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Thread: Credit Card ID Requirement

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Credit Card ID Requirement

    Tonight, I went to do some grocery shopping for my Mom. When I tried to use her credit card to make the purchase at Walmart, I was asked to show ID. I refused, stating that according to Visa, they could not require ID. I was told it was store policy to do so. I then spoke with a Customer Service Representative and then the Shift Manager after that, telling them both the same thing. I told the Shift Manager that I would be filing a complaint with Walmart Corporate and/or Visa, and then left my groceries sitting there.

    I then went to the local IGA where I had the same problem. At that point, I needed to get the groceries and get home for dinner, so I just paid cash and left.

    I know this has been discussed elsewhere, but I did a search and couldn't find a thread about it. I know that Visa (Mastercard too IIRC) does not allow a merchant to require ID when making a purchase. However, the links I have found to the merchant manual were broken. Furthermore, I couldn't find out how to contact Visa concerning this problem.
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    https://usa.visa.com/checkoutfees/contact.jsp
    http://www.mastercard.com/us/persona...iolations.html

    *edit* You should note the reason that they don't require ID is because you can get a CC with any name on it to protect your personal information. Visa and Mastercard both want their cards to be accepted "good as cash", and they go to great lengths to ensure that. I know for certain that after filling out the above link, I've seen "$5 minimum charge", "ID required for credit card", and other signs disappear.

    Before someone suggests the "SEE ID" thing - that's invalid, and a merchant is supposed to have you sign the card in front of them. That is because the card acts as your half of the contract, a signature saying "I agree to the terms and conditions of this card." It has nothing to do with identifying you. So, unless you've changed your legal signature to SEE ID, you should probably go sign your cards .
    Last edited by Tawnos; 01-07-2011 at 09:50 PM.
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    I sign my cards "CHECK I.D." and thank them when they read the signature line and then ask for my I.D. I'd say about 30% of them ask me for I.D. When they don't check my I.D., I'll sign my name as "Bill Clinton", "Richard Gere", "Bugs Bunny", "Richard Nixon", etc.

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    The Visa "report merchant" page does not list requiring ID as a merchant violation.

    Furthermore, searching the Visa site produces no page that discusses showing ID at all. Can someone provide links to the Visa site where they discuss the showing of ID?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
    https://usa.visa.com/checkoutfees/contact.jsp
    http://www.mastercard.com/us/persona...iolations.html

    *edit* You should note the reason that they don't require ID is because you can get a CC with any name on it to protect your personal information. Visa and Mastercard both want their cards to be accepted "good as cash", and they go to great lengths to ensure that. I know for certain that after filling out the above link, I've seen "$5 minimum charge", "ID required for credit card", and other signs disappear.

    Before someone suggests the "SEE ID" thing - that's invalid, and a merchant is supposed to have you sign the card in front of them. That is because the card acts as your half of the contract, a signature saying "I agree to the terms and conditions of this card." It has nothing to do with identifying you. So, unless you've changed your legal signature to SEE ID, you should probably go sign your cards .
    Would this work for the numerous gun dealers that have the 3% credit card penility AKA "cash discount"?

    What about gas stations that have seperate cash and credit prices on the price per gallon?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Trucker View Post
    Would this work for the numerous gun dealers that have the 3% credit card penility AKA "cash discount"?

    What about gas stations that have seperate cash and credit prices on the price per gallon?
    I called Visa last year (i.e. last spring) thinking the same thing you did. The lady I spoke to said it was up to the store.
    Last edited by t33j; 01-07-2011 at 11:13 PM.
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. I am still looking for the Visa rule, which is supposed to be in the Visa Merchant Handbook, which I can't find. I found a dead link for it, but couldn't find it through navigation, searching, etc.
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    Here's a page I found a while ago when the local wallyworld started asking for ID even when I used my card as a debit card! I reminded them that 'PIN' stands for personal identification number; apparently they've gotten the message because they don't ask anymore.
    http://www.privacyrights.org/ar/Alert-FS15.htm

    Remind them they are not the credit card police. Even if the card IS stolen, they'll still get paid. Transactions under $50 don't even require a signature.
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Well I submitted a complaint. We'll see what happens. I haven't done this before, so I don't know if I'll be contacted by Visa or not, but it'll be interesting to see what happens the next time I shop there with a credit card.
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    One store I frequent more than once a week has begun asking this. Thanks for the heads up! I filed a report with MasterCard a few moments ago.
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Remember, they are allowed to ask. They are not allowed to require for purchase.
    "They don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band
    It ain't what they call rock and roll
    And the Sultans...
    Yeah the Sultans, they play Creole"

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    ,,,

    the OP should be grateful the merchant wanted ID when HE, tried to use a WOMANS credit card!
    considering the rampant fraud, the simple verification, that the plastic really belongs to you, seems like a good idea!
    Ive always expected to verify with ID, and always thanked them for checking.
    credit cards should never be "as good as cash"!
    if someone steals my wallet, they should only get the 21$ thats where the money goes!
    they shouldnt get the 60$ in the little pocket, and they shouldnt get the 200$ in the other little pocket!
    and if they find my credit card they shouldnt have access to my 20000$ credit limit!
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    Usually when someone asks to see my ID for a credit card purchase I say "Thank You for trying to cut down on fraud". As for the cash discount it is according to how the discount is worded as there was a lawsuit about it many years ago and I don't remember the details. It was something about you could give a discount for cash but you could not charge extra for using a credit card. It meant the same thing but just worded differently.

