When to use chip-enabled card?



  • Ok so I got my new card, and now it has both the microchip thing (what he Brits call chip & PIN) and a magstripe, and while the directions that came with it explain how to use the chip, they don't explain when to use the chip.

    What's the guideline there? Should I always use the chip if the card reader supports it? Or only over certain amounts? Or what?


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    Apparently you use it when possible, and fallback to the magnetic strip when it doesn't work or it fails.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What's the guideline there? Should I always use the chip if the card reader supports it? Or only over certain amounts? Or what?

    Do the instructions say if it gets you any more fraud protection from the bank if you use the PIN rather than signing?



  • A lot of card readers in the US support it but the idiot merchant has it disabled. If the lights light up for the chip slot then it should be enabled (similarly to how the lights flash on the magstripe reader part). If the lights don't flash then don't try it.


  • sockdevs

    @Cursorkeys said:

    Do the instructions say if it gets you any more fraud protection from the bank if you use the PIN rather than signing?

    Chip & PIN is the most secure method; the retailer (in theory) never touches your card, there's no signature to forge, and the transaction is secured with a single-use code. So yeah, always use Chip & PIN if at all possible.


  • mod

    In my experience, if the chip reader is available and activated, then the mag-reader will beep and refuse to process the transaction. You're basically forced to use the chip reader when possible.

    YMMV



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Chip & PIN is the most secure method; the retailer (in theory) never touches your card, there's no signature to forge, and the transaction is secured with a single-use code. So yeah, always use Chip & PIN if at all possible.

    I meant in the fraud protection your bank has to legally offer you. There is one place near me that still has the old manual card machine and signature. My dad is convinced the bank wouldn't help me if I was defrauded. NFC if that's true or not.

    I still go there because the little old guy who runs it is great to talk to for hours about automotive stuff.



  • Really? I've never seen that. A lot of people don't have chip cards yet, and won't for at least another year or two.


  • mod

    It only triggers when your card has the chip, obviously.



  • Oh. That's smart, and makes more sense.


  • sockdevs

    @Cursorkeys said:

    I meant in the fraud protection your bank has to legally offer you.

    Ah. AFAIK, it's the same level of fraud protection, but you'll probably get more favourable treatment if you were defrauded while using Chip & PIN compared to magstripe and signature. And it probably varies from bank to bank.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What's the guideline there? Should I always use the chip if the card reader supports it? Or only over certain amounts? Or what?

    In my experience, the store / card reader will tell you. If they're using the chip, swiping the strip will result in an error.



  • It's different for the merchant.

    If a merchant takes a payment via chip and PIN then they're not liable for chargebacks unless the goods are faulty or not-as-described. If the payment is authorised by signature instead then they're still liable for chargebacks where the card owner claims it wasn't them.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    the directions that came with it explain how to use the chip, they don't explain when to use the chip.

    The magstripe has a "I have a chip" bit on it. A chip enabled reader will see that bit and ask you to insert the card.

    That's all well and good, but it defeats the entire point of the chip. If someone clones your card; instead of cloning the chip, they can simply clone the magstripe and zero out the chip bit. It will work just fine as a device to steal your money, just in a less secure way. Hopefully your bank has some server-side logic to say "Hey, this is a chip enabled card being used at Target, but not in chip mode - let's mark it as a suspicious transaction."



  • @Jaime said:

    That's all well and good, but it defeats the entire point of the chip. If someone clones your card; instead of cloning the chip, they can simply clone the magstripe and zero out the chip bit. It will work just fine as a device to steal your money, just in a less secure way. Hopefully your bank has some server-side logic to say "Hey, this is a chip enabled card being used at Target, but not in chip mode - let's mark it as a suspicious transaction."

    Samy Kamkar has investigated this and written a good post about it, it is indeed possible to bypass Chip-and-PIN, as the terminal assumes that the magstripe data has not been tampered with.

    Here in Europe, I almost never got confronted with swipe&signature anymore. I was about to leave "almost" out, but three weeks ago I bought some beers on board an ICE train and when I wanted to pay with my card, I was asked for my signature and not for a PIN.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Well I doubt the reason for that is security-related. It's probably a reminder for the customer to use the correct method when purchasing.

    To the OP: You should use the chip everywhere you can, and use the mag-stripe only if you have to.



  • The practical advantage of chip is that it 'takes' much more reliably than the magstripe. When swiping, it is way more common to need to re-swipe because it didn't recognize the card correctly the first time, and the most reliable way (direction/speed) to swipe tends to vary between differently-branded terminals much more than when using the chip.



  • I tried it in the grocery store I shop at (and note I had a long line behind me so I didn't have time to just play around with it). I tried putting my card into the chip slot (which was lit up) before the register had a total, and the card scanner did nothing at all. So I figure either:

    1. With chip, you have to wait until the total is on the screen of the card scanners (which means, I'll never fucking use it), or
    2. The grocery store has it disabled somehow
    3. The card's defective

    The magstripe worked fine, of course.

    Oh well. I'll keep trying.

    @rc4 said:

    A lot of card readers in the US support it but the idiot merchant has it disabled.

    What's the point of that? Is there a security concern? Or does it take people longer to check out that way?

