More Visa Frustrations

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A few weeks ago I wrote about my frustrations with the CIBC visa opt-out upgrade program.  Since then CIBC and I have parted ways, my Aeroplan Visa card was the last CIBC service I retained from them since openning a bank account with them as a child.   A few years ago I switched to Royal Bank after CIBC was unable re-issue me a bank card without me returning to Hamilton Ontario.  I am now free of all CIBC services…

Being with Royal Bank I thought it would be easiest if I just chose their Avion Infinite Visa.  It seemed similar enough to my CIBC card until it arrived in the mail a few weeks ago.  Royal Bank has decided to be the first bank to take ‘advantage’ of the new Visa chip and PIN option.  This is a system Visa has been using in Europe for years and it hads a PIN to Visa transactions similar to Interact payments in Canada.  Unfortunately it seems that while Royal Bank is ready, and maybe Visa is ready, vendors are not.    I was unable to order a Pizza, make purchases at BestBuy or even use it at the driver through.  With the exception of BestBuy ( where it took 20 mins for staff to figure out how to process a payment with a chip and PIN ) it seems that most vendors don’t support the new system.  In additional Royal Bank doesn’t actually send me a PIN.  Instead the card is essentially useless ( unless you want to talk to a RBC operator about every transaction ) until you visit an RBC branch and create your own PIN.  In anycase the Royal Bank Avion Infinite Visa with new Chip and PIN technology and I are no longer seeing each other.  Its been cut into little pieces as per instructions…

I’m now waiting for a TD Visa, which I’m assured is Visa Chip and PIN technology free, at least until 2011 when its mandatory and hopefully vendors will know how to handle them.  One unfortunate surprise around the TD Visa was the TD won’t actually send the card to my house.  Instead I have to pick it up at a branch.  I suspect this is so they can check my ID and TD bank seems to have really good branch hours with most branches open 8am to 8pm.  I’m hoping their Visa will be the winner…