    As for the minimum charge many stores, primarily when using a debit card, have a flat fee rather than a percentage. The fee runs aroun 25-50 cents or so. If you buy something for $1 then they have to pay half of that to the credit card company so that it the reason for the minimum. You buy gas using a credit card and they have to pay 3% to the CC company so at $3 per gallon that means 9 cents a gallon going to the CC company which is more than their markup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The Visa "report merchant" page does not list requiring ID as a merchant violation.

    Furthermore, searching the Visa site produces no page that discusses showing ID at all. Can someone provide links to the Visa site where they discuss the showing of ID?
    Anyone? Bueller?

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    the OP should be grateful the merchant wanted ID when HE, tried to use a WOMANS credit card!
    considering the rampant fraud, the simple verification, that the plastic really belongs to you, seems like a good idea!
    Ive always expected to verify with ID, and always thanked them for checking.
    credit cards should never be "as good as cash"!
    if someone steals my wallet, they should only get the 21$ thats where the money goes!
    they shouldnt get the 60$ in the little pocket, and they shouldnt get the 200$ in the other little pocket!
    and if they find my credit card they shouldnt have access to my 20000$ credit limit!
    I don't know about you, but I tend to make sure I know where all copies of any credit card I own are at any given time. IF my card is lost/stolen, I will report it as such as soon as I can and will dispute/refuse to pay any charges.

    However, the fact remains that it is a credit card company rule that I expect to be enforced-not personal opinion.

    I really didn't expect this to turn into a debate thread...
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    Is not requiring ID new? Because I use to get asked frequently. Now I am never asked.

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    It's not the business of the consumer or merchant to be too worried about fraud really... The merchant still gets paid, and the consumer isn't liable.

    Then you have the internet where basically nobody IDs.

    My old card was in my possession and I still had fraudulent charges posted to my account.
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    I haven't had a credit card in six years.
    Don't want one, don't need one and couldn't get one if I needed or wanted one. No income.

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    I put "Please ask for Photo ID" on my cards. I refuse to sign as anyone could practice my signature enough to come close. I don't care if it's "Half the contract" or not. Send the signature police after me! If they don't ask for picture ID then I figure I have the right to dispute the charge. I could be anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hef View Post
    I sign my cards "CHECK I.D." and thank them when they read the signature line and then ask for my I.D. I'd say about 30% of them ask me for I.D. When they don't check my I.D., I'll sign my name as "Bill Clinton", "Richard Gere", "Bugs Bunny", "Richard Nixon", etc.
    What they are supposed to do per merchant agreement is to refuse to take your card until you sign it - they are signature cards!

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    I don't use credit cards don't even have a bank account. Cash no questions asked. I did buy one of the Wal-Mart cards though for a few things on line.

    Interesting side note (well at least to me) a credit card/debit card is often accepted as a 2nd piece of I.D. when cashing checks.
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    Here's how Visa instructs merchants to accept cards:

    http://usa.visa.com/merchants/risk_m...d_present.html

    Note that "see id" is not allowed (down at bottom of page), the card must be signed. But you know that already, since it says that on your card right next to your signature panel. It goes on to note that if you sign an unsigned card at the point of purchase, the merchant is to check your I.D.

    This page does not instruct merchants who suspect fraud to check i.d. This page tells such merchants to call for authorization and use the phrase "code 10" which will trigger a minor investigation by the authorization center.


    To report a merchant for improperly requiring ID, 800-VISA911. I have done this, and Visa mailed me a letter confirming this policy.


    Visa specifies for retail card-present transactions that cardholder identification is not allowed. See this ridiculously huge PDF starting on page 423 for the full story.

    http://usa.visa.com/download/merchan...tions-main.pdf

    Warning: not only is this PDF large, but it reads like IRS instructions. But from page 428 this is absolutely clear:

    Supplemental Identification - U.S. Region
    A U.S. Acquirer must not, as a regular practice, require a Merchant, and a Merchant must not require a
    Cardholder, to provide any supplementary Cardholder information as a condition for honoring a Visa
    Card or Visa Electron Card, unless it is required or permitted elsewhere in the U.S. Regional
    Operating Regulations. Such supplementary Cardholder information includes, but is not limited to:
    • Social Security Number (or any part thereof)
    • Fingerprint
    • Home or business address or telephone number
    • Driver's license number
    • Photocopy of a driver's license
    • Photocopy of the Visa

    I worked in debit card processing some years ago, and had to make our procedures conform to a lot of similar and overlapping regulations. So I've formed some opinions and observations:

    1. Since when is it hard to make a fake ID that can fool a cashier who's not selling you booze? Especially if when showing ID, he doesn't actually hand it to the cashier: whoever stole your credit card just leaves the inkjet paper that your name is 'shopped over a scan of his own drivers' license, in the clear plastic holder in his wallet as he flashes it to the cashier.

