Chip & PIN

Jun 24th, 2019, 12:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,070
Chip & PIN

Some years ago there was a lot of discussion regarding American getting and using Chip & PIN credit cards.

At that time I got the Trekker card from Adbrews FCU.

I had no trouble with it in France on the Paris Metro or in train stations. However, I couldn't get it to work at unmanned locations in Italy. That caused a problem.

Over the years I enjoyed what worked and accepted what didn't.

Eventually my card got change to something called a Rewards Card. I asked and was told it's the same.

A little while ago, while planning a trip, I called Andrews (don't remember why) and during the call the conversation turned to their credit card.

I was told they now have two flavors; one a signature priority and the other a PIN priority.

I asked to have mine changed to a PIN priority. For some reason it tooks several attempts for them to order it.

Well, it arrived a few days ago. Earlier today I walked into Walmart and made a small purchase.

I used the new card.and I was quite surprised when on the screen of the card reader I was instructed to enter my PIN. I had no idea what it is but then remembered I have a piece of paper in my wallet with several passwords for cards not used very often.

Lo and behold it worked!!!!! The PIN was accepted and the transaction completed.

I did find it interesting that for a purchase under $10 I was asked for the PIN but when using the credit card I normally use a signature isn't required at most stores when the amount is under $50.

Maybe this new card will actually work!!!
Myer is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Good to know chip & pin is now an option for us (US). Maybe it'll become common enough for my existing cc co to offer it next time I travel to Europe.

On my most recent trip, last month, I also found that my chip/signature card worked fine whenever there was a person present, but did not work at unstaffed/ 24hr self serve gas stations. I did not have a problem using it at various parking machines, although using apply pay was also quite common.

I did notice in Italy some people now using nfc credit cards which are essentially the same technology as apple or google pay but with a card. Would be good to know if & when Italian ticket machines & gas stations transition to nfc capability.

Perhaps I'll be able to just skip over the chip & pin version and go straight to contact-less technology (by card, watch, phone, etc).
J62 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 01:09 PM
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Contactless comes with lower per transaction limit than the CHIP and PIN. Visa contactless worked well paying for simple pub food for two in London last year, but that kind of tranactions were less than 30.
greg is online now  
Jun 24th, 2019, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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The other nice thing about contactless in London is that a contactless credit card works in the tube as if it were an oyster card, but no deposit and no need to load money onto a card. At the end of a week, I believe, the computer figures the lowest fare for what you did and charges your card.
AJPeabody is online now  
Jun 24th, 2019, 04:53 PM
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I think that contactless has become pretty much the norm across Europe, regardless whether you have a debit or credit card.
At least I haven't seen one newly issued card in maybe two or three years which would not have the NFC logo on it.
You can make any purchase using the contactless readers, not just those €30 or less. But once you need to pay more than the limit (which, I think, is set by your bank, not by the contactless payment system) you are prompted to enter the PIN. Usually you may also be asked (by the machine) to enter your PIN after every 10 or so contactless purchases. Which may also depend on the bank, if and how often they use this safety feature.
So far, I've encountered a few vending machines here and there which would only accept contactless payment, no cash, no slot to enter a card. But that's not the norm.. yet.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 11:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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My bank allows me to set the limit for contactless payments, up to €100. I have set mine at €30 but usually forget to use it contactlessly anyway.
I did come across a car park somewhere recently that only had contactless, or cash. My parking app didn't work there so it had to be a contactless payment. I never have any cash on me, uunless we are away in the camper.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 06:26 AM
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In the UK contactless payments are limited to 30 but elsewhere in Europe there are different limits set. I'm sure it was concern about theft using RFID skimming devices however I've yet to hear of anyone being subjected to such a theft or seen any conclusive evidence that such crimes are occurring.
jc_uk is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 09:03 AM
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When the topic of security is mentioned regarding the contactless, it is almost exclusively about skimming which requires the skimmer to be in near contact wtih the target card. Another aspect rarely mentioned is that if you use a contactless at public transit turnstyles, you are showing others where you keep your wallet just before you get into a possibly crowded train. The usual answer is that the locats do it all the time. Fine, I also do it at home. It is not as a big deal if I lose one at home. I have other alternatives at home. I can call my friends to pick me up. I can have replacement cards sent home. Many of these options don't exist when you are traveling abroad. I use contactless at places I could have used CHIP and signature or CHIP and PIN. In these cases, the contactless poses no more theft risk than using other kind of payment.
Also there are the differences between CC issued by different banks. It does not help to know that a card issued by a certain bank in Germany can do many things when those capabilities are not offered by my bank in the U.S.
greg is online now  
Jun 25th, 2019, 09:07 AM
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The skimming of contactless is not common, if in doubt just stick the card in an aluminium lined foil pouch in your wallet.

My local market veg stall (UK) now takes contactless. But no PIN required, just swipe-and-go.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jun 25th, 2019, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,257
Here in the US I have not encountered any limit to contactless payments (via iphone/apple pay) and it generally works quite well - fast, thumbprint ID, easy. So far the roll out appears limited to supermarkets, fast food, and some boutique takeout restaurants that use payment services like Square. It'll be interesting to see if newer gas stations start having that capability, and how long it takes other retailers to upgrade their card readers.

Android devices can use either Samsung pay (if a Samsung phone) or google pay. New model fitness/smart watches all seem to be also enabling contactless payments. How well they work I have no idea. I've not yet seen or heard of anyone having a contactless cc. To me, using a phone or watch would be easier than taking out a cc anyway.

just swipe-and-go.

Even our vocabulary has to catch up. In 2 years you'll be saying tap & go and kids won't know what "swipe" means anymore. (outside of dating apps).

Last edited by J62; Jun 25th, 2019 at 09:22 AM.
J62 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 10:00 AM
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I think the original story about that card working fine in Paris metro etc machines is because you dont need a chip and PIN card for those machines, so that wasn't testing anything. I don't have one and can still use them just fine. I only have chip and signature cards. I've even used them with no problems in the Paris SNCF ticket machines, although only for small value tickets.
Christina is online now  
Jun 25th, 2019, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I admit that I was paranoid about contactless payments when the system first started, but I got over it. I have not read a single article yet about people being hacked because they used that system. I have one card that has been hacked twice over the years, and I have no idea how. Since I was fully reimbursed both times, it wasn't a bit deal.

As for whether cards will work abroad or not, it is your bank that decides. It decides the level of risk that it is willing to accept. For example, freeway toll booths in France do not ask for a code, even though the toll for a long stretch can be 30 or 40 euros. When you have a French card, the concept has clearly been integrated into the system and they probably assume that the person driving the car is the cardholder. And yet at an underground parking lot, even for an amount of 2 euros, you usually have to enter the PIN. I would love to see their rulebook some day.
kerouac is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Yeah, this contactless card thing is all the rage among my friends now, but honestly even though they all say it's incredible, I really don't totally understand it, could anyone assist?

Last edited by Jessbrown; Jun 25th, 2019 at 12:35 PM.
Jessbrown is offline  
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