I’ve never travelled with my public transport chip card, but I see that there’s no balance on it as yet.
That’s right. Your public transport chip card is sent to you in a fully ready-to-use state with the product on it that allows your card to be automatically topped up. However, this top-up only happens after you have checked in for the first time. Beyond that you do not have to worry about the balance on your public transport chip card, as everything is taken care of automatically if you check in and check out properly.