Chip and PIN cards

Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Chip and PIN cards

In this Sunday's NY Times, there was an article suggesting that with the near-universal usage of "chip and PIN" cards in Europe (vs. the magnetic strip cards we use in the U.S.), it was becoming more difficult in some situations to use a U.S. credit card, even where credit cards are routinely accepted. The article also noted that U.S. banks are unlikely to move to chip and PIN cards anytime soon. We saw that all Europeans had the chip and PIN cards when we were in France last year, but I wonder if we should be concerned about our cards being accepted in Spain and France next year. Anyone with more recent experience with this? Thanks.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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As long as there is somebody to handle your card, it SHOULD be accepted. That doesn't mean that it always will be. Chipless cards are trusted less and less and in France now, you are supposed to show valid ID to use a chipless card in a store. That has been the case in Spain for a long time already.

However, in most cases you WON'T be able to use your card in any automatic machine that requires a PIN. Machines that do not require a PIN, like automatic toll booths and some parking machines, will often accept a chipless card, because it is just reading the magnetic strip in those cases. However, there have been many reports of cards being refused, so you should have a backup plan.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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In my experience non chip cards never worked in automatic ticket booths, toll booths and gasoline stations. A while back restaurants started using wireless credit card machines, and these have two different slots for card with chips and without. I see no reason to think that this will change in the near future. The NY Times article was misleading.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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I've never had a problem using it anywhere in France (and I was just there last month) except in the places Michael mentioned. I've never had a store or restaurant say they couldn't take it. It is true they ask for ID when I use a CC in FNAC, and maybe Virgin Megastore, I don't shop in stores very much so those may be the only two where I used it.

To my surprise, the CC machines were down in FNAC when I needed to buy about 100 euro worth of stuff (not for American cards, any one, the French guy in front of me couldn't use his) for Mastercard and Visa, but they would take my American Express in there with no problem. Which was good as I didn't have enough cash on me. It had something to do with their server, they said.

I haven't been in Spain recently, so can't say for sure but when I was there a few years ago, they did ask for ID when I used my CC in some big dept stores and the FNAC there, of course.

I really do not think all of Europe is going to refuse American credit cards, at least no big businesses that want the money (espec hotels).
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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I agree about ticket booths and petrol stations, but I have often travelled with people on the autoroutes, and their chipless cards have always worked at the toll booths. And I have used my chipless American Express and Monoprix credit cards at the toll booths and NEVER had a problem with them. So it is not at all a question of a chip if it doesn't work -- it has to do with your bank.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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We were in Paris last week and had no problem in any store or retaurant with my CapitalOne Visa. Also, no problem with my TDBank Visa Debit card in any ATM machine.
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Old Oct 8th, 2009, 02:11 AM
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spain is beginning to use chip & pin but it's not common yet. however, everywhere you use a card you'll be asked for ID - in your case a passport, so carry it with you. Be warned that spanish banks charge extortionate rates for cashpoints (automatic tellers, cajas automaticas) unless you're drawing from your own bank.
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Old Oct 8th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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Hi Ded,

Just returned from France, Germany, CH and Italy.

Everyone accepted our US credit cards.

Remember to fill up the tank on Saturday.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Oct 8th, 2009, 07:19 AM
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Here's the question in all this.....the eu likes to stick its nose into most anything these days...what if in the near future they make it eu policy that by pick a date only chip and pin cards will be accepted in the eu.....where will that leave USA credit card holders? While I'm not saying it will definitely happen, nobody can rule this out.

Will be interesting eh.
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Old Oct 8th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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So far, all the problems with my U.S. cc cards have been in France. If the transactions were limited to dealing with a person, then the U.S. cc cards still worked as many reported. If your transactions were done with machines, then there were problems.

My U.S. cc card did not work on SNCF ticket machine, Nice tram ticket vending machine, and RATP ticket vending machine.

However, I could pick-up my Eurostar ticket at the upper deck of Gare du Nord likely because the cc was used as an id, not to buy things.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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What type of id is needed? would a usa drivers license be accepted. The thought of carrying around a passport makes me nervous
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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All I ever use is my USA drivers license, but you can carry a photocopy of your passport (picture page only) if you want. There's no need to carry the actual passport.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 01:46 PM
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I'ved used my driver's license, also, as well as a photocopy of my passport. They recognize that a US driver's license is a govt-issued ID with your photo and what it is.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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Chip and Pin or EMV, whilst government backed, is an initiative of the card companies Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV geddit??). So if any one decides that magnetic strips will no longer be read it will be the card companies, not the EU.
The same card companies who see no reason to introduce the system into the US, though they are doing so in Canada and around the rest of the world.
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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I have a "ViVO PayPass” card from Wells Fargo [USA]. I got this updated card in the mail to replace my expired old Visa debit card about 18 months ago.

Oddly, when I called the phone teller, the girl couldn't tell me exactly how to use it. And I just searched WF website and there is nothing in the FAQs. I always forget it is chipped b/c I have only seen one convenience store in my area displaying the logo. If I remember correctly, one can only spend
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Old Oct 9th, 2009, 11:37 PM
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The answer is no...they are not the same thing at all. They have a chip and you touch a reader that takes down the information....they are something like oyster cards used on the London tube to get an idea. Some of the banks in the NYC area have tried or are trying this technology but frankly it hasn't gotten very far. And why try to produce a new technology....a standard chip and pin technology is now available and has been adopted in many places in the world. But don't count on seeing it in the USA. The banks claim the cost benefits vs. the amount of fraud is just not worth it to them.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 12:26 AM
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It would probably take start-up companies in the U.S. to seize an opportunity to offer Chip and PIN cards to those traveling overseas. Only when the big U.S. banks see the revenue stream (those 2% foreign transaction fees) taken away by the start-ups, they would start offering Chip and PIN cards as "premium" card products.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 03:09 AM
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>>>>>>
The banks claim the cost benefits vs. the amount of fraud is just not worth it to them.
>>>>>>>

indeed. chip and pin is a complete waste of money and is a failure. europe's card fraud has been and still is much worse than america's. hence the difference in approach and the reason why america is not adopting it. anyway, C&P does very little to prevent fraud...most fraud is internet or telephone use of cards. we still regularly get reports/warnings of local uk petrol stations 'skimming' cards to steal the information. this happens regularly. and america is not the only place without c&p. much of the skimmed card info in the uk then shows up with fraudulent uses in places like india and sw asia. in fact fraud experts suggest not using cards at uk petrol stations because the problem has become so bad. they suggest cash. so much for c&p. in the past we have seen the usual flag waving suspects very proud of c&p and going so far to say that this superior technology leaves america's card network as dark ages. this is bs. c&p is a failure and the uk fraudsters are happier than ever.

not only is c&p not solving the problem of fraud....it, in itself, is a fraud. the customer loses because after rolling out c&p, it is much more difficult for customers to get banks to resolve fraudulent transactions on their accounts. with c&p, the burden is now more on the customer to prove that the use was fraudulent. if you are hit with fraud, you better hope that it's on an american account and not uk bank account because in the uk you will have a horrible time getting the problem fixed by our banks.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 08:59 AM
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What a bunch of malarky.
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Old Oct 11th, 2009, 02:10 AM
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kerouac has a point...just get on with it and have a good trip
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