Embossed cards still necessary?

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golf.ninja
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Embossed cards still necessary?

Postby golf.ninja » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:25 am

It never even occurred to me until I got my new Venture card recently (thanks Home Depot :rolleyes :) . This is the first card that I got where it no longer has the card number embossed across the card. Makes sense as I don't recall the last time someone actually used on of those 'pressers'.

So my question is - why do they still do that? Is it just a equipment thing (why waste money on new equipment when current one still works? Will this be the new normal soon (especially with the big EMV mandate in 2015)? Albeit some of my new chip cards still have the number (e.g. Arrival+).

I actually like the new card, looks very slick. And I have to admit, I've caught myself factoring that into card application decisions...then telling myself to cut it out.


takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:15 am

golf.ninja wrote:Makes sense as I don't recall the last time someone actually used on of those 'pressers'.

If you only rely on "I can't recall" and haven't had a recent experience it doesn't make sense. However, I've had a couple of instances where a merchant has had to fall back on one. It does happen. Not as much as it used to.

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lobbythis
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Postby lobbythis » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:16 am

I've only seen it with my Quicksilvers and some debit cards.

I'm curious though, is your Venture chipped? I know they just started doing it, but they will not issue one to me and I'm thinking about just reporting it lost and getting sent a new one.

Mine is only a few months old and it is embossed and without a chip. Looks cheap.

golf.ninja
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Postby golf.ninja » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:06 am

lobbythis wrote:I've only seen it with my Quicksilvers and some debit cards.

I'm curious though, is your Venture chipped? I know they just started doing it, but they will not issue one to me and I'm thinking about just reporting it lost and getting sent a new one.

Mine is only a few months old and it is embossed and without a chip. Looks cheap.


Correct - chipped. And yea, it's now the best looking card I have. Making the other cards look 'dated'.
The number is just on the back of the card.

LianaCCB
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Postby LianaCCB » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:08 pm

I've personally never seen a merchant have to fall back on the old-school card system. If the card systems are down, you don't get to pay unless you happen to have cash.

I received a new card recently that did not have the embossed letters, and all the information was on one side - signature/card number/etc. But my new debit card is still embossed and has the chip. The color on the embossing rubs off easily, making them more difficult to read, so it's my hope that the new sleek cards are the way to go - that is, if everyone doesn't jump to hovering their phones to pay.

thom02099
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Postby thom02099 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:32 pm

Are they necessary? No. Are they still relevant? Perhaps.

There are still some mom & pop businesses that use the old presser/slider machines. Likely because they don't want to/can't pay swipe fees to accept credit cards. Or they are in isolated locations with limited connectivity. We camped at a campground this past summer that did in fact still use the old slider machine to process. And if one doesn't have a card with embossed numbers, the business person can still hand write the numbers on the credit card form.

Sooner or later, everyone will most likely have to go to the newer formats, printed and matte, no embossment. It's just the way things seem to be going.
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flan
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Postby flan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:12 pm

LianaCCB wrote:I've personally never seen a merchant have to fall back on the old-school card system. If the card systems are down, you don't get to pay unless you happen to have cash.


The merchant can still submit slips, and will get paid on them. There are higher fees, to represent the higher fraud rates, but they certainly can do it. It's happened to me at a restaurant in the last two months, and a few times elsewhere in the last few years.

The merchant can also phone his acquirer to get an online authorization, if he's worried about it. (And may be required to do so for charges above a floor limit.)

If they can't imprint from the card, they can write the number down. Not that difficult....

Anyone who tells me "oh, the credit card machine is down, gotta pay cash" has lost me as a customer, if I'm trying to spend more than a few bucks.

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PlyrStar93
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Postby PlyrStar93 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:54 pm

thom02099 wrote:There are still some mom & pop businesses that use the old presser/slider machines. Likely because they don't want to/can't pay swipe fees to accept credit cards.

If they use manual authorization method like imprinting, would that be considered as a card not present transaction which pays higher discount rate?

AFAIK even if magnetic strip is less secure nowadays, it is still less risky than taking down card number by hand. Merchant discount rate and interchange reimbursement fee should somehow be related to fraud risk. Those small businesses keep old machines may be because of not wanting to afford a POS terminal, more than the merchant fee. It's just like what many small businesses will need to change their terminals to EMV equipped nowadays, which can be costly.

thom02099 wrote:And if one doesn't have a card with embossed numbers, the business person can still hand write the numbers on the credit card form.

True. Technically merchant never needs embossed cards to take down numbers. Even if the customer is not in the store so the card is not shown, merchants can still key in numbers on POS terminals or do voice authorization. Only full card number and CVV is needed to complete the transaction. Name on card is not even required. Do they want to, is the question to be answered by merchants.

thom02099 wrote:Sooner or later, everyone will most likely have to go to the newer formats, printed and matte, no embossment. It's just the way things seem to be going.

I can see Citi is already doing this. They have some new designs for their current products that prints card number on the back, just like what Discover it does.
Citi Forward Visa $5000 10/2012 | American Express Blue Cash Everyday $8000 2/2014 | Discover it $7000 5/2014
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Brad Bishop
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Postby Brad Bishop » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:36 pm

I didn't think of it until I received my Discover card and then I thought the same thing.

In thinking back, though, I think it was only a year or two back (maybe three) that the electronic machine was down and they actually had to pull back the imprinting machine (I used to know the name of these). I was really surprised when they did.

Technically they could probably get away with just writing your number, expiration, and maybe the 3/4 digit code down with your signature next to a receipt and submit that and, as long as you didn't dispute the charge, no one would care.

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Postby Nixon » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:37 am

Brad Bishop wrote:I didn't think of it until I received my Discover card and then I thought the same thing.
[color="Red"]
In thinking back, though, I think it was only a year or two back (maybe three) that the electronic machine was down and they actually had to pull back the imprinting machine (I used to know the name of these). I was really surprised when they did.[/color]

Technically they could probably get away with just writing your number, expiration, and maybe the 3/4 digit code down with your signature next to a receipt and submit that and, as long as you didn't dispute the charge, no one would care.


You mean the Knuckle Buster?
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