57 thoughts on “July 24, 2016

  1. Wait? The US is finally getting Chip and PIN? The UK has had it about 12 years and Europe at least a decade before that.

    • Nope. From what I understand it is chip and signature. (I say that because i still run mine as debit and therefore have to enter a pin.)

        • The chip spits out a unique code every time, which gets interpreted by the card company or bank. If someone copies that code and tries to use it again, it won’t work.

          The magnetic stripe just has your name, card number, expiration date, and CVV2 code in ‘plain text’. It’s very easy to skim real cards and use the harvested info to make bogus clones.

        • It’s more like a form of two-step authentication. To buy on the high street you physically need the card but also know the PIN, a four-digit number you can change at an ATM machine. It’s short for ‘Personal Identification Number’.

          It’s worth noting that if the banks can prove that you gave someone else your PIN, they will blame the cardholder for any theft, including withdrawals that might be a sign the card was cloned.

          • We’ve had PIN numbers for years. The difference is the chip. But everywhere I use it with the chip it requires a signature afterward.

    • Yeah, we’re finally getting a chip program set up in this country, I didn’t realize Europe has had one longer than a couple decades though! Seems like what finally pushed us over the edge to start using them was when hackers stole info from both Target and Home Depot systems that included consumers’ debit and credit card info a few years back, all the companies that delt with that sort of data were suddenly ready to spend the millions to change things nation wide. Problem we seem to have (although it has been nearly 2 months since I last ran a register), is that there are plenty of places the readers won’t take the chip, even though the maching is ready to go, who ever is approving them for the major credit companies is dragging their feet on doing so and claiming it could take years. I was also hearing complaints about how long some of the machines were taking (my old employer’s machines were nice and quick, although a bit obnoxious when done), even when not really justified. Also had a few customers that just didn’t like the system for what ever reason, even though is more secure and not much slower to approve a purchase than just swiping a card, like at my last store.

      • Two years ago I found a place in montreal that didn’t take debit or credit of any kind they didn’t have a machine at all. Sufficient to say they are now closed.

    • Considering the resistance the U.S. has had to the metric system (for DECADES now), does that really surprise you?

      • why would we want some outdated guessing system when we can have the IMPERIAL system see it even has a cooler sounding name lol

        • Calling it the imperial system is cruel, because then people are going to think that you use imperial measure!

          I’m only a little bitter about getting used to American volumetric measurements and then screwing up an old recipe by thinking that a quart is a little bit *less* than a litre.

      • We have plenty of things in the US printed in both systems, and scientists, the government, and organizations that require more precision use metric, or SI rather since that is actually the more proper term for the international standard of what we used to call metric. Students learn both systems in school and have been for about 30 years. Therefore, the US effectively has converted to metric. Private industry and local state governments (particularly on things like speed limit signs) are the only areas where there is resistance, and the major argument has been cost, as well as potential confusion during the transition. Miles to kilometers will probably be the last holdout, only because we have nearly four million miles of roads and about two signs every .25 miles (i.e. at least 16 million signs and the labor to install them). That’s A LOT of money, and every federal/state/local government has to agree to spend it. Therefore, as the US has always done with every change, from telegraphs to fuel sources, they will phase out the transition over multiple generations. And the decision to do it that way doesn’t hurt anyone. No one is going to die because we are still using miles instead of kilometers. We have a significantly larger land mass and individual cities with larger populations than the UK. That translates to much bigger problems. How about those of you who don’t live here not act like you understand our problems and have all the answers? It’s insulting.

        • Furthermore, for those who have never read primary sources from the Framers, the United States government was actually intentionally designed to be a slow process, compliments of James Madison. The anti-federalists didn’t agree with him but only because they thought the process was not slow enough and gave the federal government too much power. The idea is that between the balance of power and the amount of time it takes to move up through our political system, it is nearly impossible for a tyrant to take over from the inside. Hitler moved up very quickly in the German government. Someone like him would never be able to do that here. The only way to take over our country from the inside is with a coup involving a two-thirds majority of at least two branches of the federal government and every member of the joint chiefs of staff. Even then, we have state agencies that outnumber the federal agencies and state governors pledged to resist such a takeover as part of their vow to “defend the Constitution of the United States…” that every government official takes. When the government is slow to change, it means it is working properly, and we are safe because of it. With a government so powerful and a nation with so much international influence, this is absolutely necessary not just for us but for the entire world. If we break, everyone breaks, and the effect of every depression and recession we have ever had on the rest of the world should stand as proof of that. Those who complain therefore do not understand.

