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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I first met chip n pin in Switzerland in about 1992. Whilst the retailers would accept UK cards, they were annoyed they had to work with the old paper voucher system as was still being used in the UK.

I don't know where it did actually start but I don't think it was the UK. I wouldn't be at all surprised were it France, since they do seem to get on board of latest technology much quicker than anywhere else (cf Minitel).
I don't think it was UK initially but I do know that trying to use a US card without the Chip & Pin is sometimes impossible in France and the UK. Retailers just don't carry the old paper slips and card slide machines, they all use the card reader with the keyboard for you to enter your pin.

Citicards did talk about issuing C&P but they haven't yet to my knowledge, and one reason might be the 'tipping' which is normally added to the paper card slip by the purchaser - can't do that with C&P. Tipping is a big issue in the US unlike Europe, loads of US places rely on tips for their staff income.

Different strokes.....................

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I first met chip n pin in Switzerland in about 1992. Whilst the retailers would accept UK cards, they were annoyed they had to work with the old paper voucher system as was still being used in the UK.

I don't know where it did actually start but I don't think it was the UK. I wouldn't be at all surprised were it France, since they do seem to get on board of latest technology much quicker than anywhere else (cf Minitel).
Here's all I could find on the timeline: "A forerunner of chip and PIN (personal identification number) technology was introduced in France in 1990. It wasn't until 2002 that United Kingdom banks and clearance systems confirmed introduction of the technology with the first trials beginning in Northampton, England, in 2003. Full rollout started in 2004."
 

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"Chip and Pin" is the name given to the system in UK and Ireland and started in 2003. The French had a similar system Carte Bleue in 1992. The original PIN system was using the magnetic stripe.

Chip and PIN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Carte Bleue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Such systems are much more secure than the card and sign system in use in the US. Any magnetic reader can steal the details from a card that relies on the magnetic stripe whereas a chip reader is required to left the information on the chip. The signature method is as secure as an open door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
"Chip and Pin" is the name given to the system in UK and Ireland and started in 2003. The French had a similar system Carte Bleue in 1992. The original PIN system was using the magnetic stripe.

Chip and PIN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Carte Bleue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Such systems are much more secure than the card and sign system in use in the US. Any magnetic reader can steal the details from a card that relies on the magnetic stripe whereas a chip reader is required to left the information on the chip. The signature method is as secure as an open door.
The mag stripe actually has three lines of data and the machines in use in retail establishments cannot read the third line which contains all the confidential stuff. I worked in the place where they programmed ATM's for a while - endless fun! Especially the cartoon on the office wall with someone using an ATM and the caption read "What do you mean, what do I want it for?" :D
 
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The signature method is as secure as an open door.
Yikes! and I thought I was soooooo smart!! How is the signature method insecure?

And, as I understand it, like all technologies, the Chip and PIN system is already being hacked and there have been instances of fraud, but rather than a one at a time fraud these were system attacks that took in large quantities of card info & thus millions in fraud.

  • PIN harvesting and stripe cloning
  • Hidden hardware disables PIN checking on stolen card
 

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I think the US will adopt the PIN method very soon- so many people use it already with debit cards so the technology is in place. Signatures can easily be forged so it's easier for a thief who steals your wallet to run out and buy a bunch of stuff before you cancel your cards. But the PIN system is certainly not fail safe, as hackers are everywhere.

Regarding using a US card to earn points- are you having to pay a foreign transaction fee when you use this card? I don't have a US linked card where I don't, but if one exists I would like to sign up! I miss making money using my credit card instead of paying to have one like you do here.

And checks- good lord I hate them, I have up use them so much more here than I ever did in the US. They are incredibly insecure and putting one in the mail always makes me so nervous.
 

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Yikes! and I thought I was soooooo smart!! How is the signature method insecure?
So many people's signatures are very easy to copy especially those of females whose signature resembles a 12 year-olds and they never change it. I could write my sister's signature even now. It is also easy if one has the card with the signature there in front of you to learn how to replicate it. My signature is a scribble that does not reflect my name and those are not easy to copy in a fluent manner so that it looks right. I can easily write SWMBO's signature and have had to sign letters on her behalf in the past. Funnily enough, her mother's I find harder because she has the American looooonng drawn out style of writing (a sort of Texan drawl on paper) so that her signature goes almost the full width of the page.

