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U.S. ATM Bank (unchipped) cards work in Canada?

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Nov 26th, 2011, 09:51 AM
  #1
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U.S. ATM Bank (unchipped) cards work in Canada?

We're travelling to Victoria, BC at Christmas and have previously always taken spending $ from a local atm there. However, in the late summer, we were in that city for a few days..had enough Canadian currency so didn't use ATM, but did try to purchase an item from Home Depot for a relative...and they wouldn't/couldn't process sale with our regular Mastercard because it didn't have a chip, even though the hotel and restaurants took it. Just wondered if that chip technology has now progressed to their atm's. If so, will have to order some CDN$ before leaving home. Anyone have any info...or experience recently? Thanks!!
onthegogo is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2011, 09:54 AM
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You won't have any ATM problems... your cards will work fine.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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I don't understand your problem at Home Depot. They could have just swiped your card.

You shouldn't have any trouble with your card at the ATMs . If you have a Bank Of America card , you can go to ScotiaBank ATM without any fee.
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Nov 26th, 2011, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for your replies..that our ATM/Bank card should work. Great! Regarding Home Depot experience in Victoria in August of this year...they would not 'swipe' our Mastercard because we do not have a 'pin' # for it (our credit card that is)...because it does not have a chip and thus no 'pin #' and we have to 'sign' for purchases and they were either unwilling or unable to do that. In Europe earlier this year, restaurants and hotels took our Mastercard without a problem...but it was a little more work for them because we had to sign a printed receipt. Just wish the U.S. banks and credit card companies would hurry up and get into compliance to make travel easier!
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Nov 27th, 2011, 03:15 AM
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capitalone.com Venture VISA works everywhere for me including canada last year late no freign transaction fees(saves a LOT)
and double miles on everything.ATM worked fine too.

Do be aware ATM w/d is for cash interest accrues right away

unlike CC transactions so get on line pay off quickly...
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Nov 28th, 2011, 10:09 AM
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Thanks qwovadis for your info. For Canada...just want to make sure we can get out cash using a bank/atm card...and will do so at a local bank there. Unfortunately our bank here in the US is a smaller one and not affiliated with any in Canada. Again, I wish the US would get its act together and join the world in updating our security with the new chip technology.
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Dec 1st, 2011, 06:20 PM
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We go to Canada a lot (4 or more x per year) and to EU every year or 2 so have some experience.
US credit cards and ATM cards without chips are *supposed* to work both places.
However, they sometimes do not actually do so; below are various situations that can occur. And note that there is a difference between credit cards and ATM cards.

I've *heard* (not verified) that one of the big differences is the laws governing responsibility for payments for fraud. In the US, for credit cards, if the card is fraudulently used, the bank and/or merchant is legally on the hook for the loss, not the cardholder (within some limitations). And many banks *voluntarily* treat ATM cards the same way. However, in Canada and EU, the laws are such that if there is a pin number, the cardholder is on the hook for the charge. Thus the merchant and/or bank's risk differs and can result in a change of attitude and willingness to accept non-chip cards.

And you can always run into a situation where the clerk just isn’t aware of how to run a transaction requiring a signature, or where the equipment that allows them to do so is not working. And sometimes the clerk just doesn’t want to deal with the hassle.

1. An attendant in any establishment is *supposed* to be able to manually process a *credit card* with a receipt that you sign just like in the US. We've personally only had 3 occurrences in EU and 1 in Canada of a person not manually accepting a non-chip credit card. (Never personally tried it with ATM/Debit cards however … but I hear from some that the same potential problems apply to them, too).

2. At automatic machines it’s more of a hassle.
If no attendant is there, it *may* require only a chip card. This is true in both EU and Canada … especially problematic at things like toll booths and transport fare machines. We’ve experienced that extensively in EU and less often in Canada, so have taken to always carrying enough cash.
If there is a an attendant there, you have to use the attendant, and not the machine. This is irksome at gas pumps. Often card machines at gas pumps in Canada can accept either card, but that varies.

3. ATM machines: if your card belongs to one of the interbank networks such as Plus or Interlink or etc., you should be able to use the card at ATM machines that are part of the network … but if the machine is not on the same network, it *may* not work (in which case, use another bank’s machine).

