Debit card mandatory PIN entry?

Old Apr 29th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #1  
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Debit card mandatory PIN entry?

Does anyone have a debit card that can be set up to require a personal identification number number to be entered when making a merchandise purchase (in addition to getting cash from an automatic teller machine machine)?

In the U.S., some merchants require a PIN be entered, and some don't. Those that don't frequently allow the transaction to go through as a credit card transaction. This makes your debit card almost like cash, which gives many people the willies.

A lot of problems would go away if the card issuers allowed holders to place that additional lock on their cards.

I realize that a lot of merchants aren't yet automated to that degree, but let them lose business if they prefer not to catch up with 21st century technology.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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I'm going to make a guess that the ability to apply a PIN is dependent on the type of equipment the merchant is using.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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Yes, my VISA debit card can do that. I had the VISA portion of the card disabled, so it can be only used with a PIN.

Besides bank ATM's, all the grocery stores in my area allow you to use the card with a PIN, and my wife informed me that Marshalls department store allows you to do this also.

Before when the the debit card VISA was activated, I was asked if I wanted to use it as "debit" or "credit."
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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I had the same concerns about a debit card when I first got one, but my bank assures me that once fraudulent use is reported, my money will be refunded on the next business day. I have never had to put this to the test, and hope I never do. <knock wood>
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Chip and pin is pretty well universal in the UK now. Even my local village shop uses it.
A shop or restaurant can over-ride it, but I'd advise any American visitor to get a pin for their credit card.
I suppose that there is a slight possibility that somebody could be looking over your shoulder, but it must be more secure than having your credit card taken away. It would also be impossible to copy your signature.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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How does that work if the merchant isn't automated? They call for a phone authorization, then use the imprinter to make your charge slip. Does the center ask for the PIN over the phone? How can that work with any degree of security?

(I am a totally automated Visa/MC/Discover/Carte Blanche/Diners/Amex merchant, and I've never received anything on the subject from my primary processor.)
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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P_M, Patrick's bank said the same thing. My bank said I would have to fill out a bunch of forms. It wouldn't be easy, and no, they wouldn't just automatically put it back in my account. It's not worth the hassle since I have direct deposit and pay my bills from my checking account.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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There's a key pad. You swipe your card, punch in debit or credit, if credit, the cashier prints out a piece of paper that you sign. If it's debit, you can chose different amounts of cash back (some up to $50 to $100), put your pin into the key pad, hit the little green "enter" button, and it's a done deal. You get a receipt of the transaction, and any cash back you chose.

If the merchant isn't equipped with the special key pad, then, no, you wouldn't be able to use the debit/PIN thingy. Pay cash or use your credit card.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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As I said, you cannot use a PIN if there is no POS equipment for you to key the PIN into the system.

http://www.mymoneyskills.com/visa/ap/banking_services/debit.shtml
"..Some debit cards are designed to work with a PIN only, others can be used with either a PIN or a signature. Cards that can work with the signature method may offer more flexibility, especially when dealing with merchants who do not have the equipment needed to process PIN transactions. Check with your local financial institutions which types of debit cards are offered.."
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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A merchant doesn't have to have a PIN pad to accept debit cards. But even having one doesn't eliminate the necessity of acquiring an authorization before letting the customer walk out with his (your) merchandise.

Obviously, if the card reader is connected to the network, it can ask for a PIN and compare it with the one in the customer's records. But if it isn't, there is no way to authenticate the user unless there exists a manual method of which I am unaware. The PIN is not on the mag strip.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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It's all networked -- works fine.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Well, the last time I used my credit card was in a restaurant. I put my card into the machine, typed in my pin, pressed enter and bobs your uncle. The machine then printed out a receipt.
There was an American party who paid just before us. They had credit cards but either didn't have pins or didn't know them. The cashier had to over-ride the machine and they had to sign.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 12:55 PM
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I'm thinking a credit card and using a pin would be a cash advance? I don't ever need a pin when I use my credit card, except for a cash advance.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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I thought the idea up for discussion was how to force the use of a PIN in order to add security to the transaction. A PIN-related transaction can only happen if the merchant has the POS terminal. This is related to the 'debit' feature of a debit/check card. If there is no POS terminal, a PIN cannot be used so the transaction is treated as a 'credit card' regardless of whether the card is a debit card or a credit card. If it is a debit card, the purchase will be applied against the balance of your checking account; if it is a credit card, the purchase will be applied to the available credit on your Visa/MC account.
A cash withdrawal at an ATM always requires a PIN regardless of whether you're using a debit or credit card.
One of the websites I quoted indicated that you can set up your debit card to require a PIN for purchases, but doing so will limit your transactions to only those merchants who have the POS terminal. You cannot set up your credit card to require a PIN for purchases.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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MissPrism must be refering to a pilot taking place in the UK for a "chip and PIN" card. In this case, the merchant can require you have a PIN... you just can't set that parameter yourself.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/east/series3/credit_card_cloning.shtml
http://www.chipandpin.co.uk/
http://www.accesskeyboards.co.uk/Chip%20and%20pin%20index.htm

Until this method becomes the standard, you will have to rely on the 'signature' method for credit cards where POS is not available.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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We did lose our debit card and yes someone who found it did go on a shopping spree and no the bank did not replace the money right away, it took about 3 weeks.

The banks tell you one thing to get you to use their card, the aftermath is another story altogether.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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"...you can set up your debit card to require a PIN for purchases, but doing so will limit your transactions to only those merchants who have the POS terminal..."

This is the question: if someone steals a card and uses it a merchant who isn't networked, where is the safeguard?

(By the way, the answer to the "credit or debit" question doesn't put the transaction in different accounts. I don't even have a Visa card, but my Visa Debit purchase can be entered as a credit transaction, i.e., without a PIN.)
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Right, Robes, you use a Debit Card, so your account balance is reduced even though the merchant treats it like a 'credit' card.

If someone steals your Debit card, and is not required to use a PIN, there is no 'security' (other than a signature to id match by the clerk), same as for a Credit card.
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Old Apr 30th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Visa is now advertising that their credit/debit cards have same protection against fraud if used as a debit card as if used as a credit card.
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