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Chip and Pin

I recently received my new chip card. Here I just still swipe at the ATM and put it in my wallet before making my transaction. The machine usually doesn't "swallow it then spit it back". I am used to European ATM's retaining the card until the transaction is complete. Is this still the case? I guess I don't understand the point of the chip. Leaving for Spain next week.

Posted by
4499 posts

My recall is that many European ATM machines still swallow the card and spit it out when you are done.

If you new card as a chip, most likely the European machine will read the chip.

US ATM machines do not have to be converted to chip readers until October of 2016. And like credit card readers, it is a very soft deadline that will be missed both in machines and cards. The date actually just shifts liability between the bank and the card - nothing affects us the consumer.

Posted by
431 posts

My chip & pin atm card keeps my card until the money is ready to be dispensed. I take the card, machine gives me money.

Posted by
16827 posts

Most of the many Spanish ATMs I've used this summer hold the card while you respond to the prompts (enter PIN, indicate amount of withdrawal, etc.), then eject it before dispensing the money.

Posted by
2487 posts

And it's the same with the ATMs in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Italy.

Posted by
4821 posts

For the most part, I am not sure in your case that using a Chip and Pin card in an ATM will actually use the chip, it likely will just read the mag-strip.

Posted by
485 posts

They all work the same. The machine is going to swallow the card until you complete your transaction. My understanding is that the chip encrypts and secures your data. You should not have any problem. Do make sure that you give your bank a travel advisory so they do not lock you out.

Posted by
4687 posts

I don't know how much local traveling you do in the USA, but Bank of America has several different styles of ATM machine, and has, repeatedly, changed the software on some of the machines (in response to chip addition to the cards .. ) in the last two years. I mean, specifically, that Bank of American has "held" chip cards, and then changed the software so the chip cards are NOT held!

You need to be flexible, if only because you'll use a different bank's machine in each city you visit. It's not possible to know in advance precisely what you'll have to do.

Most machines have an opportunity to chose the interface language, but that usually happens after you've inserted the card.

On our trip to Italy last month, I noticed that some bank lobbies had three different types of machines. I'm not qualified to identify each kind, but by looking at the labels (and input and output hoppers - like a place to receive banknotes...) and applying "The Force" (I don't speak Italian), I was able to correctly guess which one to use.

Posted by
70 posts

I am amazed that some ATMs use swipe instead of insert for cards. I can't even remember how long it's been since I used an ATM that didn't require the card to be inserted. Must be YEARS. And every ATM I used this summer in Iceland/UK/France required me to insert my debit card and it retained the card until the transaction was complete, like all the ATMs I use at home in the U.S.

I am at the point now where swiping bothers me for security reasons. I will be very glad when the chip readers are the norm rather than hit-and-miss as they are now.

And on my next trip, I will be using my credit card more and cash less, requiring fewer trips to the ATM.

Posted by
2811 posts

I don't know how much local traveling you do in the USA, but Bank of America has several different styles of ATM machine, and has, repeatedly, changed the software on some of the machines (in response to chip addition to the cards .. ) in the last two years.

I have a BOA debit card, and when I use it at an ATM where I live, I never know how it will be treated. The machines vary throughout the city, with some spitting back the card as soon as I enter my PIN and others waiting until the very end. On the other hand, it seems that in France, for as long as I can remember, the machine holds onto the card until just before or just after the cash is dispensed.

Posted by
30958 posts

The ATM's in this area all seem to operate in the same fashion. The card is retained until the transaction is completed, and the card must be retrieved before the cash is dispensed. I suppose that prevents someone from grabbing the cash quickly if they're in a hurry, and wandering away with their card still in the machine (which could then be used by someone else for another withdrawal as the correct PIN has already been entered by the legitimate user).