    @RaceProUK said:

    Chip & PIN is the most secure method; the retailer (in theory) never touches your card,

    But doesn't that mean you can't use it to "pre-scan" your card like you can with the magstripe? Wouldn't that mean the stupid machine has to wait for a total before you can use it?

    That's not a step forward at all, if true. That's going in reverse.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    1. With chip, you have to wait until the total is on the screen of the card scanners

    Erm, why do you want to authorize a transaction before you know what you have to pay?


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said:

    @RaceProUK said:
    Chip & PIN is the most secure method; the retailer (in theory) never touches your card,

    But doesn't that mean you can't use it to "pre-scan" your card like you can with the magstripe? Wouldn't that mean the stupid machine has to wait for a total before you can use it?

    'Pre-scanning' is supported by Chip & PIN; it's how pay-at-pump petrol stations do it



  • @blakeyrat said:

    does it take people longer to check out that way

    Using the chip takes a lot longer than the stripe. When I use the stripe, my card is usually out of my wallet for no more than a few seconds. With the chip, the card has to stay in the machine for about 30 seconds.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Erm, why do you want to authorize a transaction before you know what you have to pay?

    Well with groceries, it's just a speed thing. But how else would you buy, say, gas? You don't know what the pump is going to read when you're done pumping at the time you pay.

    @RaceProUK said:

    'Pre-scanning' is supported by Chip & PIN; it's how pay-at-pump petrol stations do it

    Ok that makes sense.

    I have no idea why it didn't work at the grocery store, then. Whatever.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    'Pre-scanning' is supported by Chip & PIN; it's how pay-at-pump petrol stations do it

    Not the same. The pre-scan he is referring to is just the machine caching the card data so it can do the transaction a few seconds in the future. pay-at-the-pump actually authorizes your card for the largest amount of gas you are likely to buy (usually $75 or $100 in the US), then does a second transaction to only charge you for what you actually buy. The big difference is that you need enough open credit (or available balance) to cover the authorization. It's not a big deal at a gas station because they know about how much you are going to spend. Home Depot, on the other hand, can't guess the size of your transaction.



  • Ok; so does the chip card allow pre-paying at Home Depot and my grocery store or not?

    Nice long explanation which somehow fails to answer the simple yes/no question.



  • No. It takes longer and it has to be done at the end.



  • Why would you precache your credentials?

    "Hey guys, I'm handing you a blank cheque and trust you completely to not botch anything, okay!"

    Those 5 seconds aren't really worth it.



  • @Rhywden said:

    I'm handing you a blank cheque and trust you completely to not botch anything

    Funny you say this, they do the same thing with checks. Hand them a blank check, they run it through the register and it comes out with the amount and "pay to" fields filled in. Then you sign it.

    I see no problem with swiping my card while the cashier is scanning my stuff. It's not like the cashier can get at the numbers that are in the machine. The only way they could use it nefariously would be to distract you so much that they had the opportunity to scan something and touch a few buttons on the screen to charge it to your card.



  • @Jaime said:

    No. It takes longer and it has to be done at the end.

    If true, that's shitty and sucks.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Why would you precache your credentials?

    If you don't want to, then don't.

    But if I do, then let me. I trust my grocery store, I've been going there for decades, I know most of the cashiers pretty well honestly. I know the manager, I've been to his house. They're not going to rip me off.

    ... do you even understand the different between "I'd like to do X" and "everybody must do X!!!" Because I quite clearly said the first.


  • sockdevs

    @Rhywden said:

    Why would you precache your credentials?

    In the case of credit/debit cards, it ensures there's enough funds to complete the transaction before you know exactly how much it's going to be. Hence it's use at petrol stations, hotels, and the like.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    What's the point of that? Is there a security concern? Or does it take people longer to check out that way?

    None, no, and no. They're just stupid. Or maybe there is a valid reason, but if there is, I can't think of it. I really can't. The merchant is liable for any fraudulent charges as of Oct 2015, so they have a lot of reasons to enable it.



  • @Jaime said:

    about 30 seconds

    :wtf:



  • You can swipe any time you want. If the merchant is set up to always prefer chip-and-spin over swipe, the console will tell you. "Swipe detected. Please use chip".

    BTW: You might want to call your bank up and ask about the chip. Some have put it in as an extra layer of security. Others put it in so they can blanket reject any fraud claim since "obviously you told someone your PIN".



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I know the manager, I've been to his house.

    Does he know that?


    Filed under: Something something old joke about "look in your Butcher's freezer"



  • @Rhywden said:

    Why would you precache your credentials?

    "Hey guys, I'm handing you a blank cheque and trust you completely to not botch anything, okay!"

    Those 5 seconds aren't really worth it.

    At my store you still have to confirm the amount before the transaction goes through.



  • You guys are really trusting when it comes to your money, I see.



  • No I'm not; we had another thread where people called me crazy for using gift cards at the pay-at-the-pump machines to avoid skimmers.

    But THIS store, I trust.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @abarker said:

    In my experience, if the chip reader is available and activated, then the mag-reader will beep and refuse to process the transaction. You're basically forced to use the chip reader when possible.

