So I got 2 new ATM cards from two different banks, both cards are Chip and NFC enabled. Card A arrived one week earlier than Card B.

Both of them remain in my wallet in close proximity to each other, separated by a thin layer of leather.

I have noticed that ever since Card B has arrived many times my chip based POS transactions on card A get declined saying Chip Error

I do know that NFC enabled card readers do get confused when 2 similar cards are there close to each other but this is about the POS credit/debit card processing machines.

I don't really think Card A's chip has gone bad on its own, its a brand new card with only 2 weeks on it.

  • Personally, I'd be more suspicious of relative positions of the cards, and how they might be bent in the wallet when it's closed. If you swap the positions of the cards, does card B become less reliable?
    – Matthew
    Dec 21, 2017 at 9:17
  • I've done exactly the same and moved them slightly away from each other, specially the chips in opposite direction but im not sure if the damage has already been done. Yet to try the card again Dec 21, 2017 at 9:20
  • Such errors usually indicate that the chip's contacts are dirty. Give them a quick rub with a clean cloth.
    – Simon B
    Dec 21, 2017 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


No. To work the chips in the cards need power - which is provided by the reader (in the case of contactless payments this is done wirelessly).

I'd imagine if its a new card its most likely a manufacturing error. If these are physical transactions failing as opposed to contactless it is also worth checking the chip terminals are clean - i.e. there is not something either blocking the chips contact with a reader or shorting out two of the connection terminals.

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