GCs vs Bank Debit Card

Old Dec 27, 15, 8:44 am
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GCs vs Bank Debit Card

I have a small grocery store which sells MOs for 38 cents (up to $500). I have successfully used my GCs for this. Recently they have asked 'is this a bank debit card?'. Well, yes it actually is a bank issued debit card. ;-)

Yesterday, I was again asked and then she added 'We have had problems with other cards'.

I always have my Citibank card in front of the GC just in case. I believe the cashier only sees the transaction as debit.

But can the back office tell if I used a GC as opposed to a card tied to a bank account?

What is the downside to the store for allowing GC's?

Thank you!
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Old Dec 27, 15, 9:24 am
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They will know what bank it came from because they need to get paid by that financial institution. As for the terms of the card (pre-paid versus debit balance), they likely have no way to know that. Now granted, I'm not sure who banks with sunrise, metabank, bancorp, etc. They could figure it out, but I doubt this goes that far. Just tell them it's a debit, and it's all you use. Convince her to let the POS system tell you if it's a problem.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 9:44 am
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It is certainly possible to know what type of card it is based on the first 6 digits of the account number (the "BIN" or "bank identification number"). Whether the grocery store's card processing systems are sophisticated enough for this is another question.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by CherylD View Post
But can the back office tell if I used a GC as opposed to a card tied to a bank account ?
If the back office actually cares about this and becomes curious enough, like the previous poster said, they can easily determine that the BIN is used by XYZ Bank for VISA prepaid debit GCs.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 2:25 pm
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Thank you for the replies. I guess I should have realized the first digits indicated which bank issued the card.

Is there a downside to the store accepting GCs? Are there issues to the store being reimbursed from Metabank, Sunrise, etc? Not that I have any argument(nor would I) should they start asking to see which card I am actually swiping....
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Old Dec 27, 15, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by CherylD View Post
Thank you for the replies. I guess I should have realized the first digits indicated which bank issued the card.

Is there a downside to the store accepting GCs? Are there issues to the store being reimbursed from Metabank, Sunrise, etc? Not that I have any argument(nor would I) should they start asking to see which card I am actually swiping....
The downside to stores accepting GC is that a portion of CC fraud is performed by buying GC with a stolen CC, and then draining the GC in similar fashion to MS. If it is determined that the GC was purchased fraudulently, the card issuer *may* go after the final agent, in this case, the grocery store, to get the money back.
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Old Dec 27, 15, 3:21 pm
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Ah, that makes sense. Thank you!
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Old Dec 27, 15, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by CWAL View Post
If it is determined that the GC was purchased fraudulently, the card issuer *may* go after the final agent, in this case, the grocery store, to get the money back.
Does that really happen? Isn't the issuer normally responsible for fraud for card-present transactions (except for the 10/1 EMV stuff, but that shouldn't be an issue with VGCs since they're not EMV-capable)?
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Old Dec 27, 15, 7:09 pm
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Originally Posted by CWAL View Post
If it is determined that the GC was purchased fraudulently, the card issuer *may* go after the final agent, in this case, the grocery store, to get the money back.
That is what US Bank does. The final agent may then go after someone else for recompense.

In other words, it can become a big headache.
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