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Old 11-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Credit or debit?

This always puzzles me when I visit the US and I pay by card, the cashier asks if it is credit or debit. Why? Surely the machine can work out for itself if the card is a credit or debit card?
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

When I pay at the supermarket, the machine asks me what card it is.

I recall that MC starts off with a 5, Visa cards with a 4, AMEX with a 3 and Discover cards with a 6. I'm speculating that the number of digits and the starting numbers are factors in how the transaction gets processed.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

I have a debit/credit card and get asked whether I want it submitted as a debit or a credit card. If I say debit, then I am asked for my pin number. If I say credit, I am asked to sign the transaction. In the end, it doesn't matter since either transaction results in money being taken from my checking account.

Many people mistakenly believe that if they don't have any money in their checking account they can tell the cashier to submit it as a credit card and it will somehow be charged to a credit account. This isn't true but it is a common belief.

You should only be asked debit or credit if you have a debit/credit card. If you present a credit card then the machine should be smart enough to figure that out. It's the cashier asking you credit or debit, not the machine.

The main reason why the dual type cards exist is that some places can only accept debit cards, others accept only credit cards while others accept both. The dual type card can be used in all of those establishments.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

Always happens here in Australia...you are asked for debit or credit as some cards can have linked accounts....common courtesy to you how you want to pay either by credit which can attract interest or debit which is cash from your bank account.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

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Originally Posted by MMM View Post
Always happens here in Australia...you are asked for debit or credit as some cards can have linked accounts....common courtesy to you how you want to pay either by credit which can attract interest or debit which is cash from your bank account.
Pretty much all of this. Even my discover card which is only a credit card will prompt if I want credit or debit (part of that I think is lazy programming by some of the systems). However I have found with 3 different banks that if I choose credit on my debit card that it will reserve a larger chunk of my funds than it needs to until when it finally gets around to making the actual withdrawal. Usually it just rounds up to the next increment of $20 but depending on what's in your account that could be a problem.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

Because you can run a debit as credit if you want.

On another note, it's against all major credit car companies for a place to have a minimum. If you report them to the company, the place will probably remove the minimum shortly. I hate minimums.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Explorer View Post
When I pay at the supermarket, the machine asks me what card it is.

I recall that MC starts off with a 5, Visa cards with a 4, AMEX with a 3 and Discover cards with a 6. I'm speculating that the number of digits and the starting numbers are factors in how the transaction gets processed.
The leading digit is in fact the card company identifier. MC, VISA, and Discover use 4 groups of 4 on the card face. Am EX is the oddball of the lot with only 15 digits in a unique arrangement.
However on the mag stripe the arrangement is different. How many numbers in each cluster and the numbers themselves are how the card is identified to the bank you have it issued from or a POS vendor.
If the machine you swipe your card through is asking what type, as in MC and the rest, could mean the card is damaged or worn out. It could also mean the credit card machine's software is out of date. Or the reader head needs cleaned. Dirty heads have trouble reading cards swiped through it.

But if the machine is asking how you want charged, either credit or debit, is a courtesy. Because there are different rates and fees on debit versus credit, It's not uncommon to have a CC machine how you want your card nuked. And it stems from charge backs being filed by the card holder, because the card was not charged in the correct manner.
I have 30 years in the hotel biz. People have no idea how big of a pita it can be sometimes with plastic money.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

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Originally Posted by David Lindon View Post
This always puzzles me when I visit the US and I pay by card, the cashier asks if it is credit or debit. Why? Surely the machine can work out for itself if the card is a credit or debit card?

Not sure how the evolution of the credit card went in the U.K. but it started here as purely credit.

Then came the Debit card which was a card that pulled straight from your account. You could not get a line of credit on those cards and each purchase was an immediate 'debit' against your balance.

In those times, you had to specify credit or debit because if it was a 'debit' only card, then 'credit' would fail. That's been pretty much done away with.

They continue to allow a 'credit' charge on these cards though and the charge will affect your balance differently. If I go get gas, and I choose debit, an immediate payment in full is made. If I choose credit, then I get charged $1 until the full amount is taken in about a week.

IMO: It's a way to punish stupid people who suck with money or cannot keep track of purchases. They look at their available balance after many purchases and think "SWEET! Still money left" and then and get themselves in an overdraft situation where each overdraft charge costs an additional $30-$40.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

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Originally Posted by strollin View Post
I have a debit/credit card and get asked whether I want it submitted as a debit or a credit card. If I say debit, then I am asked for my pin number. If I say credit, I am asked to sign the transaction. In the end, it doesn't matter since either transaction results in money being taken from my checking account.

Many people mistakenly believe that if they don't have any money in their checking account they can tell the cashier to submit it as a credit card and it will somehow be charged to a credit account. This isn't true but it is a common belief.

You should only be asked debit or credit if you have a debit/credit card. If you present a credit card then the machine should be smart enough to figure that out. It's the cashier asking you credit or debit, not the machine.

The main reason why the dual type cards exist is that some places can only accept debit cards, others accept only credit cards while others accept both. The dual type card can be used in all of those establishments.
yeah that's true
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Credit or debit?

Some systems has to have that info put in manually. I had times where they mistaken credit for debit and I was asked the same way as if I put in my bank card. Oh and...guess what? Didn't work.
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