I was on my usual errand of buying a few groceries from a Shop…. The bill was made and I gave my Credit Card…. “What’s your PIN?” asked the Shop Keeper…. I was stunned for a while…. Subsequently, I said, “Give the Machine here…. I’ll input the Number” further saying that the PIN is secret code and from safety point of view it should never be disclosed to any one…. He smiled, allowed me to input the same and I completed my transaction….
The next day, I was on a different work…. I had to send my Parcel through a Courier Service…. The man in front of me completed his work and had to make his payment…. He gave his Bank Card….The Lady at the Counter swiped the Card and said, “Sir! your PIN is required!” The man with loud tone said, ‘XXXX’ and the lady inputted the said number into the Machine….
I was shocked for a while at the careless attitude of the man but then something struck me why the earlier Shop man asked me to speak out the PIN…
The next day, I was at a small Shop where I made a purchase and gave my Card…. The PIN was required, the Machine was not cordless, I had to wade through all the material around to the place of Machine inside through the narrow entrance which the Shop man opened for me to enter the private premises of his Shop to input my PIN….
That evening, I went to a Super Market Stores…. An elderly Lady in the queue for billing, gave her Credit Card for payment…. The Clerk at the Counter swiped and said, “Madam, PIN please!” The old Lady said, “What PIN?” The Clerk politely said, “Since last week onwards the Rule is that you have to input your PIN when you make a purchase through your Card” She did not remember the PIN for her Card used for regular buying…. She had her Debit Card with her for which too, she could not recollect her PIN as earlier the PIN was never asked for buying…. And the cash too appeared to be limited with her…. She was helpless for a while and the Clerk at the Counter too could not proceed immediately….
I was thinking…. If it happens at a Restaurant? The problem would be really tough to handle….
The best practice at such places would be, as done in Some Foreign Countries, the Staff to take the Order, prepare the Bill as per the Order, get the Payment done in advance and then Serve the food….
Whatever be these few travails in use of the Debit / Credit Cards, it is really a happy situation to know that from now on wards all the Card Transactions are safe and secure!