recurring payments, how will they be impacted?
Anytime you get a new card, notify the merchant with the new information required to continue processing your payments. You should also update your mobile wallets (e.g. Apple PayTM) with updated card information.

11. Does the chip track my location?
No. The chip only contains information that is needed to perform the transaction.

Apple PayTM is a trademark of Apple Inc.

MasterCard® is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.