Chip Cards at Target: Five Things to Know Before You Check Out

August 18, 2015 - Article reads in
Target's New Chip Card Reader

By now you’ve probably heard of chip cards, and you may even have one in your wallet. (Go ahead, check!) Sometimes known as “EMV” cards, they’re credit and debit cards with a small electronic chip embedded within for extra security. We just finished setting up all of our Target stores to accept third-party chip cards at checkout. Our teams have been working for years to bring guests this secure payment technology, and we’re excited to be among retailers leading the industry in bringing it to the U.S. Watch this video for a play-by-play of how it works.

A New Way to Pay. Play

If you’re a first-time chip card user, here are a few more important things to keep in mind:

Not sure if your card is a chip card? There’s an easy way to tell.
Look for the chip—it’s a little gold or silver square on the front of your card. You can use your chip card at Target’s checkout by inserting it into the bottom of the card reader and following the instructions on the screen. Pro tip: Leave your card in the card reader until you’re prompted to remove it.

Target’s card readers support both PIN and signature verification.  
Different cards require different verification methods. For example, with some cards, you’ll enter a PIN to authenticate the transaction. With others, you’ll be prompted for your signature on the screen. (Sometimes, your transaction total may not require a PIN or signature.) And don’t worry, Target still accepts cards without chips—just swipe the magnetic stripe like always. We’ll continue to accept all card tenders we have in the past.

What about Target’s REDcards? Are they chip cards?
Not yet, but they will be soon. We've teamed up with production vendor Gemalto to replace our credit and debit REDcards between now and next spring with chip-and-PIN cards. So if you’re a REDcard guest, you’ll get a new, chip-enabled card in the coming months—learn more about that here. Until then, keep using your REDcard just as you do today. Don’t have a REDcard yet? You can always apply for one in stores or online.

Chip cards use some of the best credit and debit card security technology available today.
Here’s how it works: The card reader interacts with the chip instead of reading any information off a magnetic stripe. The chip validates your card is authentic and ensures a secure transaction. The PIN or signature verifies you as the owner. And chip cards are nearly impossible to clone. These extra security features help protect you against fraud.

Our team members are leading the way. (So don’t be afraid to ask them for help.)
Fun fact: Our team members will be among the first to get the new chip-enabled REDcards this month, and for good reason: They’re getting the hang of the technology firsthand, along with lots of training, so they can be there to help you if you need a hand.

Have a burning question about chip card acceptance at Target? Check out this handy FAQ.

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