It is time I let retailers and banks know how much I HATE chip cards, and why.

Banks and retailers, please listen up. It’s the Christmas shopping season, a time when we’re supposed to be thinking about peace and good will toward men (the philosophers of Peanuts already covered this pretty well–go look it up). Doesn’t stop outright greed in the form of overindulgence or theft.

Especially theft. And the easiest way to accomplish it? Chip cards at physical locations.

Chip cards are LAZY for retailers and lazy for banks. I hate the chip cards. Hate, hate, hate. I’m super-paranoid about security, so in some respects, I understand the Chip cards and their function to try and curb theft through scanning or electronic means.

But that’s only one part of the problem. What about low-tech methods?

News flash, retailers and banks: people still get pick-pocketed all the time. Hell, it nearly happened to a co-worker of mine the other day. The thief-to-be got laughed at and shamed for it publicly then left.

Good thing for him that my co-worker was there dealing with him. I’d have knocked his thieving head off. I don’t hate many people in life, but I HATE thieves.

Theft is rampant, and technology has only made it easier. However, retailers–you don’t need to make it EVEN easier!

I say this because when you’re at a physical location, most retail places don’t check ID, and they don’t check to see your card at all. I resent that.

Every time now, they point at the PIN machine to put in my card chip-side first. Then they run it and that’s that. They are not checking my identification.

They are not looking at my signature and making comparisons.

They are not asking for my identification so I can verify the name on the driver’s license and the credit/debit card matches.

Nope, just a slide your card in and say how you want your receipt.

I hate this.

Hate, hate, hate it.

I’m going to start asking retailers what the hell the deal is. Most new employees I’ve talked to don’t know how to check ID, or to run checks through at places that still accept them (I admit, I’m one of those check-writing dinosaurs who love testing the skills of new employees–hey, it’s good to learn how checks work, dammit…and I hate online bill pay, but that’s a rant for another day).

They aren’t even told to check ID most of the time. I had a client at my job who needed to pay and she just had ID written where her signature was supposed to be on her card. She said she did that after somebody’d hacked her account a few times, so as to make merchants check her ID, like a reminder. She would hand it to them and make them check it.

I thought that was pretty brilliant. Or at least a great start. I’m going to look up more ways to do it.

On the other hand, I blame some of the customers for this discomfort with ID checking. I’ve seen more old-fashioned businesses (rarely box stores) that ask for ID with a card. Some customers get offended, like why should they prove it’s their card? I’m always taken aback, like “hello, they’re doing you a favor and making sure you don’t get ripped off if it’s really your card!”

Maybe they stole it or borrowed it from family. Either way, if it’s not their card, they probably shouldn’t use it. Hell, that’s what cash is for. I wouldn’t trust anybody with my account–hell, I barely trust MYSELF!

Banks aren’t even up on signatures. They don’t red-flag inconsistencies, or if they do, the degree varies between banks. However, with more pranksters messing with retail employees’ heads the past few years (like this curious nut who went through Walmart and did it as an experiment…and I know plenty of others who’ve done the same).

I want retailers to check IDs. One of my jobs deals with pretty sensitive stuff and we’re all about personal privacy. I am forced to use both ID and method of payment together or I can’t let them pay for the service. If the name does not match the ID, I can’t use the card. Probably the only time I can give some leeway is if the person has the same last name as the cardholder and it’s a spouse (heaven knows they have joint accounts and borrow each other’s cards all the time–that’s most marriages I’ve seen). But that’s it.

And oh, if it’s a corporate card, the person whose name’s on it has to sign for it. And they HATE that, and they’ll come and hand it over. Some will just sit there and play on their phone, and refuse to get up off their ass to sign for it. I just say “fine, but don’t blame me if they call you about it.” I’ve even put the suggestion in the comments window when it’s come up before closing out the transaction.

I’m paranoid, and them’s the rules and I don’t want my certification jeopardized for someone else’s convenience.