          • When those kids are older they can use both whenever they please. That way when the time comes to begin the full transition the younger generations will not be as hesitant.

        • The metric system is neither more nor less precise than the customary system here in the US. Precision comes from measurements, not units. That said, metric is *way* more easy to use.

  2. Customers DRIVE me NUTS with this chip thing.
    They refuse to ever take it out of the slot no matter how loud the buzzing is or how many times I say ‘take it out now, you are done, everything is done, blah blah blah.’

    They also get so angry over it.

    I keep hearing ‘every store is different,’ ‘every pin pad is different.’

    Riiiiight, i know that. But all you have to do is listen to the words coming out of my mouth [which they LOVE to ignore] and this whole ‘what to do with my card’ would be as easy as 1 2 3 !

    Stick it in the hole!
    Shove it in the hole!


    Go back to cash if you are so pissed about chips now.

    • I understand your frustration! The chips are a bit confusing at first, but after using them a few times it shouldn’t take a prompt from the cashier.

      The first time I used mine, I probably made a few of the blunders you described, but I only made them once. I apologized beforehand, saying that I’d never used one before, and she was actually very nice about it. I know she was probably tired of explaining how the thing worked, though!

    • They wouldn’t even need verbal cues from the cashier if they would just RTFD on the card reader screen! Seriously, how difficult is it to pay attention to what you’re doing?

      • I have had more than one experience, both as a customer and as a cashier, in which the instruction on the screen and the words of the cashier were different and the screen was wrong. So yes, you still have to listen. My tendency is to comprehend what I read faster than what I hear and act before I realize what the cashier said, so as a customer I have frozen a few POS machines. That doesn’t mean I don’t listen, it just means part of my brain works better than another part and sort of takes over. It’s human, and the fact that you don’t do it doesn’t make you superior in any way. People who act then think are better survivors than those who think then act. We need them, for the survival of our species, so don’t be so critical of them.

        • Now, the not taking it out part, that’s flight-fight-freeze, and they don’t have any control over that, either. The noise assaults their senses, and they can’t function because their brain flips a switch that momentarily paralyzes them. That’s a design flaw, not a problem with the customer.

      • based on the number of customers at my work that walk into the doors that say “Not an Exit” in large 8-inch bolded leter (in white on a red background) expecting them to open automatically, I’d say it’s extremely difficult to read signs.

        Unless it’s an expired sale sign that someone forgot to take down. then they know every word on it (except the “expires” date part, of course)

      • I’ve had issues sometimes because I was trying to pay attention to multiple things (probably either bagging the last of my groceries or keeping the preschooler from running off), and got the “don’t remove card” and “please remove card” messages confused (I can’t even remember which direction I screwed it up in – probably took it out too soon, because the other one isn’t really an issue.)

    • Only two things about the chip cards annoy me: 1. Only half the stores have upgraded the software when they got the new reader — You still have to swipe (that is the reason I ask before “shoving it”; 2, the chip is fragile. I have had one fail and had to replace the card.

      • The whole card is fragile! My first one melted, I’m assuming from the heat of being in my wallet where all of my other cards are with absolutely no problem.

      • Problem #1 is my major beef too. I’m in the habit of asking (and keep asking at some of the stores that do have the chip reader set up, because I don’t shop there often enough to remember) because I’ve been to too many stores where they have the fancy new readers, but haven’t set them up yet and don’t know when/if they will.

      • It isn’t even that they haven’t upgraded their software. They have to get their systems approved before they’re allowed to use the chip reader which requires someone physically coming to their location to check it. That’s why the roll out is so slow: everyone’s on a wait list to get approved.

  3. Actually that sound is pretty damn useful for me in any self checkout because it ensures I actually remember to take the damn card again.
    Not always, i have forgotten it one or two times, but now I remember to listen to that beep so I actually remember the card.

    • Most of the ones I’ve used don’t beep. But they also don’t print the receipt or give you any other “transaction complete” signal until you remove your card.

  4. You’d think they would start with something that sounds positive (think video game coin collect sound or short fanfare chime), then bring out the klaxons if the card stays in far longer than necessary.

  5. Meanwhile in Australia we’ve already moved on to Paywave/Paypass and pretty much abolished cheques. How are cheques still a thing over there?

    • Barely. Barely is how they’re still a thing over here. Almost nobody uses them in stores though because it takes forever.

      • We take in anywhere from 5-50 checks a day at my store, more during the holidays. The average is probably 25-35, with Sundays being the day we take in the fewest checks. I know because I work in the cash office. Most of them are for payments on people’s store charge cards, but a surprising amount are for sales, and it’s not just older people. I can tell by the handwriting that women in their 20s and 30s are writing some of them.

        Of course, that’s just a small percentage of the transactions in a day.

      • I’m coming up on 40 and still write checks most of the time if I don’t have cash on me. Makes me think a bit more if I have to write a number out vs run a debit or credit card. My current employer doesn’t take cash (lawn weed and nutrition specialists) and my previous employer got to the point that he would all but flip out if somebody actually had the nerve to want write a check. Last customer I saw him do that do while still there made me want to walk out with the customer, and was kinda hoping the customer never came back to pick up the stuff he wanted to buy.

        • If someone has exact change, it’s hard to tell them no to the cash purchase.

          That’s actually rather illegal on a federal level if that store was in the United States of America. Cash is the one form of payment they are required to accept (and food stamps for grocery stores). All others are either accepted or not as a customer convenience.

          I might choose that store and insist upon paying cash (figuring out exact change ahead of time to ensure I had it) and not leave until accepted.

          • You didn’t read the entire reply. He said his employer is a lawn care/weed care company. Those are the guys who come to your house and take care of your lawn. It’s not safe for the workers to carry cash on them so it’s very common for them not to accept cash.

          • Maybe not so illegal as you would think. Many banks no longer accept cash as payment on loans. They started this a couple of years ago. The beginnings of the war on cash.

    • We still use cheques here in the US, though it gets awfully rare. I think it’s mostly in grocery stores or some retailers. Food service places almost always have a big “No Cheques” sign on the door.

    • “How are cheques still a thing over there?”

      You have to pass a credit check to get a debit card, that’s how. It’s also still the only way to pay your rent on an apartment without paying a convenience fee. Even if I use online bill pay to pay the rent, the bank is still mailing them a check.

    • I use them for paying my rent. And they came in handy when my debit card expired and a mix up at the bank caused me to not have a new one for almost two months.

    • Yes, but that’s the point. The idea is that it’s loud and obnoxious to REALLY make it clear that the customer needs to take that card.

  6. I just wish either all stores have the chip machines or none of them did. Flipping between the 2 drives me nuts. As for checks, It’s very rare when I write one or see someone else write one. When we changed banks about a year ago and we were ordering checks for those rare occasions that we needed them, my husband asked why I didn’t get one of the special designs. I said, “why bother? they cost extra and we almost never use them. He thought about it for a second then didn’t say another word.

    • Around here, a lot of stores have chip readers but not all of them work yet. So when I swipe, it usually turns out that I need to insert, and when I insert, I should have swiped. Apparently enough customers have done this that a lot of stores are putting up stickers saying that the chip readers aren’t ready to use.

      My latest credit card has a strip, a chip, but doesn’t have raised numbers. That’s going to make it hard for those of us who still use knuckle busters. Yes, I still do–you’ve heard of small business? I’m about two levels below that. 🙂 I just have to make sure that when I write the numbers down on the slip I get them right…

  7. Our chip reader is one of the few technologies our company has gotten right. They’re lightning quick (slightly faster than the swipe was even!) and even if a chip is physically damaged, it’ll accept a swipe after it shows a ‘chip not read’ message. It doesn’t have any obnoxious sounds and won’t finish the transaction until the card’s been removed. Our stores are so good at taking money, if only they were half as good as paying out…

  8. We had the loud, obnoxious buzz at our store for a while, before it got replaced with a much less harsh *bing bing bing* like you’ve left your car keys in the ignition as you’re getting out.

  9. Ugh….My store mainly deals with older generations and every. single. one. complains about this shit! Seriously I have no power over if a store uses it or not. Yes, I know that every store is different. Yes I constantly repeat the instructions on how to use the card reader because 99% of people are to dumb to figure it out. You asking how many times I say it just at this point annoys me and makes me instantly dislike you.

  10. I’m glad I can turn the volume down on our pin pads. That noise irritates the crap out of customers and me. But then when it’s all the way off, they never take out the card without me prompting them to do so. We need a happy medium or a happier sound.

  11. I love it when they make me “sign” the slip. I usually just put a scribble that in no way resembles my signature. NOBODY ever compares it to the signature on the back. It’s a useless exercise that has no security value.

  12. I honestly agree with the lady. The sound it makes sounds very much like “you did something wrong!” I noticed it sounded different the last time I used one, so maybe they’ve fixed it since then?

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