My father's was a signature full of flourish and difficult to execute with accuracy, my mother's was easy so it was hers I used to use when I had a bad school report card that needed signing :D:D:D
 

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I think the US will adopt the PIN method very soon- so many people use it already with debit cards so the technology is in place. Signatures can easily be forged so it's easier for a thief who steals your wallet to run out and buy a bunch of stuff before you cancel your cards. But the PIN system is certainly not fail safe, as hackers are everywhere.

Regarding using a US card to earn points- are you having to pay a foreign transaction fee when you use this card? I don't have a US linked card where I don't, but if one exists I would like to sign up! I miss making money using my credit card instead of paying to have one like you do here.

And checks- good lord I hate them, I have up use them so much more here than I ever did in the US. They are incredibly insecure and putting one in the mail always makes me so nervous.
I think credit cards are far less common here for general use. Some retailers do have them with no charge - Mr Bricolage, for example, and for purchases at their partner retailers (SNCF, etc.) - where you have the option to defer payment or to have the immediate debit, but you "earn" 5% on all you spend - granted in the form of vouchers, but nevertheless .... I postponed getting a Mr Brico card 'cos I hadn't appreciated it could be used as both a debit and a credit card, and I didn't want to sign up for a credit card, but with hindsight, I should've got one earlier than I did.

But I disagree about the security of cheques. Because I know from experience that it's much easier to recover funds by cheque that have been misappropriated than by any other form of payment, I actually feel much happier putting a cheque in the post and asking the recipient to confirm receipt, by phone or email.

hils
 

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I suspect the charges for stopping payments must vary by bank. Last time I checked my little brochure of charges they had some differentiation about when they do or don't charge. Something like, if you lose cheques or your card and you want to stop a payment, you pay the fee, but if there is deception involved, you don't. Or maybe vice-versa... Or if it's theft or other illegal use of your card or checks, you don't pay, but if you just want to stop a payment because you've changed your mind or didn't like the quality of the stuff you received, you pay.

And Hils is right, the cards with the "puce" originated in France. At some point there were US cards with chips in them, but (of course) they placed the chips in a slightly different place on the card and/or they were a different format or something and wouldn't work in French or European card readers.

Plus ça change!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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In the US at least, that isn't true about recovering funds. You can actually go to jail if someone gets hold of your checkbook by theft and writes bad checks- this actually happened!!! There is a cottage industry amongst meth addicts where the use lighter fluid to erase the amount and then write in a new amount (say $50 goes to $500). They steal mail out of mailboxes when people post their bill payments. We have a system where you put a flag up to signal the mailman there is outgoing mail- they look for those and steal the envelopes they think contain checks. It's a massive problem and people are strongly counseled against using checks or auto debit's to your bank account (another extremely common thing here). So everyone uses cards for everything as credit cards protect you the most against fraud.
 

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I agree that credit cards give protection, but actual credit cards here seem to be as rare as hens' teeth; most seem to be debit cards which don't offer the same protections - and as for paying by TIP, that provides even less flexibility. Either you pay the whole amount (as printed on the TIP) or you don't pay at all - there's no mechanism for paying a portion, either because you don't have all the amount available or because you dispute some of it.

So ... I prefer cheques.

h
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I agree that credit cards give protection, but actual credit cards here seem to be as rare as hens' teeth; most seem to be debit cards which don't offer the same protections - and as for paying by TIP, that provides even less flexibility. Either you pay the whole amount (as printed on the TIP) or you don't pay at all - there's no mechanism for paying a portion, either because you don't have all the amount available or because you dispute some of it.

So ... I prefer cheques.

h
Watch out for the new cards with RFID chips - they can be read without the card being taken out of your wallet/purse/pocket. In the UK that method has a maximum £20 per day but in France no such daily limit exists, its €20 per transaction. You could actually be buying a newspaper in a Tabac/Presse and the machine can whip €20 off your card without you knowing. I had to specifically tell Barclays I didn't want that technology.
 

