If there’s one place where the United States has lagged the rest of the world, it’s in credit card security. While most of the world has moved on to wireless technology using a tap-to-pay format, the US credit card terminals have only recently been updated to accept chip payments instead of a swipe.
The only reason that merchants have moved from a swipe to chip technology is because of banking regulations that have shifted the burden of fraudulent transactions to the merchant if they don’t offer up-to-date technology at the point of sale. That means the store and not the bank is on the hook if a payment is made with a phony card.
I’ve noticed that many gas stations have recently updated their pumps to accept chip cards. That’s because they were the last place required to do so, in October 2020. While this means I have to deal with an annoying commercial while pumping my gas, I also have to leave my card inserted to read the chip before removing it.
That is, until today when something happened that has never happened to me before in the U.S.
I was asked to enter my PIN for my credit card at the pump.
To give some background, I recently received a great offer for 7% rewards points on my Barclays Arrival+ card at gas stations. I immediately put it in my wallet for all of our gas station purchases. This was the first time I was using it and I thought nothing when I put it into the pump. It read the normal “MASTERCARD. PLEASE WAIT” that it has with every other card I’ve used before. However, I was shocked when the pump asked for my PIN.
I know the Arrival+ is a Chip+PIN card and I keep it for when we travel and may need a card with this capability. I never imagined that I’d be able to use it a few miles from my house. I had to think for a second about what the PIN for this card was. I typed it in and waited.
ACCEPTED – PLEASE REMOVE CARD
It worked. I used a Chip+PIN card at a gas station in the US. Welcome to the 2000s.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary