Old Jun 1, 12, 8:04 am
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP 1.5MM, Asiana Club Silver, KE Morning Calm, Hyatt Platinum, Amtrak Select
Posts: 7,155
Chase VISA Chip-and-Signature usage report abroad

This past weekend, I was able to test out my Chase Hyatt VISA Chip-and-Signature card in Canada and in Japan.

As a test, I tried it 3 ways: 1 place in Canada where they still swipe, 1 place in Canada where they did it via the chip, and 1 place in Japan where I knew they discontinued using the mag-stripe swiper.

Test case 1: A seafood store in YVR where they still used the old swiper. No real change here, all they did was swipe the mag-stripe portion on the back of my Chase Hyatt Card just as like any mag-stripe card issued in the US. Note the entry method is written as "Swiped" onto the receipt.

Test case 2: The YVR airport gift shop where they could've done it via the swipe or the chip, but they used the chip. Being at an international airport where they would expect people from both the US and abroad, they used the terminal that accepted both the mag-stripe and the chip.

The cashier however, noticing the chip on the card, just inserted my card into the chip reader and handed me the pin pad. But being a Chip-and-Signature card, the small LCD screen on the pin pad said "CAD 7.96 press yes/no." I pressed the green button for yes and the terminal printed out a receipt for me to sign. Note how the receipt says "Chip" as authentication method.

Test case 3: A gift store in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

My friend in Japan has a summer vacation home in Karuizawa. On my past trips here, I knew that this particular merchant had discontinued the use of mag-stripe readers at their store due to past skimming fraud activity that targeted the wealthy Japanese people who own vacation homes here.

Nevermind the VISA sticker on the merchant's door. My CapitalOne card was essentially useless plastic here, which was disappointing since it advertised no foreign transaction fees as their selling point. But what good is that when the merchant has chosen to upgrade their terminals to a chip only reader to prevent fraud?

Then again, by the time this merchant decided to upgrade their POS terminal, almost all Japanese VISA cards were already issued with chips, most foreign tourists to Karuizawa are from Asia which also issues chipped cards, and very few Americans visit Karuizawa, so the decision was understandable. Why stick with using older, insecure mag-stripe swipers when 99% of this merchant's clientele have chipped cards?

As such, it was a bit embarrassing to ask my friend to pay for me in cash on the first time I encountered this several years ago. Ever since then, I made sure to always have extra Japanese yen on hand when visiting Karuizawa.

But this time, it was different as I had my Chase Hyatt Chip-and-Signature card with me. Hence, this was the perfect place to test out if my Chip-and-Signature would work at a store in Japan where they only had the chip reader.

And it worked! The cashier took my chipped card and just inserted into the chip slot. And as with most Japanese electronic gadgetry which amazes me, the Japanese POS terminal even started talking to give instructions to cashier, 「カードをお取り下さい、カード所持者に署名させて下さい」 ("Please remove the card from the reader. Please have cardholder sign the receipt"). The terminal knew that this was a Chip-and-Signature rather than a Chip-and-PIN card, so it actually told the cashier what to do. But then again, Chip-and-Signature seems to be the norm in Asia so I guess the chip terminal was pre-equipped to handle both PIN and Signature authentication.

Interest of note that instead of the receipt printing out "Chip," as the authentication method, the words "(IC)" were written as a suffix after my credit card number. In Japan, chipped cards are more commonly known as IC cards, which is an abbreviation of "integrated circuitry."

As such, it seems that my new preferred international card has become the Chase Hyatt VISA Chip-and-Signature card. Never at once used my CapOne card since it's essentially useless plastic abroad. If both of them have no foreign transaction fees, but if the Chase Hyatt has the chip and the mag-stripe while the CapOne only has the mag-stripe, it's obvious I'm going to use the former as my main card abroad.

Last edited by kebosabi; Jun 1, 12 at 8:25 am
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