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23 January, 2010

dirty tactics of some small retailers

It is always a good thing to support your local business by shopping at local retailers. However, when it comes to make the payments, some smaller retailers will trick you to pay in a different way than the one you planned originally.

Firstly, at time of payment, if you choose to pay by plastic card, some smaller retailer will ask you out loud Saving or cheque? when swiping your credit card through EFTPOS machine. A simply reason they do that is because they prefer you not to pay by credit card as they pay higher fees to precess credit cards. However, as for consumers, most bank accounts comes with limited number of fee-free transactions when using your ATM card (withdraw or using EFTPOS), while purchasing by credit card is usually fee-free.

My advice for shoppers intending to use credit card for purchasing is simple: clear your throat and reply out loud credit card please.

Since some time last year, using PIN instead of signing on credit card payment was introduced in Australia. Many shops will ask you PIN or sign? these days. However, some retailers will try to trick you to use PIN instead of signing by asking do you have a PIN? instead. What's wrong with that? Tricking people to use the PIN.

Some background first: With payment using PIN on credit card, the retailer will not be held responsible for the transaction. In plain words, the retailer is passing the responsibility of the transaction to the consumer by tricking them to use PIN. Further, in Australia, the regulation does not allow retailers to force consumers to use PIN instead of signing.

My advice for shoppers intending to make free rewards points while purchasing is simple: insist on signing, and tell the retailer that by law you are not required to use the PIN for credit card purchase in Australia.

In the unfortunate event of cards being skimmed, if you do not use the PIN, you are safer by default as the skimmer will need to forge your signature as well.

Posted by Antony on 23 January 2010 10:34 PM |

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comments
No-one is forced to use a PIN, it is actually safer than a signature and takes less time.
If you take the time to notice Antony, that some small retailers will have a sign saying EFTPOS ONLY, not CREDIT Card use, is acceptable, their choice. Also many small retailer's main customers do not have credit cards but account access cards, hence, "savings or cheque" is quite appropriate.
Points vampires like you do not constitute the majority of card users.Get used to it!
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 24 January 2010 11:09 AM.
"Points vampire", me? Aren't you the one telling me to use credit cards whenever I can?
For smaller retailers that have credit card logos on their windows/doors, they shouldn't entice people use direct debit ("savings or cheque").
Using PIN is not any safer, not for consumers anyway. (Using PIN is safer for retailers from their prospective.) As I mentioned before, if you choose to use PIN, and you swipe the card through an EFTPOS device that has been compromised (recent news), your PIN will be captured like regular ATM cards. In other words, signing is safer (for consumers).
Posted by Antony on 24 January 2010 12:58 PM.
If it's security that you're worried about, you should know that cash is probably the safest - completely anonymous and not tied to your bank account in any way. If somebody sees your cash, there's no way to compromise the rest of your funds by copying down numbers or similar.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 24 January 2010 3:22 PM.
You believe everything you see/hear on populist TV shows.
I've been using credit cards longer than you've been alive and never had one thing go wrong.
Don't blame the small retailers, it's up to you to make the transaction to your satisfaction.
Cash is disgusting and not the way to go DON, IMO.
Posted by Rev.Dr.Wu Yi on 24 January 2010 6:43 PM.
Don,
You are concerned about your super secret issue, which is not security related. Paying by cash usually cost more. (Withdrawing cash out of the bank counter costs a lot, and electronic withdrawing from ATM machine aren't necessary free either, and there's a risk of handling money. Last September, Telstra even decided to penalize people paying bills by cash.)
Posted by Antony on 25 January 2010 11:30 AM.
Then if your bank doesn't let you make free withdrawals, you don't need to keep so much there, and minimize the amount of withdrawals that you need to make. There are always free and cheap ways to do things, even if you always choose to label them as "super-secretive" or "not good enough" and so forth.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 25 January 2010 12:25 PM.
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