General Question

johnpowell's avatar

If you have a credit card with a chip and pin what is used as the pin?

Asked by johnpowell (16172points) February 23rd, 2018

The store near my apartment just forced me use to use chip-and-pin for credit card purchases. I was somewhat shocked to find that the pin they use (Capital One) is my damn zip code. This seems like the worst piece of information to use as the pin.

If my wallet is stolen my ID has my zip. If they find my card or it is left behind the odds are pretty good the zip will be the same the card was found in.

Is this common? Do other people also use their zip? And if they don’t use your zip what is used?

I looked on their website and don’t see the option to change it to something else like a pin of my choosing or at least the last four of my SSN.

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14 Answers

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

As far as I have seen, they skipped the PIN part of the implementation in the US.

Gas pumps ask for a zip code. Nobody else asks for anything.

zenvelo's avatar

The zip code input is not a PIN; it is a rudimentary verification process. Companies use the zip code when you buy something on line without providing a billing address.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The chip and pin is only used for debit with my bank. I can skip the pin and use the card as a credit card and sign for the purchase.

Lightlyseared's avatar

In the UK the PIN is the same as the PIN for the ATM. When I’ve used the card in the US they’ve just swiped it and made me sign. Usually after being upset that I’ve forgotten to sign the back of it and closely examining my passport.

johnpowell's avatar

I was at a Circle-K buying lemonade and red vines (excellent lemonade straw). If I use my Debit card there the chip and pin thing it does use the pin I would use at the ATM. But this was a actual credit card where it wanted my zipcode.

And to be fair, a few days ago before the new machine was installed I would just swipe my credit card and hit the credit button and that was it. No pin, no signature, they never looked at the card. So I get that this might be more secure, but it is theater.

STORY-TIME… It was around 1995 and Bank of America just pushed out the whole debit card with a visa logo. It still pains me people don’t know the difference between a debit and credit card. But I got one and ended up in a very small store outside Reno. I yank out my fancy new card and hand it over to buy some snacks for the long drive back to Oregon. The clerk pulls out one of those carbon copy slide machines. Being sort of interested in this I chat up the clerk. First, they have to mail all the carbon copy of the slips in. Second, Visa was super-strict and would not allow them to check signatures.

Keep in mind this was the transition from Visa from being just loans (credit cards) where they did credit checks to being a thing any shmuck could get (Debit). So she was talking about how Visa is a “premium” brand and they don’t question things to make a Visa user feel like a criminal. They are willing to eat the loss on fraud. Visa did get more strict, but didn’t lower the fees. What the market will bear I suppose.

janbb's avatar

If you are using a debit card with a chip you input a PIN that you have set up beforehand. With a credit card with a chip sometimes they ask for a zip code; this is mainly at gas stations. Most stores don’t ask for your zip code at all.

funkdaddy's avatar

You can call and set the PIN to whatever you want, I think they even allow up to 8 digits on most. I can change mine online for some, but not others.

The credit card companies forced the chip and PIN rollout by saying liability lies with the vendor if they don’t use it and a charge is challenged. If the tech isn’t available on your card, then liability instead lies with the card issuer.

ragingloli's avatar

On my debit card it is a random 4 digit code.

kritiper's avatar

PIN = Personal Identification Number. A 4 digit number of your choice, presumably one you can remember.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The credit card companies forced the chip and PIN

??

Does it even exist in the US? I have never seen it or heard of it in use.

si3tech's avatar

@johnpowell I just came on this a few months ago. US slate visa card.

janbb's avatar

@Jay. Yes, many cards are converting to chip. Much more secure. Plus they can be used in Europe which has had them longer.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@janbb All my cards have chips.

We got the chip part of the deal in the US, not the whole Chip ‘n Pin.

janbb's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Oh sorry. I misunderstood your comment then.

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