My pet peeve.
Some Verifone POS scanners/card readers are a real POS.
“Tim Hortons” is a mostly Canadian version of Starbucks.
They use Card scanners from Verifone, often with Chase or Chase Bank on the side.
I don’t “tap” my card. I have several reasons.
So I insert my card and enter my four digit pin code.
The last time I did this was typical;
The display registered seven digits entered. Yes damn it Verifone, I can count to four, and do it much more accurately than you can.
Watching the display carefully, you can sometimes see a double entry for one button push.
Classic contact bounce.
This takes me back to the early 70’s when solid state logics started to make its way into industrial controls in place of relay logic.
I was tasked with developing a “hands on” training course in solid state logic for electricians.
This was before PLCs arrived. PLCs obsoleted solid state logic overnight.
Working at the component level, as soon as we started to implement counters and shift registers we immediately discovered “contact bounce”.
The problem was quickly ans easily solved be incorporating a delay of a few mili-seconds to avoid counting the “bounces” as a contact closed.
Now, after almost 50 years, contact bounce is back.
This is not an isolated incident, it is common throughout the Tim Hortons chain in Southern Alberta.
I wonder if Verifone rounded up all the bad readers and supplied them to Tim Hortons at a discount price.
Has anyone else encountered Verifone POS readers with contact bounce?
My pet peeve.
Almost. At Canadian Tire just the other day, and the cashier warned me “don’t jiggle it”. That particular one was also heavily abused and I’m surprised it hadn’t yet been replaced. I think the handheld unit said “TD bank” on it, so not the same as the Veriphone POS you saw.
I also find the user interface is pretty stupid on many POS card readers. Some make you go between touch-screen and keypad multiple times to pick an account, provide a tip, nag for cash back, enter your PIN, print a receipt, and so on.
The strangest thing I see is the Costco line of card readers. Every time I enter my PIN, the screen flashes momentarily “INCORRECT PIN” before happily accepting my payment. It’s always gone before I can show the cashier.
At a Walgreens last week, I used the hover or wave of the chip card for the very first time. An extrememly pleasant teller guided me through it. It was so quick and easy and effortless, IT WAS SCAREY! But, then, it was a simple transaction. No tip, no looking if I had any points on my Walgreens club account, nothing. What was really worrisome after the fact, NO PIN was required! I’m not sure I like that. IIRC, in Europe and Asia, the PIN is mandatory. Is it in Canada?
PIN is not required in Canada but I don’t tap.
When the “Tap” feature was introduced I received a nice letter from my bank telling me that if I used “Tap” twice within the first month, I would receive a $10 bonus.
The next day, on my way to work, I stopped in for a coffee, a doughnut and a “tap”.
The shop’s computer locked up for about 5 minutes.
I have nevr used “tap” again.
I handed my debit card to a cashier thinking that he was going to insert it into the machine.
No. He just tapped and handed the card back.
The account that “tap” took the funds from was not the account that I had intended to use.
I had a property manager who loved to “tap”. A couple of times a month her “tap” would tap the property joint account. She would replace the funds but there would be extra lines on the ledger for both me and my accountant to review at tax time.
I would have rather that she kept her inconvenience to herself.
Lastly, in the event that my card is lost and tapped fraudulently, I can suggest to the bank to check their records; I don’t tap.
I occasionally find Verifone machines at other locations, but the ones at Timmy’s are the worst.
Every Timmy’s within a 250 mile radius of home has Verifone issues.
Tap is very convenient, but watch out:
If you have a tap-enabled credit card, put it in a RFID blocking sleeve. I have a couple of CC’s in my wallet, and when one came with this feature I took it to the bank to have the tap feature deliberately turned off.
AFAIK, the USA and Canada are surprisingly different in credit card usage. In Canada (only) then: I’ve had a chip-card for decades, and a PIN is mandatory to use that. I prefer this level of security. Before that, cards needed to be swiped along the edge, and it’s still possible in some stores, but most people prefer the security of the chip+PIN. Tap came along about 5-10 years ago. Given the ease of theft I really think it’s pretty stupid. There should always be some friction in any currency transaction, for many reasons. Badly educated consumers can be too easily convinced that convenience is always in their benefit. I never would have guessed a complicated reason like Bill’s bedeviled property manager, but it’s the same reason - too easy to make a stupid mistake.
I keep my tappable credit card in a RFID blocking wallet. Is there any way you can test this stuff?
I like tapping for small amounts. I don’t like people looking over my shoulder watching my tap in my PIN.
The banks keep offering me the tappable credit cards, and I say no, or I shred them without activating them.
Credit cards don’t have a PIN option, but at a gas pump, you need to know the Zip code to use one.
Then again I am not in Canada.
In Canada, chip cards, both debit and credit, have a PIN code.
Consumers are protected by different laws in different countries.
I’m interested in knowing more about card security and features in other countries.
I know in Asia my PIN is required every transaction.
In Australia transactions up to $200 no longer need PINs. I get an email for each transaction over $50 (or whatever value I choose). Very few businesses now take cash by preference, it’s almost always card or phone.
I have been looking at ways to deactivate the tap feature. Most go with disconnecting the antena from the chip. I tried it on a couple of cards, knowing if I messed it up I could replace the cards. I’m not sure how to test it.
Maybe I need to activate the cards first.
Why not call the card company and ask?
FYI: if you live in the USA, you need to know the different rules that apply to you, which are unique to the USA and possibly different from state to state, as well.
My approach might not work for you, because in Canada, every credit card company issues its cards through a financial agreement with a bank, no exceptions. So I know I can walk into or phone a Bank of Montreal to fix a Mastercard, or to a Royal Bank to fix a problem with a VISA card.
I tried calling the company, and no joy. I decided to do my own surgery on the card, knowing that if it failed they would replace the card, and I can make a second attempt.
I actually did the surgery on two of my cards, one my debit card, the other a credit card (no worry I have other credit cards), so I will test the credit card tonight when I get gas.
I found the surgery instructions on the internet, to just break the antani connection.
All of my UK cards can be managed through some sort of online (often phone app) arrangement - some of which offer the ability to turn contactless payments on or off at will.
Finding a card provider who offers this facility would offer a lot less opportunity for somebody to disclaim liability for fraudulent transactions on the basis that you had interfered with their security provisions.