    2. If your card is signed by you, and the thief practices your signature and dupes merchants, then that's forgery which gets tacked on to his eventual charge sheet. And you still aren't responsible for the charges, despite the merchants not asking for I.D.

    3. Showing your ID can make you less safe. Leaving aside a stalker/rapist who could potentially perform effective victim selection with address info, there's this: Say you've shown your ID for a credit card purchase to a skeevy cashier who's skimmed your card or otherwise unbeknownst to you has copied your card number and maybe also that 3-digit CVV code next to your signature? Well if your card billing address happens to be the same one as on your ID, they just need to remember your house number off your ID long enough to jot it down as you leave and now they can order everything they would like online with your card. If your address is 5566 Smith St., an online order using your card for merchandise to be delivered to a drop house could be placed like this:

    (website shopping cart checkout)
    name: your name
    address 1: 5566
    address 2: 1234 abandoned house lane
    city/state/zip (etc)
    ...and the website software may clear your card since AVS just checks the house number provided on the address. (I'm leaving out some other details in order to not instruct new criminals.)


    Signatures reflect intent in our legal system. The reason that your signature or "mark" can be an illegible scribble is that it's evidence that you intended to authorize whatever you signed, be it a sales slip for a restaurant meal or a contract to buy a car.

    You sign a sales slip, that's your intent and promise that you are you, an authorized user of the card, and this dollar amount on that slip represents money the credit card company is fronting to the merchant on your behalf, and that you'll be paying back that credit card company. Identification doesn't enter into it, because falsely representing that you're someone else with a financial instrument is already a crime, and since the card companies want the use of their credit cards to be a convenient choice, they've set up their procedures to not require I.D., and Visa in fact produced some TV commercials which touted that, here's one:

    http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/al...ck_Card/#26255

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    Good links, but again, nowhere in those links does it prohibit vendors from checking ID. They can't copy the information from the ID, but nothing says that they may not choose to check it.

    So, again, does anyone have a Visa link that actually says that vendors who accept Visa are prohibited from checking ID?

    I am beginning to think that vendors being barred from checking ID on those who present Visa cards is as much a myth as not being required to sign your card is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Good links, but again, nowhere in those links does it prohibit vendors from checking ID. They can't copy the information from the ID, but nothing says that they may not choose to check it.

    So, again, does anyone have a Visa link that actually says that vendors who accept Visa are prohibited from checking ID?

    I am beginning to think that vendors being barred from checking ID on those who present Visa cards is as much a myth as not being required to sign your card is.
    First, some states do have laws against writing down any info from an ID or phone number in a credit card transaction, e.g., california, and I have sued under this law in California and obtained a settlement, including some cash to me as the class action representative.

    Second, MasterCard's merchant report form can be used against any merchant who displays a MC logog and demands ID to use a signed card, or sets a minimum, or has a fee, to use the MC: http://www.mastercard.com/us/persona...iolations.html

    I have spoken to VISA and they have the same rule, though you must report violations thru your card issuing bank - kinda weird as until you reach the upper echelons of the bank, nobody knows what your talking about. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13806200...onsumer_news/:

    SNIP

    "Can merchants ask for ID when you make a credit/debit card purchase?
    —Lorna M., New York, N.Y.

    Visa and MasterCard have similar rules on this. In most cases and in most places, a merchant cannot ask for identification to process your transaction. If the clerk believes the signature on the sales slip does not match the signature on the back of the card, they can call the card verification center and may be instructed to ask for identification.

    Merchants are required to ask for picture ID if the signature line is blank. You will be asked to sign the card on the spot. Visa and MasterCard rules say if you refuse to sign, that card cannot be accepted.

    Instead of signing their card, a lot of people write “See ID,” or “Ask for ID” in the signature line. They think this will reduce their risk for fraud. The fact is this is not a valid substitute for a signature. If the card is not signed, it cannot be used."

    And i have heard AMEX, which used to be silent on the matter, now prohibits merchants, again, thru merchant agreements, to demand ID to use their signature cards - which is what credit cards are. in fact, under Mc and VIOSA rules, you can take a credit card in your name, give it to a friend, she signs it, and now she can use it and merchants must accept it, subject to a reasonable likness test between sig on slip and back of card!

    So here's the deal - sign your card! And if you want privacy, issue yourself an authorized user card in a pseudonym - Like S. Clause. Or maybe just your first initial and last name. And sign it and use it. And if ID is demanded, refuse, explain procedures, if management does not allow, leave your stuff there, report them thru MC webiste merchant violation report form, and then follow up with corporate and local management - eventaully, they will get a letter from MC and yes in almost all cases, they will back down as MC may threaten them with fines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    What they are supposed to do per merchant agreement is to refuse to take your card until you sign it - they are signature cards!
    If that's what I have to do, I will, but until that day comes I'll rely on the ignorance at the counter to work in my favor.

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