Chip and pin machine © iStock

For decades, debit card users have been following a standard script when making a purchase. They look at their purchase total, swipe their card, and either enter their PIN or sign their name.

But that familiar sequence has changed with the official roll-out of EMV technology at retailers all over the country. Now, when you present a chip debit card at the register, you’ll need to learn a whole new set of moves to complete your purchase: the dip.

No, not that dip. The dip is how the chip in your debit card will be able to communicate with the payment terminal to allow your transaction to go through. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you avoid fumbling your first chip-card purchase.


Step 1: Begin the dip

Step 1: Begin the dip

Dip the card into the reader, with the front of the card up and the chip part going in first.


Step 2: Leave your card in the reader

Step 2: Leave your card in the reader

Remember when you could just swipe your card and put it back in your wallet? You can’t do that anymore, because the chip needs to be present for the terminal to approve the transaction. So leave it in there!


Step 3: Enter your PIN

Step 3: Enter your PIN

Time to enter in your 4-digit PIN. This may not be necessary if you’re making a signature purchase.


Step 4: Wait a little longer than you’re probably used to

Step 4: Wait a little longer than you're probably used to

It may take a little more time for the chip and the terminal to talk and for the transaction to be approved than you’re used to with a typical swipe transaction.


Step 5: Take your dang card out

Step 5: Take your dang card out | Credit: Ingenico

Credit: Ingenico

You’ll probably hear the terminal start beeping if you leave your card in too long, but either way, don’t be the person who’s constantly having to backtrack to pick up a debit card they’ve left.