    Same here.

    @rc4 said:

    Really? I've never seen that. A lot of people don't have chip cards yet, and won't for at least another year or two.

    For cards without the chip, it does not do that. But if your card has a chip, then it will not allow you to just swipe. Which is annoying, as the chip machines always seem to take a hell of a lot longer. 15-20 seconds or more, versus just a second for a swipe.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    No I'm not; we had another thread where people called me crazy for using gift cards at the pay-at-the-pump machines to avoid skimmers.

    Hmm, not a bad idea, actually.

    Though I still pay a the cashier for gas. Mainly because each time I've ever tried to pay at the pump, it's failed-- didn't read my card, choked on the rewards card, something. Pay at the pump has just never taken off here.

    @blakeyrat said:

    But THIS store, I trust.

    Though it isn't the STORE not to trust, it's the random dickfucker who sneaks a skimmer onto a machine. Or otherwise "hacks" them. Of course, the smaller the store, the more likely an employee will not only notice someone fucking around with the credit card machines-- but will also notice if a cc machine has been fucked around with-- AND will also have a much more vested interest in reporting that a machine has been fucked around with.

    You know, as opposed to the minimum wage drone who isn't paid enough to care. OH WAIT MORE REASONS WHY HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE IS GOOD :trolleybus:



  • @abarker said:

    In my experience, if the chip reader is available and activated, then the mag-reader will beep and refuse to process the transaction. You're basically forced to use the chip reader when possible.

    I carry both a Bank of America and an M&T debit card, both with chips. For a few months last year, most machines would force chip-and-pin for the BoA card, but not for the M&T card. Over the past few weeks, the M&T card seems to have switched into chip only mode, but not everywhere yet.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @rc4 said:

    :wtf:

    No, seriously. Every place I have seen with a Chip and PIN machine, it takes significantly longer to check out that way. An order of magnitude longer.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Lorne_Kates said:

    OH WAIT MORE REASONS WHY HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE IS GOOD :trolleybus:

    Sure, if you have never taken Economics 101.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    What's the guideline there? Should I always use the chip if the card reader supports it? Or only over certain amounts? Or what?

    That is the end goal. But a lot of places don't take the chips yet even though basically everyone has a chip-compatible pin pad at this point. Basically, ask the first time you go into any given store.

    Target, if you swipe a chip card, their readers will beep and say "use the chip slot".


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @RaceProUK said:

    So yeah, always use Chip & PIN if at all possible.

    A number of places here use chip and signature instead of chip and pin, because they think Americans are too dumb to remember a PIN, even though we've had them on debit cards for more than 30 years.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    I tried putting my card into the chip slot (which was lit up) before the register had a total

    In all of the places I've used my card's chip so far, the screen immediately changes to a text description that says something like
    VISA DEBIT
    PLEASE LEAVE CARD IN READER UNTIL TRANSACTION IS COMPLETE

    Then until recently Walmart's readers would sit for an entire minute after you hit the total button and time out, so you had to swipe anyway.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    But doesn't that mean you can't use it to "pre-scan" your card like you can with the magstripe? Wouldn't that mean the stupid machine has to wait for a total before you can use it?

    No, but once you put the card in, the reader says to leave it in, like I said, until the transaction's done. But it's sticking out awkwardly from the reader, so I tend to not insert it until I'm nearly finished with the transaction.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Jaime said:

    With the chip, the card has to stay in the machine for about 30 seconds.

    I haven't experienced it being in the reader--after the total--for more than a couple extra seconds compared to swiping.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    I have no idea why it didn't work at the grocery store

    They seem to be really bad about switching over. Not a single one I've tried has supported the chip yet.



  • @Jaime said:

    Funny you say this, they do the same thing with checks. Hand them a blank check, they run it through the register and it comes out with the amount and "pay to" fields filled in. Then you sign it.

    "Blank cheque" usually implies that it is signed before the details being filled out. Also, did you fax your order into the shop? Funny you say "do" and not "did".

    @blakeyrat said:

    Well with groceries, it's just a speed thing.

    You know what will blow your mind? PayWave/PayPass. Just touching your card against the reader and it works, maximum $100 without a pin. Quicker than cash.

    Of course having this technology makes it even more susceptible to fraud but the speed!

    @blakeyrat said:

    I tried putting my card into the chip slot (which was lit up) before the register had a total

    This is actually something I have never even thought of to do. I always check the total on the screen of the card machine before entering pin, etc. I've had a pin on my visa card since I got it in 2005, with the option of signing being removed 2014 (IMSMR).

    @FrostCat said:

    They seem to be really bad about switching over. Not a single one I've tried has supported the chip yet.

    Here in the first world :trolleybus:, I haven't come across a place that couldn't accept chip or PayWave in quite some time. Only once in my memory have I used a manual imprint machine to pay for something, and that was only because the store's electronic one had issues and that was their final backup before losing customers. Though the newest credit cards appear to not work with these.

    Even mobile operators have electronic card machines these days, and have had for many years.



  • @Polygeekery said:

    Every place I have seen with a Chip and PIN machine, it takes significantly longer to check out that way. An order of magnitude longer.

    How?


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