That’s why I always recommend business checks for the exact amount if they whine about signing credit cards–they just hand over the paper, know its being used properly, and no worries about theft and having to inconvenience themselves. Great.

I miss checks–but most places don’t wanna use ’em. But they’ll use the cards even if somebody signs their name Mickey Mouse, for crying out loud!

I am going to start bringing my ID again. When someone asks for it, I don’t get all huffy, I make a big deal out of thanking them for doing so because it shows they care. (I do try not to embarrass them, though, just so you know.)

But I’m going to start doing that. I’m going to have them check my ID and my card before I put it in the machine. Maybe I can help get the ball rolling to curb old-fashioned theft. I feel like when it comes to credit card theft, we’re like the little Dutch boy plugging the leak with a finger while a whole section of dam wall is crumbling away and flooding.

Haven’t they learned anything about technology? Millions of dollars to put chips in every card, and you know that enterprising criminals were working on how to hack them before they even got their hands on one. Sheesh.

Pickpocketing may be low-tech and too personal, but dammit–it happens every day. How many stories of wallets stolen, purses stolen, cars broken into? Every week I hear new ones.

There’s still plenty of low-tech ways to bleed an account holder dry. Retailers, banks, please help each other protect us from theft. It costs you billions, too, you know.

Oh, wait…of course, you pass the buck onto the consumer, then you’re in the clear bemoaning the need for more tech-savvy prevention measures (and money to fund research on it).

I’m not paying any more for your services to cover your freaking laziness or incompetence. Check IDs and signatures to cover your own butts in a face-to-face transaction–it can’t be that freaking hard!

4 thoughts on “It is time I let retailers and banks know how much I HATE chip cards, and why.

  1. bobcabkings says:

    I’ve noticed that those card readers, chip or swipe, that demand a signature on the touch screen really don’t care what you do as a signature. Any old scribble will do.

    Yes, they are lazy, but its all for “the customer’s convenience.” And we haven’t even begun to consider “wallets” on smart phones. I’m not scared of them. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t want one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      All I know is if I’m going to hand over my hard-earned money to some establishment (and pay an employee’s wage), I’m gonna make ’em work for it.

      That’s a rant for another day, too: check-yourself-out lanes at the store. Grr… no wonder everybody gripes about customer service.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew says:

    Lazy! They’re all lazy! I totally agree! The chip is one part of a two part system that in the U.S., the second part hasn’t been implemented. Here’s how it’s supposed to work:

    1. Insert chip card.
    2. Verify the total.
    3. Type in your PIN (this is the part missing)
    4. Sign if over $50, then check signature
    5. Pull card out.

    Target has setup this system quite well and requires you to select a PIN on both the debit and credit cards via their website before you’re able to use the card. Some credit card companies have enabled the PIN feature as an opt-in, but it’s not required.

    The bigger problem I see though is that the majority of cards with a chip in them also have the magnetic stripe on the back too. What the hell is up with that?? The credit card and banking industry complained about how expensive it would be to implement “chip and pin” so the enforcement of the regulation was phased over years instead of months or weeks. The EU has been using chip and pin for years and is getting ready to shift to something new because, shocker, chip and pin isn’t as foolproof as they all thought.

    You can’t ever be 100% secure, but it’s harder to achieve when we don’t get support from the very companies that end up paying when cards are stolen. I haven’t even touched on online purchasing either, no chip can ever help there when the PIN isn’t required.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TheChattyIntrovert says:

    ADDENDUM: I just heard a helluva story from a woman I met this morning. She had accounts that got hacked and drained in a few stores. Now, they check her ID every time she’s in these stores she shops at a lot. She doesn’t have a problem doing that and is happy about it. But these are chain outlets…and last week she had her identity stolen, The perp(s) bought thousands of dollars worth of stuff on her accounts and she wanted to know how. Turns out they got her social security number and when they went to these stores, that’s all this person had to give them because they “lost the card” and since the number was right… off they went shopping. And these were store branches she’d never physically been to before! How the hell can that be possible?!!!

    Like

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