Using German credit cards in the UK

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Maybe I'm only repeating what ppl have posted before, but AFAIK from the C&P website and the news noone having an 'old school' card should have any issues using it as a chip & signature card assuming the card is still valid. This refers to UK and overseas cards.

C&P are actually asking ppl to report if they shops refusing their cards.

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Taken from the Visa UK Website

 

"Chip and PIN – The Facts for Retailers

 

From the 14th February 2006, all chip and PIN cardholders, must use their PIN to be sure they can pay with their chip and PIN card.

To avoid any confusion about whether to ask cardholders to enter their PIN or provide a signature, retailers should always insert the card into the terminal and follow the prompts. The terminal will read the card and will recognise if a signature or a PIN is needed.

After 14 February 2006 some groups will still sign when using their debit and credit cards in the UK. This includes:

people with old style magnetic stripe cards

cardholders from countries where chip and PIN has yet to be introduced

disabled people who are unable to use their PIN

Old Style Cards

Some cardholders are still waiting for new chip and PIN cards to be issued to them. Until they receive their cards they will have to continue to sign for transactions.

Cardholders from Overseas

The UK is the first country to fully roll out chip and PIN. Many cardholders from overseas will still be using old style chip or magnetic stripe cards with a signature. They will continue to sign after 14 February. "

 

From the Chip & Pin guide for retailers

 

"Although the vast majority of transactions will be

with PIN, staff should accept a signature from

cardholders with old-style cards, some disabled

customers who will have requested a special chip

and signature card and cardholders from overseas

who have an old style card. Shop staff should just

insert the card into the terminal and follow the

prompts – no matter what card is presented."

 

The main issue is not whether the cards will work, it's the old story of many merchants not having a clue what they are doing with credit cards; many are wary of overseas cards anyway and the Chip and PIN will do nothing to improve that, particularly as many merchants still think that an authorisation referral is the same as an authorisation decline.

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Hi all

 

I just wanted to alert you to a problem I found on a recent visit to the UK.

 

As you may know, all UK credit cards have gone onto chip-and-pin technology, meaning that you have to type your PIN into a machine when you pay by credit card. In my experience, no German CCs have this, although Maestro cards do.

 

I have a Visa card with Deutsche Bank and was able to use it in shops on my visit, but it was refused in a restaurant because it was not C and P. Before anyone asks, it is a "German" CC in that the bill is paid off monthly, so there was no reason for it being refused because of lack of funds.

 

Has anyone else had this experience? I also noticed that my Maestro card was refused in Link card machines.

 

I realise these are anti-fraud measures but it seems that Visa is no longer an international currency.

 

Regards

 

Aidan

 

Topics merged by admin

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Most places still have the ability to swipe cards but sometimes choose not to. You just have to talk to them reasonably and explain it's a German credit card, and that the C&P system is not in force there - offer to show extra ID if that will make them feel more secure in carrying out the transaction. This normally works in London due to the number of international visitors.

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Any credit card trader in UK is able to take non-C&P cards, but if they do then the coverage for the risk of fraud risk passes from the credit card company to them, i.e. they become liable if the transaction is subsequently found to be fraudulent. For this reason some traders (mainly small ones) flatly refuse non-C&P cards. Others can be persuaded, but may need additional identity evidence, such as a passport. At the end of the day it's their decision to accept your card or not. Depends on how much they value your business, of course - the catch-22 being that the more you spend the more they risk to lose without your business, but the more they stand to lose if your card is a fake too. I have a couple of German cards with a photo (of me, of course!) on the reverse - these seem to be accepted everywhere.

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It has been a while since anything was posted on this subject, so, I 'll ask the question again... I have a pre-paid credit card (Master card) from Berliner Volksbank... Will I be able to use it in the UK or has anyone encountered problems doing this? Does it need to be 'unlocked'? I've heard that you need to alert your bank if you are going to use your cards abroad so that they authorise it.

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Some pre-paid cards need authorising for foreign use before you can use them abroad - check with the card issuer. Apart from that, so long as there is sufficient credit, then there should be no problems, but the potential problems with non-Chip&Pin cards (pre-paid or not) described above still apply.

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I have to say that I have been using my credit card in UK and Ireland over the past number of years and now that there is actually a chip on the german cards theres no problem at all. Used it at petrol stations, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.

You stick it in the chip reader, it gets an authorization code that the card isnt stolen or out of credit and then you sign the reciept.

I think at this stage the wheel has turned 180degrees and the shops in the UK no longer presume that signing for a payment is completely gone whereas at the beginning they may have thought that signing was a thing of the past universally.

I have a proper mastercard BTW.

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Requiring a signature on a credit card transaction transfers the risk (of fraud) to the vendor rather than the credit card company. Not every vendor will accept a transaction requiring a signature and German cards often (always?) do. I've had my German credit card (now non-photo) turned down in the UK in the past, just for this reason, especially for a high-value item.

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I have to say that I have been using my credit card in UK and Ireland over the past number of years and now that there is actually a chip on the german cards theres no problem at all. Used it at petrol stations, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.

