I received my card a few months ago looking forward to avoiding being "that guy" who has to sign everything instead of enter his PIN when travelling around Europe. I was disappointed to find out that whenever possible the card defaults to chip+sign, and only uses PIN when signing is not possible.
Can you please reverse this stance? It removes one of the main reasons for me getting the card in the first place, and coupled with the lack of support for Android Pay actually means that this card is *less* usable abroad than my existing card was. I won't be renewing at the end of the year otherwise, as your competitors have better support for contactless payment, even if they don't have the chip and PIN default.
Just back from a trip to Portugal, Spain and Italy, where Barclays Arrival card has been completely USELESS as a Chip & PIN card, and failed at all unattended kiosks everywhere I tried using it.
I did exactly as instructed: selected a new PIN when activating my new card and used it in a chip & signature terminal (in the U.S.) prior to trying it in an unattended kiosk in Europe.
After calling Barclays customer care to complain about the card not working as a PIN card in kiosks, I was told that everything is fine with my PIN and account, and they see no attempted transactions. In other words, the unattended terminals did not even go as far as contacting the bank to attempt to post a transaction after I entered my PIN. Customer care was of no further help, blaming the kiosk instead. (Obviously, it and all other kiosks worked perfectly fine for all other people in line behind me.)
None of the attended terminals defaulted to PIN, always printing the receipt for my signature instead. I even asked merchants if they can let me enter PIN, but none could do anything to force the card to use PIN. I have not actually ended up having a single opportunity to use the card as a PIN card on my trip.
This card was totally useless for one thing I had hoped to use it for in Europe, and I had to stay in lines to ticket windows to sign my receipts.
Frustrating and annoying.
Thanks for your message @sasham5. Please email BarclaycardTravel@barclaycardus.com with your First & Last Name, Email, Phone and best way to contact. We will have customer care reach out to you.
I just got back from a 100 day trip, about 55 days in Northern Europe....I successfully managed to use both my Arrival plus and Aviator Red card in pin transactions at train and metro stations.
The Arrival was still problematic because even with travel notifications the card was too sensitive and flagged legimiate transactions as fruad. I had to switch to a competitor for more reliaible transactions. The competitor did not once mis identify a transcation.
I was in London a few weeks ago and I also had the experience where my PIN was not used in shops and restaurants. A few months ago I had the same experience in Vienna and Amsterdam.
That said, I had no issues using my PIN in automated ticket machines for the Tube, etc.
Question- should signing be the default for travel or should it be PIN?
I agree. The current setup is less-than-optimal.
I was just in Finland and while my PIN worked ok on an unattended kiosk at the train station (buying train tickets from "VR"), it did NOT work while trying to buy a ticket from the conductor while already in the train.
His (I'm assuming a PIN only) terminal displayed "PIN LOCKED. PUSH GREEN." and it would not work at all. For the reference, the same happened while trying a Chase Sapphire chip & sign card. Fortunately I had the foresight to get cash at the airport before boarding the train.
Oh, and I did use the card earlier on a manned terminal so that requirement was fulfilled.
Here's a few comments:
- On a recent trip to the UK, the Barclaycard branded Arrival Plus card made retailers ASSUME that a chip and pin transaction was going to occur. While never a showstopper, it caused endless amounts of "I don't have a pen handy" and "that's strange...it's asking for a signature" CC terminals in the UK do not have touch screens or attached electronic pens, so this slows the CC capture process; and causes a bit of inconvenience to a traveller that is trying to buy a 70p bottle of water (for example). While petty sounding when typed out like that, it is an obvious boon when you're actually standing in a crowded shop at a self-service checkout.
- I feel that the first major bank-based credit card issuer in the US that enables pin priority over signature transactions will have quite the line out the door for customers who travel. Note the qualifiers:
- Major: I believe Diners Club and Carte Blanche already have pin priority, but I don't consider these to be as universally accepted.
- Bank-based: As opposed to credit-union based, of which several exist, notably AFCU and UNFCU that offer a pin-priority branded VISA or Mater card. Neither have turn-key "approval in 5 minutes" sign up processes.
I have never had any problems with my CHIP card, but I was instructed when I initially got it to use it at a gas station or some other place locally that was (for the most part) automated. It was declined, the guy took the card inside and ran it through, and I've never had any problems using it at kiosks or anywhere else since (and I travel internationally many times a year). Did you do that first? It seems to need a trigger for the system to believe it's you the first time at an automated stop.
The first time I was even asked about a PIN was recently in Vouliagmeni. The guy was surprised that he didn't need me to do it, so European cards are obviously different. But to me a PIN doesn't feel that much more secure than a signature. At least with a signature I can prove it's not me if there's fraud.
PS -- Another thing I like about the CHIP cards is that internationally they almost always do (and always should) bring the terminal to you, put your card in in front of you, and have you sign. When I had the old cards they would take them away with the bill (out of my sight) and I had about four cases of fraud, for some reason especially in Venice. So make sure they don't take it out of your sight!
After receiving my Arrival plus chip and pin card, I followed all of the instructions to set up the pin in the US before travelling. In Ireland and England, I was never prompted for a pin, all transactions required a signature. To overcome this, I enrolled the card in Apple Pay and used this method for small transactions.
I'm now in Australia, and here is where the problems begin. I have locked two unmanned terminals, with a message saying signature required. Never once have I been prompted to enter a pin. After two calls to Barclays Delaware 'm told this is how the card operates, contact the terminal owner to print a signature slip or change the terminal setupor use another credir card. Strange that the terminal has been working for years for all other credit cards, except my fancy Barclays Arrival Plus chip and pin. The remark by the 'relationship manager' illustrates the ignorance on their behalf on the usage of a chip and pin card outside of the USA. They were of no help at all, and based on this, I would recommend visiting Australia with a true chip and pin card as the Arrival Plus just doesn't cut it.