Please sign in to post.

ATM PIN Requirements

I have and know the PIN number for my bank debit card. It's a four digit number. Recently, a friend mentioned that the ATMs in Europe require a 6 digit PIN. Is this true? Do I need to ask for a new PIN from my bank? Thanks!

Posted by
5697 posts

Also don't believe people who tell you the first number cannot be a zero -- mine works fine.

Posted by
2767 posts

Mine is 4 digits and at one point started with a 0. Has worked everywhere save the odd picky ATM here and there. The pickiness had nothing to do with digits, just random

Posted by
6932 posts

4 digit pin is working in Italy and France

Posted by
1194 posts

Add 0 on to the end of the pin.
If your pin is 1234 then use 123400.

Try your true pin first though as it may work.

Posted by
3509 posts

Does that friend have first hand experience with this, or is just repeating a rumor?

Four digit PIN works perfectly. I have been going to Europe for over 10 years and have always used cards with 4 digit PINs. Never found any ATM that wanted more digits.

Posted by
14915 posts

I have an American ATM card which has a 4 digit pin. And I also have an Italian ATM card which has a 5 digit PIN. Both work.

Posted by
2 posts

I had no trouble in France earlier this month with a 4 digit pin at ATMs.

For credit cards, in most instances at restaurants, we just signed instead of using the PIN. It was something their little table-side card machines did automatically.

Posted by
3613 posts

You friend has this one wrong. My American debit card with a 4-digit PIN works all over the world as does my French-bank issued card with its 4-digit PIN.

Posted by
11294 posts

Funny - the rumor used to be the reverse. It was said that in order for a PIN to work in Europe, it couldn't be more than 4 digits. Now you're being told it has to be six digits.

I can confirm that I have only ever had 4 digit PINs, and they have always worked (well, once in Barcelona in 1995 my card would not work at one machine, but it worked at another one around the corner). I just used my debit card with a 4 digit PIN without any difficulty in the UK (the latest in a long line of countries, from Turkey and Israel to Spain and France, where it's worked fine).

Posted by
4535 posts

Perhaps the mis-information arouse from the fact that some European banks issue debit cards with 6 digits.

There have long been some myths in PINs: that the number must be only 4 or only 6 is a fairly common one. The old myth of a PIN must not start with a zero still floats around out there. Perhaps these were based on some reality years ago, but not in a long time have they been true.

And just to put another common myth to rest - your debit card does not need a chip to work in European ATMs. They still accept magnetic strip cards (credit cards at automatic kiosks are a different story).

Posted by
19026 posts

I don't know if this is a sign of things to come, but the Bahn's Automat turorial used to show how to insert a credit card, with the mag strip down and to the right. It no longer shows this. The card symbols on the screen still show mag strips on the cards, but that might not mean anything.

Update: They have taken how to insert your strip card off of the tutorial, but the turorial's first page, "Der Automat im Überblick" (the automat in overview) shows that the front of the automat, next to the card slot, has a pictorial of a card, with the corner folded to show the position of the strip.