You stick it in the chip reader, it gets an authorization code that the card isnt stolen or out of credit and then you sign the reciept.

I think at this stage the wheel has turned 180degrees and the shops in the UK no longer presume that signing for a payment is completely gone whereas at the beginning they may have thought that signing was a thing of the past universally.

I have a proper mastercard BTW.

 

 

 

Requiring a signature on a credit card transaction transfers the risk (of fraud) to the vendor rather than the credit card company. Not every vendor will accept a transaction requiring a signature and German cards often (always?) do. I've had my German credit card (now non-photo) turned down in the UK in the past, just for this reason, especially for a high-value item.

 

The wife and I go back to the UK a few times a year and I have noticed that things have got better. I haven't had a problem with any retailer (large or small) over the past couple of years, they just get you to sign and thats OK.

 

Strange thing is that my card supports a pin, but the systems very rarely trigger this to be entered even in Germany (although most of my usage is abroad and when I use it in Germany it is mainly via the internet).

 

The retailer we have had most problems with is Asda! For some reason they won't accept the card, but that seems to be blocked by the card company for anything > 100 GBP. So last year we just transferred the money to my UK account and used the card from there for Asda shopping.

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Vodafone in UK flatly refuse to accept foreign credit cards on a UK mobile account. They bounce any attempt claiming the CC number is "not valid". I've battled long and hard, both with various German credit card issuers and Vodafone themselves, and no-one seems to be able to explain reason for Vodafone rejecting any credit card number from Germany (or possibly other countries too). It's not that the transaction is refused - the card number itself is simply considered not valid.

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My German American Express card has chip and PIN. I have to enter the PIN every time I use it in Germany.

 

All my German credit cards are issued with a PIN, and all have a Chip. The only place I've ever had to use a PIN in Germany is at a McDonalds automated counter. I presume one would be required for a cash withdrawal at an ATM too, but I never actually withdrew money on a credit card, so can't vouch for that.

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American Express cards issued in Germany are always "Chip and PIN" (and so will ask for PIN in the UK as well).

 

Most German Visa/MasterCard cards, on the other hand, are "Chip and Signature" (i.e., they do have a chip and an associated PIN, but the PIN is only needed at ATMs or unattended terminals, like those McDonald's self-service machines; where there's a human cashier involved, these cards will always cause a signature slip to be printed). This is true for cards issued by Sparkassen, VR-Banks and the big private banks (Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Postbank, ING-DiBa etc.)

 

It's more convenient, because you don't have to remember a PIN (most customers rarely use credit cards for ATM withdrawals and would have a hard time remembering their PIN unless there's a way of changing the PIN). It's also safer for you as the cardholder, because the burden of proof if someone steals your card and goes shopping lies with the merchant, i.e., you can dispute charges unless the merchant can provide a signed receipt with your signature on it. If, on the other hand, someone were to use your stolen card and correct PIN, you'd be screwed.

 

That said, there are a few exceptions, like Targobank, DKB, Cortal Consors, IKANO Bank and Comdirect (on newer cards only), who do issue Chip and PIN cards in Germany.

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It has been a while since anything was posted on this subject, so, I 'll ask the question again... I have a pre-paid credit card (Master card) from Berliner Volksbank... Will I be able to use it in the UK or has anyone encountered problems doing this? Does it need to be 'unlocked'? I've heard that you need to alert your bank if you are going to use your cards abroad so that they authorise it.

Credit cards mostly are unlocked for the whole world. Debit cards (maestro, vpay) very often not. For Example my maestro card from Deutsche Bank is unlocked für Germany only. If i want to use it in holidays in Turkey or Spain I have to contact the bank.

 

This means for you: Please contact your bank!

 

Credit card acceptance:

The payment provider of every dealer/POS scores your card. Your credit card needs a minimum score to be accepted. For the card scoring are important:

 

-prepaid (high fraud rate) or credit card (low fraud rate)

-enough credit or deposit to pay

-absolute value of payment

-type/class of purchased items

-etc.

 

For credit card acceptance there is a big difference between "remote" POS and "show your card" POS

 

-"show your card" POS (hotel,taxi...): no high score needed

-remote POS (online shopping):

--cardholder country equal with card issuer country and/or delivery country

--card issurer country (!)

--type of purchased goods

--etc.

 

Example:

A credit card may be accepted to pay your hotel bill at the hotel desk.

If you order with a German credit Card Viagra Online with shipment adress in Romania the same card may be declined.

 

 

And the payment provider decides at "show your card" POS you have to pay with sign or with PIN. Of course the card has to be coded to match these 2 possibilities. If the card comes without PIN, and the payment provides want to see a PIN, the card will be declined.

 

Payment with PIN is for the supermarket more expensive than payment with sign. So the payment provider descides as often as possible payment with sign ("lowest cost decision"). If the fraud risk may be higher (or if the value of your shopping trip is high) you have to pay with PIN.

 

Example: If you pay in your supermarket your basket of noodles, fruits, water you may pay with sign. If you pay with the same card a basket full of cigarettes and alcohole with the same total value than the first basket you may have to pay with PIN.

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