Chip-and-PIN cards, coming soon (hopefully) to a U.S. bank near you.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by Newscience, Jun 24, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Chip-and-PIN cards, coming soon (hopefully) to a U.S. bank near you. You’ll need them.

    By Christopher Elliott June 19, 2014

    The Washington Post

    In this article, the author describes his experiences while driving on the Brenner Autobahn between Austria and Italy, and trying to (unsuccessfully) use a US credit card to pay his toll!

    While American credit cards may work abroad, they can often fail to be recognized, as few American credit cards have the chip-and-PIN technology present in European credit cards. Chip-and-PIN is the common name for the EMV smart card payment system used by credit, debit and ATM cards in Europe and most everywhere else (except the US!).

    Chip-and-PIN technology authenticates your identity via an embedded computer chip in the card, along with a Personal Identification Number (PIN). American credit cards mostly rely on an older credit card technology based upon a magnetic strip, also known as swipe-and-sign. And credit card problems with this older technology are quite common.

    According to the author, there are only 5 US-based cards are widely available with chip-and-PIN and no fees:
    - State Department Federal Credit Union EMV Visa Platinum
    - Andrews Federal Credit Union GlobeTrek Visa
    - PenFed's Platinum Rewards
    - Promise & Gold Visa
    - Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
    - Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

    Read this well-written and highly entertaining article here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...3a72e6-f651-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html
     
  2. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    I have travelled quite a bit this year, and it's super annoying not having a chipped card abroad. I am considering that Barclaycard, just to have a chipped card. Any reason not to?
     
  3. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    Before you order the Barclay card and assume that it's going to work everywhere, you might want to check out this thread on FT:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cred...-available-today-chip-pin-chip-signature.html

    At least look over the wiki and the spreadsheet referenced in post 1 to see what you'll be getting in a new card. There is now speculation that the only "true" Chip+PIN card that is widely available to US card wavers is the UNFCU VISA. Many of the others that say they work as Chip+PIN prefer Chip and Signature mode, which has caused many folks problems at unattended kiosks. Each card specifies a list of preferred CVMs (cardholder verification method), and ideally, you want one that will do offline Chip+PIN as first priority, but most cards specify some other method as first.

    What card you'll need depends on where you travel, how you travel, and what you're paying for. Sadly, there is no simple "one card to do it all" answer. I have a USAA Mastercard that has worked great as true Chip+PIN in Europe, and now that Walmart is bringing EMV online in their stores, I have to enter my PIN if I use that card there as well. But there are reports that USAA is issuing new cards and Chip+Signature preference, and of course the whole subject is moot if you can't get a USAA card in the first place.

    Since there seems to be a whole lot more activity by merchants and card issuers to get EMV rolling, I suggest waiting to see how it plays out, especially if you don't have foreign travel coming up. In any case, happy travels.
     
  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Wells Fargo Propel AmEx is also Chip&PIN and 0% foreign fee.
    Some issues with Barclays Arrival + were mentioned in this thread.
     
  5. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    I was looking at my bank site and I noticed that /www.mtb.com has chip and pin visa cards. They have a couple of reward cards as well as a visa signature card. The signature card and I think at least one other card comes with no foreign transaction fee. The kicker is none of the cards come with an annual fee. I called and they told me it was a true chip and pin. It will always ask for a pin, and never ask for a signature. I was really surprised by this. I asked how long it takes to arrive after you put in your application she advised around two weeks. I know where I am getting my card before my next trip.
     
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  6. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Citibank already offers them for their AAdvantage Mastercard and AAdvantage Visa cards. But not the Citi AAdvantage Amex, for some reason.

    If your card doesn't have one, you can call Citi and they'll replace your non-Chip and pin card for a new one for free.
     
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  7. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    At the Walmarts I visited in Oklahoma during the July 4th Holiday, they had the chip and pin machines installed--- their pinpad machines require you to insert your card and the traditional credit card magnetic swipe will not work on Chip and Pin cards. Not sure if this is nationwide though.

    I was surprised that Walmart was ahead of the curve in regards to the technology.
     
