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Why doesn't my chip card require a PIN?

Not all banks are issuing Chip+PIN cards yet. It's coming! Plus, some merchant's equipment isn't setup to accommodate Chip+PIN.

There are two main reasons why you wouldn't be prompted for a PIN number when using your Chip card:

  1. Your card may not have a PIN number enabled. It depends who your issuing bank is - but many banks still have not yet issued Chip+PIN credit cards. It's totally up to each specific issuing bank as to when they decide to start issuing these cards, so some consumers may have to wait longer than others. It is becoming more ubiquitous, though. In addition, since many cards don't expire for 5 years, there are many "outstanding" older cards that won't be replaced by the consumer until they expire.
     

  2. The merchant's hardware may not be programmed to accept Chip+PIN transactions. If the merchant doesn't have a PinPad for PIN entry, then the merchant's hardware is forced to choose a secondary "fallback" method for processing. Most Chip+PIN cards will revert to Chip+Signature, which is very common in the US. Occasionally, some Chip+PIN cards may revert to an automatic decline if they can't get a PIN-authorization! It's rare, but it can happen, and it's a great reason to ensure you accept Chip+PIN.

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