Accepting non Chip & PIN payment cards

While Chip & PIN cards have been rolling out across Ireland and the rest of Europe over the last number of years there are still quite a few countries that have not yet implemented the technology. These include the U.S. China, Australia, etc.

When a retailer signs up with a card processor to accept cards from various schemes such as MasterCard, Visa, Laser Card, etc, they are bound by the rules of those card schemes regarding the acceptance of cards. There exists an 'honour all cards' rule under all card schemes which requires merchants to accept a card as long as they display the card scheme logo in their shop. For example, if there is a Laser Card logo on the shop window or on the Point of Sale terminal, then you are obliged to accept all Laser Cards.

Only a very small percentage of Irish issued cards have no Chip on them at this stage but many tourists and visitors from other countries, especially from non-European countries will neither have a Chip on ther card nor will they use a PIN. As such, shops are required to continue to accept these cards and honour the 'old' process where a signature is requested. Not accepting these cards is against card processing standards.

Some shops have a policy in place to request photo ID from customers if they present a non-Chip & PIN card. They are entitled to do this. Some countries use this practice for all transactions, e.g. in the Netherlands, customers are required to key in a PIN, sign a receipt and show photo ID when making purchases.

If you choose to adopt that practice and any of your customers complain about it, we suggest that you assure them that the requirement is a security measure and is meant to protect them as well as you. Irish customers who present a non-Chip & PIN card and who do not have photo ID should be referred to their card issuer.

If you have concerns about accepting non-Chip & PIN cards, please contact your card processor for advice.