Tuesday, October 11, 2005

PAPER OR PLASTIC?

You know what steams me? People who still write checks at the grocery store. We’re closing in on 2006 here…get with the program, people! They’re called debit cards and they’re FREE if you have a checking account - which I'm assuming you do since you're writing a fucking check. Swipe it, hit your PIN, and get the hell out of my way! Nothing to fill out, sign, or record for your files. It’s all done automatically. Just take your receipt and go. You’re holding up the line with that archaic payment instrument. Or maybe I just need to grow some patience. Nah - it's more fun to bitch.

Here’s a little something else you should know. It’s better to sign for debit card purchases than it is to enter your PIN. When you enter your PIN, the funds are electronically transferred from your account to the merchant directly. That’s easy and that’s fine and that’s the whole idea behind using a debit card. BUT, if you ask to sign your receipt and use the “credit” option, the transaction goes through Visa first, which means you can earn rewards points (if you’ve got a rewards debit card like I do), and you’re given all of the purchase protections that come with using a Visa card, like Zero Liability fraud protection. That’s why I sign every time! Of course, merchants don’t want you to use your cards as Visa cards because every time you do, Visa gets a processing fee from the merchant. So a lot of stores won’t even let you choose the “credit” option once you’ve swiped what they detect is a debit card. Sneaky bastards! But for those stores that do - let 'em know you'd like to sign.

Just a little 411 from your friend who happens to do a lot of writing for Visa.

3 comments:

Roy said...

I’m guilty of still writing checks. I know, I know, its’ antiquated and all that but I usually pre-write the check while I’m waiting in line so no one has to wait for me. I do it because…. well because… well hell I don’t know why I do it. It just feels good to give stores an IOU, which is basically what a check it. Someday checks will no longer be accepted anywhere. Someday we will all have an R.F.I.D. chip implanted just under the fatty skin between the index finger and thumb and we won’t even need a credit card. Every time you want to buy something just place your fist under the scanner and the cash credits get transferred instantaneously form your account to the retailer. Oh joy. I can’t wait. But in the mean time, I’ll continue to just write checks thank you very much.

AYNtK said...

I can't wait for the RFID chips! Then people will be selling severed hands on the black market (and eBay!).

"Pssst - took this one off a guy behind the stadium late last night. We think he was a SURGEON! Big cash, my friend. For you, $200."

Sheila K said...

Good info Terry. I work at a financial institution and my biggest education point for ANY type of debit/credit/charge card is to SIGN THE BACK! "Ask for ID" is the fools way out and VOIDS your protections! You can ADD that to your signature line, but don't let it be the only thing back there!

I SEE YOU!