  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    That's great news! Can Costco be far behind? ;)
     
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  9. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    I was really surprised by what they told you too, so I looked at their site for more info:
    https://www.mtb.com/personal/loanscredit/creditcard/Pages/chip-card.aspx
    where I found this quote on the roll-over for EMV terminals:

    At a chip-enabled terminal
    1. Insert the chip portion of the card into the terminal with the chip facing up. It’s important to leave the card in the terminal until the transaction is complete*
    2. Follow the prompts on the terminal’s screen. Depending on the terminal, you may or may not be asked to enter your PIN while your card is in the terminal. Continue to follow the prompts
    3. The terminal will display the purchase amount
    4. Once the transaction is approved, you will be prompted to remove your card. Remove your card and take your receipt. You may be asked to sign the receipt for the transaction if you weren’t prompted to enter your PIN [highlighting is mine]
    That last sentence makes it pretty clear that what the CSR told you is wrong: there will be cases where you are asked for a signature instead of a PIN. That only makes sense, because most EMV cards have not just one but several CVM methods they will accept. The critical question to ask is: which CVM is first on the card's priority list? Ideally, you want the answer to be "offline PIN" to be most useful for international travel.
     
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  10. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    Apparently it can. There have been several reports that Costco is adamantly opposed to EMV and is only going this route kicking and screaming. I would guess that Costco and Sam's have relatively low occurrence of card fraud just because of the membership requirement to get in the door. Walmart really is leading the retail sector in this matter.
     
  11. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

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    You may be right in your assessment. I asked her twice she was quite adamant that they would ask for the pin first. I guess it all boils down to the merchant. YMMV.
     
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  12. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    Well, it may indeed be PIN first if the POS terminal accepts PIN, otherwise signature. When you get your new card, run down to Walmart and see what happens!
     
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  13. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Since Citi's chip cards don't currently use a PIN, I was required to sign every time in Europe in June 2014.

    Walmart didn't require a signature, oddly.
     
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  14. UA/Travel_!_Junky

    UA/Travel_!_Junky Active Member

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    Costco and Sams won't until the end of time. You can't even use a Visa card at these places. Lol
     
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  15. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    This could be due to one of two things:

    1. Walmart (or at least many stores) have a purchase limit below which they do not ask for signature, even on the magstrip-only cards. My local Walmart uses $25 as their limit. If your purchase was below that limit, you wouldn't be asked to sign no matter what kind of card you have.

    2. They may be enabled for chip-and-PIN, and have selected PIN as first/default authentication option.
     
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  16. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    My Walmart uses $25 or $50 as the small purchase cutoff; I forget which. But if I use my USAA MC there, the POS terminal always requires me to enter the PIN, no matter how big the transaction. That's why I suggested to Laptop Nomad to take the new card to Walmart and see what happens. Better yet would be to do a scan with an EMV card reader and cardpeek software will show the full CVM list.
     
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  17. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    This is very true regarding the normal thresholds for not having to sign at Walmart, and many other stores.

    However, as a data point, one of my Walmart purchases that didn't require a signature [and using the Citicard with the chip] was in excess of $50.
     
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  18. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

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    I thought Barclays had $89 annual fee. As does Amex is you want the higher reward level.

    Personally I have no issues with my Chase chip cards (no Pin) overseas except occasionally at ticket machines. So I can wait for the pin rollout.

    I never shop at Walmart so I could care less what they do. Costco is far superior and the lines are shorter. They also treat their employees a lot better.
     
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  19. kv1

    kv1 Member

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    Not sure if this will help anyone who is looking for an EMV card, but here goes....

    Within the past week I've spoken with representatives from Bank of America, Citi, AMEX, USAA, State Dept. FCU, Andrews FCU. None of these card issuers (perhaps with the exception of USAA) are providing cards that allow chip and pin as priority in the CVM list.

    I was unable to determine if USAA's new cards are true chip and pin (priority 1). The USAA representative I spoke with insists that they are guaranteed chip and pin, however, recent forum posts that I have read have mentioned that USAA recently modified their CVM list to give priority to chip and signature. The USAA representative even went so far as to say their EMV cards will only work as chip and pin. No chip and signature. No no-signature. Just chip and pin. Her stance did not waiver even when I reminded her that the lack of active chip and pin terminals in the US would render the card nearly useless for their US customers. It was unbelievable what I was hearing. So, until someone can post the CVM list for a new USAA EMV card, I will leave this as undetermined.

    As recent as 90 days ago I have used both the Bank of America (Travel Rewards) and the AMEX (Hilton HHonors) cards while in the UK. Both of them are EMV cards, yet I can confirm that neither function as chip and pin.

