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Customer Abandons Purchase Due To The Infamous Chip Card


Jason Cigar 2From: myretailrants

So many stores in the US have been hit with the new pinpads with chip readers, and many people have no idea how to use them.

If you have a credit card, you sign the pinpad to pay. With the new chip credit card, you might have to enter a pin number instead of signing for it. It varies by bank and credit card company.

If you have a debit card, you type in your pin number, or you could process it as a credit and just sign for it. Money is taken from the same place. With the chip debit cards, you're no longer allowed to sign. You have to enter a pin number now.

So a customer came in today and wanted to buy a few things. He apparently had his wife's debit card with him which is common. His wife's debit card has a chip, and he inserted it.

He blankly stared at the pinpad for a bit and then said "Credit."

The cashier turned the pinpad around to see what was going on and realized the guy had a debit card.

Cashier: "I'm sorry, you have to use a pin number for that card."

Customer: "What? But I want credit!"

Carolanne hat tipCashier: "With our new chip system, you're now required to use a pin number. You can no longer pay with a signature."

Customer: "Oh, Okay."

And then he just slowly walked out. Never said to cancel the transaction or if he was going to the car to get something else to pay with. The cashier and I just kind of looked at each other and laughed.

I had to put all of his cold stuff up. I don't think he came back.

I should add that this is a daily thing, although most people have a backup payment method.





Chip debit is not a thing in the US just yet. There are combo debit/credit cards that have chips, but if used as debit, they still do the PIN thing. You have to make the choice, at least on the terminals my company deals with, before swiping the card. If you swipe it, it will see 'credit card with chip' and want you to use that. All terminals have a way of starting the sale and telling it what kind of tender is involved before the card is engaged.

Mastercard's implementation of EMV is chip-and-PIN, so their credit cards will require PINs like debits. Visa uses chip and signature.

Using the chip cards is not hard, but requires basic literacy and more than two brain cells huddling together for warmth in the cold dark vacuum. RTFM. It will tell you on the screen what needs to be done, just like a self checkout that nobody pays attention to either.

The EMV is a mandate by the big credit card companies to help stop fraud. Has nothing to do with the card processors, we just do what they tell us.


It's just as bad having one of the new machines but no system for the chip yet. Almost every single eft customer puts their card in the slot and just stares like a lackwit when I tell them we don't have functional chip readers.

McHell Manager

You mean the Chip-N-Pin system did what it was supposed to: preventing the wrong people from using cards?! No way!! And yes, I understand that his wife gave him her card...supposedly


I can appreciate why he'd prefer credit over debit for other reasons. My bank, Wells Fargo, still charges me a non-bank ATM fee if I use any ATM that isn't a WF-owned ATM. I've done the debit/PIN thing at some merchants and been slapped with that non-bank ATM fee. So even though the money is coming from the same place whether debit or credit, I default to credit for that reason. Still, to not ask for the cashier to cancel the transaction might be a tad bit rude...

On a separate note, I really need to contact my credit card companies and get my chip PIN's sent to me...

Tech Support Survivor

Here in Canada we had chip cards sent out to most people a while back, as in a year or two ago. It's never been an issue. Cashiers simply ask credit or debit. Or the person using it will say debit, or MC or whatever they are paying by.

Aside from the odd time it cannot manage to read the card (has happened I think 3 times), it can still be swiped.

Well at least my bank did. Even came with easy to activate instructions.


Kitai, if it's a mastercard, it will have a pin, but if it's a visa, it won't. If it's debit, it won't use the chip.

Shutterbug, that's them being stupid, that wouldn't work even if the hardware was ready. They have to wait until it says 'Insert card, dumbass'.

Are those Verifone terminals you're talking about? The bank my company deals with is being derpy about getting their poo together to get those working, so we have Ingenico's instead.. and are switching banks stealthily.

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