Signature vs PIN transactions

When a cardholder makes a purchase at a merchant, they may be asked to authorize the purchase with a signature or PIN. In many Point-of-Sale (POS) scenarios, the cardholder is not immediately presented with a choice regarding the authorization method.

Choosing Credit at a Merchant (Signature Transaction)

•     If you are using your debit card at a PIN pad terminal, you may still be able to sign for your transaction. On some terminals, you may be required to swipe or insert your card without being offered the choice of CREDIT or DEBIT. If you are prompted to enter your PIN, you may press CANCEL to sign or tell the cashier you want to sign for your purchase.

•     When you press CREDIT for a Visa debit transaction, you do not pay a credit card fee or interest. Your Visa debit card still works like a debit card, not a credit card.

•     If you use your PIN for debit transactions, you may not receive the same security protections available for transactions processed by Visa.

•     “Visa Debit” vs “US Debit:” Visa Debit means that the transaction will run on the Visa’s network as a “credit” (for most purchases) while “US Debit” means it will run on a debit network (NYCE, Pulse etc.).

Transaction Security

•     There are arguments on both sides as to whether choosing Debit or Credit is better than the other; however, both transactions are safe options. Keep in mind, Visa transactions are covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy which means cardholders are not held responsible for fraudulent charges.

•     All Advantage Checkcard transactions are covered by industry-leading fraud management which offers continuous fraud monitoring that deters and detects suspicious activity on Checkcards.

•     All consumer debit card transactions are covered under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) aka Regulation E.

The Checkcard holder has the option to choose credit or debit even when the first prompt might say, “Is the amount ok?”