DEFINITION of ‘Dual Interface Chip Card’
A credit or debit card with an embedded chip that allows the card to be used in both contact and contactless transactions. Dual interface chip cards allow card readers to obtain the card’s identifying information through the use of a single chip.
The chip component of the dual interface cards is typically embedded in an outer layer of PVC, polycarbonate, or polyester.
BREAKING DOWN ‘Dual Interface Chip Card’
Credit and debit cards have traditionally required a user to swipe the card through or insert the card into an electronic terminal. This allows the terminal to read the magnetic strip on the back of the card, which contains identifying information about the account. More recently, some terminals have begun to allow contactless transactions in which the card is waved over the terminal rather than swiped.
The dual interface chip card is a type of smart card with an embedded contactless chip. The card number and user’s identifying information are still contained on the face of the card, and an EMV chip (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa chip) may be used to provide added security in credit and debit card transactions. Having both a contactless chip and a magnetic strip (or chip-and-PIN) allows the cardholder to conduct transactions on a wider variety of machines.
Contactless terminals require the use of an embedded integrated circuit card (ICC) that allows identifying information to be read by a sensor. They are more commonly used by employees who have identification badges that must be tapped or waved past a sensor in order to gain access to a building or room. Businesses that want to take advantage of dual interface chip cards must upgrade their card terminal so that it can accept both contact and contactless chip cards. Newer terminals may also accept payment from mobile devices, such as mobile phones.