Swipe payment declined in the US

Hi guys! So here is the deal. Swipe payment is the norm in the US, some shops use the same terminals we have in Europe, but the slot for chip payments is sealed. It’s just not an option.

However, each time I try and pay on one of these terminals, my payment is declined and my transaction record says that I should have used chip and pin for security reasons.

This is really annoying, I’m basically scared of not being able to pay for my meal all the time. I contacted Revolut and their customer service representative tried and convince me that chip payment was available. I mean, I understand that your payment processor is top notch, and it’s 2018 and all, but there’s still a real world out there. And you guys haven’t invented credit cards. Believe it or not, most of us have been using them for a while. We know how they work. If we say that chip and pin was not available in the real world, it’s because it wasn’t. I don’t know, take a trip to the US and see for yourself.

Anyway, has anyone else experienced a similar issue and how can we prevent this from happening? Am I the only one who thinks that their security feature is not helping at all? I want to love Revolut, but being unable to use swipe or contactless whenever they’re activated is a real turn off for me. I need to be able to trust my bank!

Two things that you’re probably already aware of:

– the 1st payment with every new card needs to be chip + PIN (for card activation)
– mag stripe payments can be turned off in the security settings. That is not the case I assume?

And then this:

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Just out of curiosity:

Did the POS terminals tell you to insert the card after you swiped it by any chance or did it just decline the payment instantly after swiping it?

If the POS terminal still knows it’s a Chip&PIN terminal and it sees a card like Revolut with a 2xx service code on the magstripe, it should ask you to insert the card because it’s a Chip card.
In that case it would be a problem of the POS terminal not being configured properly, just blocking the slot doesn’t do anything to prevent the terminal to know it got a chip&pin terminal technically.

Magstripe payments with chip enabled cards are usually only possible on Magstripe only terminals or in fallback scenarios (Chip or Reader defect).

Doesn’t help you “in the real world”, but I have no recent experience with card payments in the US and just like to know for myself what’s the current status there for future reference :slight_smile:

I haven’t had many problems with Revolut in the US. That was with the first non-contactless card, issued by Paysafe, Dec. 2015 / Jan. 2016. I believe the service code configuration hasn’t change since then.

This was my experience:

  • magstripe payments generally worked well
  • a lady at CVS was a little bit confused because the POS terminal ask things and we had to start over like 5 times, but it eventually work (what @slz said might explain this)
  • if POS terminals ask credit or debit, always chose credit, that’s true for all international cards, a guy from a hipster gin store told me

Thanks for your feedback guys, I appreciate!

Frank: no worries, I am aware of the things that you mention. I usually have no problem in the US as long as the terminal is not a chip and pin terminal, which sounds like what slz describes. The good news is Safeway has swipe only terminals, so at least I can go to the grocery store.

Slz: Hahaha! Doesn’t help in the real world, indeed, but now I get to talk to people who understand the issue! :wink: The terminals didn’t tell me to insert the card, they just denied my payments (both swipe and contactless).

So my only option is to eat at restaurants that have swipe only terminals?

My experience was that 1 POS terminal during a 3 week long trip made problems. And the lady behind the counter was helpful and very patient. Even after I offered to pay in cash, she insisted that we are going to try it until it works. It did in the end. I paid with card whenever possible.