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  #1  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:33 PM
VegasPier VegasPier is offline
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Default ATM pin in Europe

I have heard a rumor that to use a ATM in Europe you need a pin that is four digits or less.

Is that true?

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  #2  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:35 PM
nho9504 nho9504 is offline
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Originally Posted by VegasPier View Post
I have heard a rumor that to use a ATM in Europe you need a pin that is four digits or less.

Is that true?

VegasPier
4 digits.

All our US Banks' debit cards have 4 digits pin which works fine in Europe or anywhere in the world.

Last edited by nho9504; April 24th, 2012 at 09:36 PM.
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  #3  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:56 PM
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I also read several places that your pin cannot start with a "0", which ours
did. I changed it before we left and it worked just fine with 4 digits.

However, in the Netherlands merchants took one look at our visa and said they could not use it because it did not have a "chip" in it. Luckily after
our expensive dinner we had enough euros to pay without using the cc.

Carol
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  #4  
Old April 24th, 2012, 10:49 PM
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I never had a debit card until after we sold the business. I got one, we went off to Venice. My wife told me to go and get some cash. I went put my pin # in and it was rejected. I tried another machine, did not work. My wife asked me, "did you activate your card before we left?" I said "was I suppose to?" So for the rest of cruise, I had to ask her for money LOL.
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  #5  
Old April 24th, 2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PineLakeCruiser View Post
I also read several places that your pin cannot start with a "0", which ours
did. I changed it before we left and it worked just fine with 4 digits.

However, in the Netherlands merchants took one look at our visa and said they could not use it because it did not have a "chip" in it. Luckily after
our expensive dinner we had enough euros to pay without using the cc.

Carol
We use our Wells Fargo card all the time in The Netherlands at ATM's and our 4 digit PIN works fine. We even have an account we share with our son who lives there, so we can put money in and he has ready access.

The Netherlands, however, has another system which they refer to as "PIN cards". These are, I believe, preloaded credit cards and/or linked to a special account. They may say Visa, but it is really a different system. We too have been surprised in a restaurant when paying and not having our Visa card accepted. Take our advice and always ask first whether your card is accepted, and always carry enough cash to be able to pay for what you've bought.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PineLakeCruiser View Post

However, in the Netherlands merchants took one look at our visa and said they could not use it because it did not have a "chip" in it.
I don't doubt that happened; however, the merchant could have processed your non-chipped card manually. They're required to do it under their credit card agreement.

There's talk of US financial institutions making chipped cards available, but so far it's been only talk.

Lew
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  #7  
Old April 24th, 2012, 11:42 PM
cantw8togo cantw8togo is offline
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"Chip" cards are also prevelant in Canada. On a recent trip to the States, I was surprised to see that no one uses chip technology.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 09:18 AM
bgjj04 bgjj04 is offline
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Originally Posted by cantw8togo View Post
"Chip" cards are also prevelant in Canada. On a recent trip to the States, I was surprised to see that no one uses chip technology.
I was exposed to the "chip" card on a recent trip to Canada. We went to pay for lunch and the cashier said "oh, it's one of those cards". Curious, I asked her what she meant and she told me about the "chip" card. We didn't have an issue using our non-chip cards though, as all of the merchants we patronized had a machine to read non-chip cards. We were in a border city (Windsor), so I don't know if this is the norm for the country as a whole or not.

In support of what others have stated, a friend of mine who travels internationally for work informed me that non-chip cards are becoming harder to use overseas.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Lew- View Post
There's talk of US financial institutions making chipped cards available, but so far it's been only talk.

Lew
Some banks have them but I think you have to ask for them
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  #10  
Old April 25th, 2012, 12:56 AM
SadieN SadieN is offline
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In Rome in February the ATM I always used rejected my card saying it wasn't valid. Called my bank, it was valid. Turns out the ATM either couldn't contact my bank or didn't have enough money in it. Got money down the street.
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  #11  
Old April 25th, 2012, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Lew- View Post
I don't doubt that happened; however, the merchant could have processed your non-chipped card manually. They're required to do it under their credit card agreement.
Agree, but try arguing this point with a merchant who uses English as a 3rd language if at all.

But be aware that non-chip cards will often not work in vending machines that sell train tickets or at automated gasoline pumps.
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  #12  
Old April 25th, 2012, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribill View Post
Agree, but try arguing this point with a merchant who uses English as a 3rd language if at all.

But be aware that non-chip cards will often not work in vending machines that sell train tickets or at automated gasoline pumps.
I work in a book shop and yes, while we can process payments manually... I don't think anyone has ever done that in our store. I assume there will be a manual somewhere and we do have a helpline we can call (and leave a message on their answering machine if they don't answer after the third ring, which means they might call back within an hour or so) but we cannot process more than one payment at one register at the same time.

Some of us speak English well, some don't. Some have basic knowledge, some have non (or won't use their little knowledge because they are too embarrassed). Our registers are not staffed with non-German speaking customers in mind, sometimes you might not find anyone to solve a (major) problem in English.

Some might go the extra mile (if it's a slow day or two staff at a specific register) and sometimes we might simply not be able to do so. On a busy Saturday if I am the only one at the register I'd likely get in trouble for chasing after a way to charge a card manually. To safe everybody (us and you as a customer) time, we would most likely ask you to go to the next bank/ATM and get money there. It's a two minute walk and likely much quicker than waiting an hour for a call back.

So. Yes. If you have a non-chipped card and travel Europe please be so kind as to either have some cash on you, especially for small purchases, or at least not to feel offended if a store is not able/willing to process your payment. Also be aware that some smaller stores/restaurants might not accept credit cards at all. And AmEx is not widely accepted, at least in Germany (Visa and Mastercard should usually be allright).

Quote:
I also read several places that your pin cannot start with a "0", which ours did.
Yes, this sometimes is the case (depending on bank/ATM). Some ATMs use the "0" as "cancel". This is becoming less common though. At least in Germany.

Europe consists of so many countries that rules and/or possibilities will vary a lot. Some countries/cities might even accept $ (especially touristy areas) while in other parts this will not be possible. Just something one should at least be aware of
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  #13  
Old July 21st, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bellebaby View Post

I just noticed that the U.S. issued Chase Hyatt Visa now comes with a smart chip. I called Chase and they agreed to send me a replacement card with the chip.
Is the Chase Hyatt VISA a chip & pin or chip & signature card? You want a chip & pin card as a chip & signature card won't be any better than a mag stripe card in Europe.

Last time I researched Chase they were not issuing chip & pin cards.

Lew

Last edited by -Lew-; July 21st, 2012 at 09:29 PM.
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  #14  
Old July 21st, 2012, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Lew- View Post
Is the Chase Hyatt VISA a chip & pin or chip & signature card? You want a chip & pin card as a chip & signature card won't be any better than a mag stripe card in Europe.

Last time I researched Chase they were not issuing chip & pin cards.

Lew
Sadly, they are just chip and signature 'smart' cards.

https://www.chase.com/online/Credit-...-chip-card.htm
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Old July 21st, 2012, 10:20 PM
navybankerteacher navybankerteacher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Lew- View Post
Is the Chase Hyatt VISA a chip & pin or chip & signature card? You want a chip & pin card as a chip & signature card won't be any better than a mag stripe card in Europe.

Last time I researched Chase they were not issuing chip & pin cards.

Lew
Chase "check cards" for use in ATM's as debit cards and as Visa credit cards do have an embedded chip obviously located in the center of the card above the word "blink". Important to have, because nonchip cards (the Europeans generally refer to the chips as "bugs") will not work in machines like gas pumps or railway ticket machines. Just anothder example of US arrogance in failing to keep up with worldwide technology - like trying to ignore the metric system.
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  #16  
Old July 21st, 2012, 10:41 PM
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This is what I've been told to expect:

How do I use my Chip with Signature card?

A. It's simple – just insert the chip portion of the card into the point of sale terminal with the chip facing up, leave the card in the point of sale terminal until the transaction is complete, follow the prompts, and provide your signature if requested.

According to the Chase representative, most transactions will process without the PIN or a signature.

Of course, I haven't tried it so I have no idea if it works.

However, I assume it will be as good or better than a magnetic stripe. We use the card already, we did not get it just for the chip.

My husband is headed to Europe next week. We'll see how it goes.

I did find this recent review:

Do Chip & Signature Cards Really Work in Europe?

Posted on July 16, 2012

We were recently in Europe, and Emily’s new British Airways card with Chip &
Signature technology (whose 100,000 point sign-up bonus ends on Wednesday)
was quite useful.

Automatic machines which sell everything from train tickets to food in Europe
don’t usually accept American credit cards because they don’t have Chip & PIN
technology.

For most travelers, this isn’t a big deal because most stores or shops have a credit
card machine which accepts credit cards with chips as well as US-issued credit
cards which have a magnetic strip to swipe. After all, European shopkeepers and
businesses would have much lower sales if they refuse to accept credit cards
carried by American and other tourists.

