Creditcard - Chip & Pin only

So I got a new Mastercard on Friday and I've just got around to reading the usual bump that came with it. What caught my eye was the statement that Chip & Pin is the only valid format of authentication for this card! Surely I've not encountered a non Chip & Pin merchant now for a long time, but still... Looks like the writing is no the wall for the strip cards!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11254 posts

Perhaps for "this card" the only valid authentication is Chip & Pin, but does that mean that magnetic strip cards will not be accepted anywhere. I can only go by the German Rail's websites online tutorial for using the Bahn automat. It specifically shows how to insert a magnetic strip card with the strip down and to the right.

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

Perhaps for "this card" the only valid authentication is Chip & Pin, but does that mean that magnetic strip cards will not be accepted anywhere. I don't think so. I take it to mean that we've reached the point here in Europe where the majority of merchants are capable of accepting Chip & Pin. The next step will be to pull the plug on the strip cards, but when that will happen, I have no idea. The other new feature is online geo-blocking. I can login to my bank and define where that card is to be accepted, although it is still fairly permeative, I can only select: home country, Europe or Worldwide. I can also select if it is to be ATM only or merchant & ATM. Still I guess it is progress.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2372 posts

I take it to mean that we've reached the point here in Europe where the majority of merchants are capable of accepting Chip & Pin. The next step will be to pull the plug on the strip cards, but when that will happen, I have no idea. Your first statement is almost for sure correct and of no big surprise to those of us regular travelers. The last statement is unlikely to happen until the US adopts Chip&PIN technology. VISA and Mastercard are unlikely to eliminate a huge market for themselves and their customers. Some merchants have indeed already eliminated magnetic strip machines, but few tourist oriented businesses in Europe are likely to cut off a big chunk of their customers. Personally I think this just feeds the hysteria that many Americans are fed, including many in the travel writing media.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

" I can also select if it is to be ATM only or merchant & ATM." Why would you select to use your credit card only in an ATM? Or is this a MasterCard debit card you are talking about?

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

Why would you select to use your credit card only in an ATM? Or is this a MasterCard debit card you are talking about? Good point, it's a generic screen with a drop down to select the card, as I said it is still a bit permeative.

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

The last statement is unlikely to happen until the US adopts Chip&PIN technology. VISA and Mastercard are unlikely to eliminate a huge market for themselves and their customers. Some merchants have indeed already eliminated magnetic strip machines, but few tourist oriented businesses in Europe are likely to cut off a big chunk of their customers. Personally I think this just feeds the hysteria that many Americans are fed, including many in the travel writing media. Interestingly enough, this article "US credit cards add chip and PIN security" seems to indicate there are deadlines being giving out by the card companies in the US too. Although I expect some merchants will still be willing to assume the fraud risks mentioned... "Despite those potential subtle differences, the EMV stage is set for the U.S. For its part, Visa has set deadlines on retailers to accept EMV-enabled cards over the next four years or take on the fraud risk. And MasterCard has given U.S. ATM owners less than two years to upgrade their machines or assume certain liabilities."

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17718 posts

Jim, It's not surprising that European merchants are now starting to accept ONLY Chip & PIN cards, since the greater majority of their customers will have the cards. However, hopefully the European card issuers will retain the magnetic stripe for at least a few more years as without it, their card holders will likely not be able to process transactions in the U.S. (unless the merchant is willing to punch in the numbers manually). My C&P cards (both debit & credit) also have a magnetic stripe, so they can be used anywhere. It does appear that "the writing is on the wall", and the days of the magnetic stripe cards are indeed limited. It's nice to see the the U.S. banks are finally getting with the program. Cheers!