And don’t forget to notify your bank credit card and ATM/Debit card companies that you are going to Canada. Otherwise, if its unusual for you, they could put a hold on it.
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Dec 6th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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The chip and pin issue doesn't apply to ATM machines, which don't use that technology. You use the PIN for your ATM card to withdraw cash. If you really desperately want to withdraw cash using a credit card, you can do it, but you'll be charged a pretty large fee in most cases and exorbitant interest right away.

It's actually against the agreement with Mastercard and Visa to refuse to process a signed transaction where chip-and-pin cards are in use. But you may continue to have difficulties. You are correct that many stores don't want to bother, and clerks are not properly trained. You can escalate things up the chain of command, but there are some times when you may not be successful even then. I'd just make sure that I have enough cash on hand for immediate needs.

But you will never be able to use your credit card in an automated payment machine (to buy a train ticket, for example) if the chip-and-pin system is in effect. You do have to stand in line.
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Apr 14th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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First of all that store is full of BS. Many cards in Canada will still be non-chip up to 2014 and maybe later (TD Visa only started late 2010). My MasterCard (canadian issued) is still non-chip.

Most ATMs in Canada will even allow the magnetic stripe on chip cards (except canadian debit chip-cards but non-chip cards are fine) after the machine checks for chip and finds none or non-functional chip.The machines here have to accept magnetic cards (lots of non-chip cards still running around). Non-chip cards will read no problem and the machine will attempt a magnetic stripe fallback for chip-cards

The Canada Line machines had issues with magnetic stripe cards (before any cards in Canada even had a chip)which were set up to accept chip cards. Translink (operator of Canada Line) failed to tell people to wait for the amber light where you insert card and quickly pull. http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/l...shColumbiaHome so that was probable reason why there were issues in Canada. Though the card shown was a chip card from CTV(so chip backend probably not even set up then).

Liability shift ONLY applies to swiping a chip card (most places will still allow anyways though) not non-chip cards except gas station pay-at-pumps which have til the end of 2012. Cards can and MUST be accepted if chip transaction is accepted by signature (not all chip cards need PIN by the way) the only requirement is the card to be done by chip (if card has one) to avoid liability shift. Liability states basically that store that has not upgraded to allow chip transactions is at increased liability of chargebacks (non-chip cards are the same in liability as before).

I work in Canada and we are told of a few scenarios regarding credit/Visa or MasterCard Debit all of which are accepted no problem:

Non-chip card- same as always (prior to migration)

Chip-And-PIN - inserted and done by PIN

Chip-And Signature - done over chip but machine prompts for a signature instead (card not swiped at all)

PIN and signature - usually by mistake, but both required.

Someone Locked their PIN on their card but still approved- get signature (no swiping but machine checks with issuer if it is still OK to proceed.Rare, but NO increased liability applies.


Canada only recently moved to chip and most stores I went to did not upgrade to chip until a few months ago (all chip cards are swiped).

The place I work at still sees lots of non-chip cards and ALL american express cards are swiped (even if the card has a chip) because American Express has not set a shift date yet.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 03:45 AM
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I believe the poster that mentioned that Canadian credit card card companies are not responsible for losses due to fraud is not correct If your card is lost or stolen, or the merchant does not provide the goods or service that you paid for, you can make a claim against the the credit company/bank. The chip technology makes it harder to use a stolen/lost card, and therefore works to the card company's advantage, but can be more inconvenient for you and the merchant, as we're discussing. Of course if you disclose your PIN to someone, or even write it down so someone can find it and they then use it, you are SHOL.

I've had a chip credit card for about a year but still find places where a signature is required. My chip debit card was issued only very recently, and likewise need a swipe and PIN often.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 01:29 PM
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Just as an aside... I have just spent 6 weeks in the southern states and also in Hawaii. My Canadian Visa card ( credit card, not debit card) was accepted everywhere , of course.. but not once was the chip used in the US. It didn't really dawn on me until I was back at home and was asked to stick my card in the machine to read the chip. .It was then that I realized my whole time in the US, my card was swiped the old fashioned way.
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