Back in September, we discussed the brewing battle that was taking place between Retailers and Banks. Big stores prefer for you to use your debit card, which comes with much lower fees than your credit card.
Today’s NYT has a long article covering a similar topic: Whether you sign or punch in a PIN when using that debit card:
“When you sign a debit card receipt at a large retailer, the store pays your bank an average of 75 cents for every $100 spent, more than twice as much as when you punch in a four-digit code.
The difference is so large that Costco will not allow you to sign for your debit purchase in its checkout lines. Wal-Mart and Home Depot steer customers to use a PIN, the debit card norm outside the United States.
Despite all this, signature debit cards dominate debit use in this country, accounting for 61 percent of all such transactions, even though PIN debit cards are less expensive and less vulnerable to fraud.”
As I noted then, if I like the retailer and feel they treat me fairly, I use the PIN.
click for larger graphic
courtesy of NYT
Banks vs Retailers: The Battle For Card Usage (September 29th, 2009)
How Visa, Using Card Fees, Dominates a Market
NYT, January 4, 2010