Using an Australian Chip & Pin Card Overseas

Discussion in 'General Credit Card Discussion' started by diablo, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. diablo

    diablo Junior Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Hi All,

    Having received my new chip-enabled 28 degrees Mastercard card a few weeks ago, I have been using it in the UK. I am suprised to discover that whenever I use it for a purchase, I never get asked to enter my PIN, and am always asked for a signature instead. Getting cash from an ATM is the only time I've ever had to enter my PIN. All of my UK credit cards, on the other hand, insist on PIN only. Has anyone experienced this with other Aussie chip & pin cards overseas?
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  2. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    CBA Visa is similar. It defaults to signature (I think it's only some machines, not all). Does get some strange looks at times!
  3. Fifa

    Fifa Established Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    Whenever I used my 'old' Wizard chip card in France recently I was never asked for a pin and rarely signed!
  4. adl73x

    adl73x Junior Member

    I don't use my Australian cards in the UK, but I have used my UK Chip and Pin Amexes in Australia and very rarely does the PIN work there, and I need to to sign to purchase. I appreciate Australian Amexes do not yet have a Chip and PIN, so that may be part of the problem, but I also think there may be some incompatibility between the European and Australian PIN authentication systems.
  5. BD1959

    BD1959 Established Member

    May 11, 2011
    Realise I'm reviving an old topic, but ....

    Has anyone definitively discovered why Australian Chip&PIN cards don't work in the UK ... given we're consistently force-fed the line that Chip&PIN is so much more secure than signature?

    I recently spent 3 weeks in the UK, almost exclusively using my Woollies QF Card and not once did a machine accept a PIN, always reverting to signature. It got to the stage where I would warn the cashier that the machine would insist on a signature.

    Incidentally, a few cashiers commented "I wish we'd go back to signatures - they're so much more secure!" :confused:



  6. tgh

    tgh Active Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Used our 28deg card almost exclusively for a month in Europe recently.
    It almost always defaulted to pin.. which was at times a pita..but I guess the security makes it worthwhile.
    It ran like a clock , nearly always in credit .. just kept feeding it from our 'Oz bank account.
  7. notzac

    notzac Established Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    I can't find documentation about this online anywhere, but I recall being told that it had to do with how the PIN is verified: for EMV-standard cards issued in the EU, the PIN is encrypted and stored on the card. When entered in to a terminal, the terminal requests the PIN from you and then passes it to a program on the chip to be verified. Australian-issued chip cards (for the most part) don't have an encrypted PIN stored on the card -- thus, the terminal assumes that a signature is required for verification.

    I've only ever seen one terminal in Europe that actually knew how to process a network-side PIN for my Woolies QF Mastercard, and that was in Switzerland (no real surprises there :p )
  8. grussellt

    grussellt Active Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia
    I found that ATM's in Spain and Portugal seem to need a six-digit pin. This is a problem if you only have an Australian pin with 4 digits. However the solution is to add 2 leading zeros (i.e 00####) and then it works!

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