    Earlier this week I verified with State Dept. FCU senior management that their cards are also chip and signature. Here is a quote from their response to me: "We are currently in the process of working with our vendors to allow the ability to switch the SDFCU EMV credit card from a chip/signature to a chip/pin. This is still in the testing stage, since there are multiple vendors involved. We do not have an ETA at this time."

    Andrews FCU confirmed to me that their cards also default to chip and signature.

    I am in the process of setting up an account with UNFCU in order to have their EMV card. Everything that I have read says they are the only issuers in the US who are known to offer true chip and pin as priority 1. I will post back here with the CVM list from their card at a later date.

    What I have found is that 90% of the customer service representatives do not know what chip and pin means. At first they think I am either referring to the ATM (cash advance) function or the chip and signature. I almost always have to explain to them how chip and pin cards actually operate.

    I have yet to speak with anyone who has heard of the CVM list. The representatives have no idea that their chips can be programmed to function in different ways.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
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  20. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    My new CSP has the chip and no FT fees., they did give me an envelope to send the old one back.

    Ready fir IST.
     
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  21. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    I can tell you from personal experience that my USAA World MasterCard operates as a true chip and pin card in the UK (the only country so far where I have had a chance to test it). But my card is about two years old, so I suppose it's possible that USAA may have modified things subsequently (although I rather doubt it).
     
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  22. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    Unfortunately, USAA has modified its CVM list. If you follow the reference links in this post:
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23366946-post6163.html
    you'll see the differences posted by me (old-style card like yours) and tvholic (recent issue card), as verified by cardpeek readouts of chip.

    Not only did they move signature above PIN verification, they also moved online PIN ahead of offline PIN verification. Somebody else reports in that thread about his attempts to learn why the changes from a USAA rep. The only answer he could get was "business decision": i.e., none of your business, Mr. Customer.

    So, I'm expecting that when my old-style card expires early next year it will be replaced by the new one that calls for signature as the first CVM. Rats!
     
  23. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Oh, wonderful - NOT! I wonder why USAA has decided to cripple the best feature of their card?
     
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  24. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    This may not really help searching for an EMV card that will actually operate as CHIP/PIN everywhere merchants are equipped to handle them.

    the actually issue is that card issuers have a large outlay to build and maintain an online database that deals with cryptography for the PIN. The chip actually does not have the PIN embedded bout has the required information to decode the database for pin verification. That costs, so US issuers drag their feet, as do large merchants, especially ones with limited fraud risk. BTW, France still has off-line Pins for most national cards, but most POS accept and process online PINs too because of the cross-border activity there. Among large countries only the US and Russia lag, and both are facing deadlines for full adoption that are not likely to be met. The cards themselves cost roughly five times as much as do mag stripe cards, and cost more to emboss and code as well. US issuers offer chip/signature because they avoid more than half the extra costs and create the impression that they're advanced.

    Notwithstanding all the hype and bad information the only actual fully-compliant card issued in the US that I know of us UN Federal Credit Union. More are coming quickly, but in the meantime, as kv1 points out, not many employees in issuers actually have a clue.
    For most of us we can expect to see all this finally to be cleared up in early 2017, but US merchants will mostly, I suspect, not be ready. So, magstripes still have a distance to go. Because the US is now the fraud magnet for the world due to this antiquated technology, the conversion just might be faster. Candidly I cannot see how they can actually do that because: 1) the conversion costs are so massive in the US, 2) there are nearly two billion credit cards in the US, maybe half of which are active. Printing and distributing even half that many is a daunting task, so it will be a long time before this technology becomes ubiquitous in the USA. The most recent conversion costs suggest the US industry must spend roughly six billion dollars to convert issuers, merchants, acquirers, processors and cardholders to chip/online PIN.

    Ain't easy. That is why international travellers and big spenders will be first to have these cards.
    In the meantime I use a Chase Sapphire with chip/signature and usually have problem only in unmanned kiosks. Generally a signature form spits out at POS, sometimes it asks for a PIN and I insert may dummy PIN, which often works. I guess others have a similar experience.
     
  25. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    USAA does have a large percentage of high-transaction-volume-clients who live outside the US. I am one of them. Recently I have asked for my debit card to be reissued with full chip/online PIN. As usual with them the CSR actually knew what i was asking about, another USAA miracle! However, they still do not have them, but I was told to expect mine to automatically arrive just as soon as they become available, probably sometime in mid-2015, he suggested. We'll see, I do not have their credit cards because they really aren't competitive in that respect. I wish they were. I have been a loyal USAA customer for a very long time.
     

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