But cards with a Chip can be useful and save you time when you have to purchase
tickets from a machine, pay for gas at an automatic pump, or buy a quick candy
bar from a machine. For example, Emily and I used a chip card to:

Buy metro tickets
Rent bikes
Get a drink from the vending machine

However, some US issued cards (such as the Chase British Airways, Chase Hyatt
card, JP Morgan Select) do have a chip in them, but they are Chip and Signature
(where you verify your identity by your signature), unlike the Chip and PIN cards
(where you enter a 4 digit number to verify your identity) used in Europe.

We were also able to use the Chase British Airways card to buy train tickets to
Versailles and Paris Metro tickets. We did try using our regular MasterCards, Visa
cards, and American Express cards, but we couldn’t buy tickets from the automatic
machines because those card didn’t have Chips in them.

However, we had a layover in London, but couldn’t get the card to work in the
automatic check out machine at a WH Smith store at Heathrow airport, so the
Chip & Signature cards don’t work everywhere.

Bottom Line: I wouldn’t go out of my way to apply for a card with a Chip &
Signature if I was occasionally traveling in Europe or countries which use credit
cards with a Chip, unless the card had other benefits (sign-up bonus, free nights,
no foreign transaction fee etc.) besides the Chip.

But I’d certainly carry them with me while traveling if I already had a card with a
Chip.

Last edited by bellebaby; July 21st, 2012 at 10:51 PM.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 10:47 PM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebaby View Post
This is what I've been told to expect:

How do I use my Chip with Signature card?

A. It's simple – just insert the chip portion of the card into the point of sale terminal with the chip facing up, leave the card in the point of sale terminal until the transaction is complete, follow the prompts, and provide your signature if requested.

According to the Chase representative, most transactions will process without the PIN or a signature.

Of course, I haven't tried it so I have no idea if it works.

However, I assume it will be as good or better than a magnetic stripe. We use the card already, we did not get it just for the chip.

My husband is headed to Europe next week. We'll see how it goes.
This is an issue we have experienced first hand on several recent trips to Europe. The Europeans (and most of the world) use a Chip/PIN card that works on the EMV standard. Some of the US credit card companies (we think Chase is in this category) do issue credit cards that have a PIN...but they are not EMV compatable. Sometimes they actually will work in Europe without the PIN and sometimes you will need the PIN. But they are not a substitute for an EMV compatable card which is now required at more and more locations within Europe. This is particularly true for places where you need to use an electronic vending machine such as buying train tickets, purchasing gas, etc. We have also recently had the US cards rejected by some B and B's and restaurants (we always carry enough Euros to cover the tab as a backup).

Hank
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  #18  
Old July 21st, 2012, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlitner View Post
This is an issue we have experienced first hand on several recent trips to Europe. The Europeans (and most of the world) use a Chip/PIN card that works on the EMV standard. Some of the US credit card companies (we think Chase is in this category) do issue credit cards that have a PIN...but they are not EMV compatable. Sometimes they actually will work in Europe without the PIN and sometimes you will need the PIN. But they are not a substitute for an EMV compatable card which is now required at more and more locations within Europe. This is particularly true for places where you need to use an electronic vending machine such as buying train tickets, purchasing gas, etc. We have also recently had the US cards rejected by some B and B's and restaurants (we always carry enough Euros to cover the tab as a backup).

Hank
A few Chase cards are EMV compatible..... but are chip and signature, not chip and pin....

B
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  #19  
Old July 21st, 2012, 10:42 PM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
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We travel extensively (about 5-6 months a year) and have used our ATM card all over the world with little problem. The normal standard is a 4 digit PIN and you should know that PIN in numbers (many European ATMs do not have letters on the keypad). As to 6 digit PINs, sometimes they will work, some times the first 4 digits will work, and other times they will not work at all! You also should notify your issuing bank of your trip itinerary before you leave home (this avoids any potential security problems). If you do have a 6 digit PIN my advice would be to ask your bank if its possible to change it to 4 digits for at least the time of your trip. Otherwise do take your chances but have a back-up plan to get cash.

Hank
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  #20  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by navybankerteacher View Post
Chase "check cards" for use in ATM's as debit cards and as Visa credit cards do have an embedded chip obviously located in the center of the card above the word "blink". Important to have, because nonchip cards (the Europeans generally refer to the chips as "bugs") will not work in machines like gas pumps or railway ticket machines. Just anothder example of US arrogance in failing to keep up with worldwide technology - like trying to ignore the metric system.
Where did you get the idea we refer to the chip as a 'bug'? I live in the UK and we certainly don't. Here a bug is something that makes you sick, as in a 'cold bug', or something that gets into a piece of equipment and affects it's working, as in 'computer bug'. The chip on a bank card is always referred to as a chip, and we talk about 'chip and pin' cards.
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