Please sign in to post.

BECU debit card---with a chip

This will mostly be of interest to Washington residents. I went into BECU yesterday to do my travel notification ( they do not have a way to do it online that I could find) and they made me a new ATM card with a chip, right there.

I don't know that it is necessary for ATM machines where we will be ( UK and France) but it might be nice to have for other purposes, where chip and PIN are required.

Posted by
31524 posts

Lola,

Did they say if it was a Chip & PIN or a Chip & Signature?

Posted by
21863 posts

I will bet it is only chip and signature. Better but still a dollar short.

Posted by
13223 posts

I am thinking it is chip and PIN because we have used the "swipe" version of this card in Swiss ticket machines where a PIN was required. But if not, we are still OK as we have a USAA chip and PIN card which we used successfully on previous trips.

The interesting thing about the USAA card is that on our most recent trip ( last fall) most machines in Italy and the UK would spit out a receipt for us to sign. ( There were a few kiosk-type machines that DID ask for the PIN, but not many). This despite the fact that in 2013 and 2014 all the machines in those countries (and in Australia) only asked for the PIN.

We called USAA to ask if the settings had changed and they said that signature vs. PIN is determined by the card reader device, not the card. I wonder if some European machines have changed their default settings to accommodate US chip-and-signature cards by automatically spitting out a receipt for signature? In 2014 that would only happen if the purchaser asked the salesperson or waiter to reset the card reader to accept a signature (my sister had to do this with her card every time.)

Posted by
3493 posts

ATM cards with chips by default are Chip & PIN.

While some ATM/Debit cards can be used as credit cards at the terminal (at least in the US), with the chip most now force the use of PIN and will not work if the credit option is chosen.

Posted by
8997 posts

ATM cards with chips by default are Chip & PIN

Not so. True Chip & Pin debit cards have the pin number embedded in the chip. Cards with chips in the US (be it credit or debit) don't use that feature making them chip & signature. When a merchant in the US requires a pin code for purchases, it because it goes through as a debit transaction instead of credit, which saves the merchant money on fees. Even magnetic debit cards do this.
When you use a US debit card with chip overseas for purchases, it will always go through as a credit transaction, and you will always need to sign.

Posted by
21863 posts

You can agree or disagree all you like but Micheal is correct.

Posted by
31524 posts

"The interesting thing about the USAA card is that on our most recent trip ( last fall) most machines in Italy and the UK would spit out a receipt for us to sign."

That's different than my experience. On my trip last year, I can't think of a single occasion where I was asked to sign anything. In all cases, I entered the PIN (as I do at home) and the transaction was processed using the Chip & PIN system.

I believe the POS terminals can determine the "home country" of the card from the number. Whether the card is a true C&P or not, the terminal may by default be programmed to print a receipt for signature if the card is issued by a U.S. bank.

Posted by
436 posts

I used my chip and pin debit card from mid-March to April 10 this year and sometimes it worked with the pin and other times it printed a receipt for me to sign. Seemed random. But the pin worked to buy gas at an unmanned station on a Sunday, so that was bliss.

Only once a toll booth would not take any of our cards and luckily we had the 50+€ in cash to pay the toll.

Enjoy the trip!

Posted by
2916 posts

I just used my Andrews chip and PIN in France for the 3rd year, and once again it always reverted to signature when used at a shop or restaurant, but required a PIN when used at an unmanned gas or tram station (which is precisely why I got it in the first place). And never worked at a toll booth.

Posted by
1005 posts

Well, my Andrews chip-and-PIN card worked at autoroute toll booths in Provence, but not at autoroute toll booths in the Loire Valley. That's why I always used the lanes with the green arrows, which means the machines take cash AND have a credit card slot.

Posted by
2916 posts

At least now I know that the green arrow means the lane accepts cash and credit cards, so next time I won't piss off several hundred French drivers. While driving on the A1 near Paris in horrendous traffic this month, I hit the toll booths, and there were probably 40 or so booths. I was looking for one that had a sign for bills and coins (which I've seen many times before), but didn't see one. I saw several with the Telepeage symbol and a green arrow, but thought that it could mean that it was for telepeages only to go through w/o stopping (like US EZ Pass). So I went into a card lane and tried several cards, but none worked. I eventually buzzed someone over who took my cash.

Posted by
2761 posts

my Andrews card reverted to signature each time I used it in France and Switzerland, but I never tried it in a machine

Posted by
2916 posts

Same here in France with my Andrews card, Phred. About 35 charges this month, all signature when used with a person, but PIN at unmanned gas and tram stations.

Posted by
6025 posts

If you have a Chip enabled card with a PIN that can be used for sales transactions, the method of validation is determined first by your card in a ranked order, then by the POS terminal as to what methods they allow.

Many terminals in places tourists visit will allow signature, and most American issued cards rank signature first, so yes, when travelling, many times, even if you have a PIN, you may be asked for a signature.

My own experience is somewhat random between signature, PIN, or no validation (usually in machines for smaller amounts)

Posted by
2761 posts

We had a transfer at Heathrow and I was so excited to use my fancy new chip and PIN card so I bought my mom a souvenir at Harrods in the airport. Little signature slip pooped out. Disappoint.