Why your bank may not help you if you pay by ec-card and PIN

Laptop with card reader - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / MultiartOne of the most popular ways of paying for things  in shops in Germany is by ec-card – a standardised debit card that is issued by most banks and accepted by most shops. The card, which has a both a magnetic strip and a chip on it, generally comes with a PIN and you enter the PIN when paying to confirm the transaction, although some older card readers still require you to sign a slip of paper instead.

The money is debited from your bank account in a similar way to a direct debit (“Lastschrift”), but the similarity stops here. Because whereas a direct debit can be reversed within 6 weeks, I recently found out that such protection is not offered when paying by PIN. [Read more…]

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