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Sarcasm's avatar

What's the reason for different security measures when making credit purchases?

Asked by Sarcasm (16778points) February 28th, 2010

The Albertson’s I’ve gone to for the past 6 months has always required me to enter my zip code. Today when I was buying some food, it didn’t ask for it, and threw me for a loop completely.
That’s with the self-checkout.

The Target nearby, I just scan my card and off I go. No ID, no signing, no zip code.
The Fry’s electronics nearby, no zip code, but I do have to sign the receipt.
The local CVS pharmacy requires me to show my ID.

Why do stores all seem to have different policies for this stuff? Is it just the managers’ differing ideas of “What makes good security” and “How much security is needed”? Is there some other reason?

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6 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

It will probably have to do with the various store’s relationship with their banks and card companies as well as their indemnity insurance rules.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

The credit card companies want to protect all times. You need to stay in touch with your CC company to make sure you’re not getting different rates…make sure you read, re-read, and READ again the fine print.

lilikoi's avatar

When retailers ask for zipcode, they mean billing zipcode associated with your credit card account, and it is indeed for security. It is a security measure to ensure you are who you say you are. I think this is reasonable. If not for this, anyone that finds your card on the sidewalk would be able to buy gas and anything else that is self-checkout (where no one is there to ask for ID) at your expense. I’m not sure why some do this while others don’t. I’m not sure why the self checkout at Albertson’s didn’t ask for it. I think it may be that older technology is installed in some places, or that some retailers are quicker to keep up with the latest trends while others are not (trends may not be the best word here), not sure.

YARNLADY's avatar

With some stores the information is automatic, and others ask you for it.

Snarp's avatar

I think there’s a purchase limit for signatures, maybe for zip code too. Some places I go don’t ask for a signature unless my purchase is over a certain amount. But I still don’t know at what level that policy is set.

shirleylopez's avatar

Different store have different security standards and different merchant policies for security on credit cards. I think it is also a way of protecting themselves from possible credit card fraud (i.e. to have a different security procedures).

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