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The Chips Ship! Plus Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Hooray!

At 4:15PM Pacific on Thursday October 29, we flipped the switch on FamZoo.com to start shipping cards with EMV chips that also fully support Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. Hooray! 🙂

Currently, the chip cards are only going out to new families who have registered after that cutover time. I know that’s disappointing to those of you who are existing FamZoo families with the original magnetic stripe cards.

Not to worry though. We’ll have you covered very soon!

All of our existing families on magnetic stripe cards will be upgraded at no charge over the next month or two. It turns out the auto-upgrade is a big effort, and we’re still testing a critical piece of technology from our card processor to clone your existing cards.

When the upgrade technology is ready, parents will see a new sequence of screens in the FamZoo app(lication) where they can:

  1. Review existing cards in the family.
  2. Remove any cards that are no longer in use.
  3. Update any card addresses that need it.
  4. Click Go when ready to kick off the cloning and shipment of the new chip cards.

When your new chip cards arrive 7 to 10 business days later and you activate them, we’ll automatically transition the balances and settings from the old cards to the new ones. You will not have to manually update any of your settings like allowances, chore charts, interest, etc.

I know some existing families are wondering: “What if I order some additional cards now? Will I get the new cards?”

No. Unfortunately, we can’t mix’n match the new and old cards within an existing family. That’s because the new cards also have a new, larger issuing bank — CenterState Bank instead of Four Corners Community Bank. We can’t let customers do card-to-card transfers back and forth between the two banks. So, existing families will have to wait for the upgrade step. Apologies for the forced exercise in delayed gratification... 😬

Aside from the wait, there are four other pieces of “bad” news. So, let’s get them out of the way now:

  1. The new cards will have new routing and account numbers, so you’ll have to re-do your electronic reload setup. As always, we’re happy to help you with that.
  2. The one-time extra card fee is increasing from $2 to $3. Chip cards are more expensive to manufacture.
  3. You’ll no longer get infinite replacements for free — just the first 2 in the family. After that, replacements are $3 each.
  4. The new cards do not belong to a free ATM network. So, it will be harder to avoid ATM fees imposed by the operators of the ATMs. You might try the in-store cash-back route instead.

OK, back to the good news: EMV chip cards. Apple Pay. Samsung Pay. Google Pay. Coming your way! (And available now for new registering families.)

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