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Watch out for the new cards with RFID chips - they can be read without the card being taken out of your wallet/purse/pocket. In the UK that method has a maximum £20 per day but in France no such daily limit exists, its €20 per transaction. You could actually be buying a newspaper in a Tabac/Presse and the machine can whip €20 off your card without you knowing. I had to specifically tell Barclays I didn't want that technology.
In some places, you can also pay up to 20E by presenting the card but not having to enter the PIN - so be aware of that too if your kids - or someone - "borrow" your card.

h
 
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I think the US will adopt the PIN method very soon- so many people use it already with debit cards so the technology is in place. Signatures can easily be forged so it's easier for a thief who steals your wallet to run out and buy a bunch of stuff before you cancel your cards. But the PIN system is certainly not fail safe, as hackers are everywhere.
The slowdown at the moment comes from the small/medium point of sale businesses that will have to pay for the new equipment in the middle of a financial crisis.

Regarding using a US card to earn points- are you having to pay a foreign transaction fee when you use this card? I don't have a US linked card where I don't, but if one exists I would like to sign up! I miss making money using my credit card instead of paying to have one like you do here.
No, there is a foreign transaction fee, but it is minimal and the free travel miles more than compensate.

And checks- good lord I hate them, I have up use them so much more here than I ever did in the US. They are incredibly insecure and putting one in the mail always makes me so nervous.
Never wrote a check here, but then I am a relative newcomer.
 
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RFID Security

Watch out for the new cards with RFID chips - they can be read without the card being taken out of your wallet/purse/pocket. In the UK that method has a maximum £20 per day but in France no such daily limit exists, its €20 per transaction. You could actually be buying a newspaper in a Tabac/Presse and the machine can whip €20 off your card without you knowing. I had to specifically tell Barclays I didn't want that technology.
A guy in the San Francisco Bay Area decided to prove a theory he had when these chips first came out. He went to a local electronics store, spent $15-20, and returned home. He built his little contraption and took it out SFO airport. He could, after a bit of fiddling, read the information embedded in traveler's passports as they entered and left the airport.

Now, you can buy RFID blocking wallets, purses, brief cases online & in a few select stores.

This web site has numerous links to product sellers, but also has interesting articles & videos on the subject at hand:

Squidoo : RFID Blocking Wallets and Cases : Keep your data safe
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
And now the CV story

We hung on to our Cartes Vitale and Mutuelle documents until we actually arrived in the UK - just in case we needed medical stuff before we departed French soil. Immediately on arrival I put the two CV's and a final feuilles de soin in a registered (to be signed for) envelope and posted it.

Yesterday I received an acknowledgement of my original letter to CPAM asking us to return our CV's. I sent them a message telling them it had been delivered and signed for on the 19th Sept, their reply was "well we haven't got them" to which my reply was"then how come you have reimbursed the feuille de soin that was in the same envelope?"

I await their response to this :rolleyes:
 

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Citicards did talk about issuing C&P but they haven't yet to my knowledge, and one reason might be the 'tipping' which is normally added to the paper card slip by the purchaser - can't do that with C&P. Tipping is a big issue in the US unlike Europe, loads of US places rely on tips for their staff income.

Different strokes.....................

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Canada is the same regarding the importance of tipping, but all major credit cards there have moved to C&P. Almost all businesses where you would tip have credit card machines that let you add the tip on before entering your PIN. They even provide you the option of either typing the amount you want, or just entering the percentage you want.

On a related note, I read a news article that more and more businesses where you wouldn't normally tip have adopted these new credit card machines, because a lot of customers, when prompted with "Would you like to leave a tip?" click "yes" and leave a tip so they don't look like cheapskates. Some businesses, like my local takeout-only bagel shop in Ottawa, have increased their tips by several hundred dollars per week!
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
A response ???

<<<Le traitement de vos cartes Vitales est en cours par le pôle dédié.

Avec toute notre attention,>>>

:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The saga continues

All our household accounts, car insurance etc have all been finalised and final adjustments made. EXCEPT - CPAM cannot find our Cartes Vitale and have given up on calling back when they promise to - and they have not reimbursed the final claim either.

The biggest mess is the French bank have (as requested) transferred the sale proceeds of the house to my other bank - but it has not arrived! It is lost somewhere between the sending and receiving banks and I cannot get any answers or sense of urgency. This is a large (6-figure) sum of money and all I get is "we have asked the International Dept to look into it". Meantime the exchange rate is changing and costing me dear.
 
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