Credit Cards

Smylers Smylers at
Tue Oct 13 17:45:40 BST 2009

Jasper writes:

> 2009/10/13 Abigail <abigail at>:
> > ... in California ... those that rejected the credit card, accepted
> > my ATM card. I was positively surprised by the ability to use my ATM
> > card for retail, because as soon as I step accross the border here
> > in Europe, I can only use my ATM card at banks, not retailers.
> My latest ATM/debit/whatever card is powered by VISA, so I'm expecting
> to be able to use it worldwide for everyfink. As usual, I may be
> disappointed.

I have a Visa Debit card.  Attempting to use it to withdraw cash in
Paris at a couple of weeks ago failed.  After reporting this to
my card issuer, they said:

  I confirm that when making ATM withdrawals from certain countries, our
  system will automatically decline any transaction from an ATM using
  the magnetic strip rather than the chip on your card.  This measure
  has been put in place to combat card fraud.  I can only suggest trying
  to use an ATM in either a main high street, or in a Bank or Hotel.

That turned out not to be the problem in my case, but the above response
suggests that sometimes it is.

(And the friend I was visiting pointed out that being in a country which
uses chip-based cards locally isn't sufficient: UK cards were physically
issued with chips in advance of their deployment, so some countries'
card-readers were initially programmed to ignore chips on UK cards and
use their magnetic strips instead.)


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