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Common Myths

Myth #1 : My Credit Card is secure, because no one knows my PIN/Password

When you make a transaction through a credit card in India, at the end of the transaction, you are asked to enter one more final PIN number, which makes your transaction more secure and gives you an additional layer of security. RBI had come up with an additional password requirement last year. While you needed a credit card number, expiry date and your CVV number to make a transaction earlier, now as an extra security layer, you need an additional PIN too.

However, this feature is limited only to online transactions on Indian websites. When you make a transaction outside India, this additional step is not compulsory. This means that someone having every other detail of your credit card other than your PIN can also make transactions even if he does not know your PIN. You would have realised this yourself, if you have done any transactions when travelling abroad.

Myth #2 : No one knows my CVV number, it implies that I am secure

One of the biggest myths about credit cards is that, if no one knows your CVV number, it is impossible to complete a transaction. You are highly mistaken to assume this.

“CVV is not always mandatory on all websites to make an online transaction.”

You can make an online transaction on few websites out of India with only the Credit Card number, the expiry date and obviously the name of the credit card holder.

Try this.

“I booked a domain on godaddy.com only to realise that the site never asked me for my credit card CVV number. I later learnt that CVV number is just optional for credit card merchants. While some countries make it mandatory, others don’t. It’s just a choice!”

To make sure you are safe, do the following:

  • Scratch your CVV number on the back of your credit/debit card
  • Insist on getting the card swiped in your presence, even if you are embarrassed to insist.
  • Better still, use your debit card and avoid your credit cards.
Myth #3 : Nobody can duplicate my credit card.

Yes, your credit card can be duplicated and it’s a common occurrence in India. A card (credit or debit) might be using something like EMV chips or Magnetic strips, and that’s where the problem lies. While EMV chips are more secure, the magnetic strips are not safe. If your card has magnetic strips, it can be duplicated.

Myth #4 : The signature on the back on credit card doesn’t matter much

One of the most misunderstood and unknown facts about credit cards is the signature on the back of the card. If a credit card does not have a signature on the back, it’s an invalid card. As per the agreement between card issuer and merchant (the shops and hotels which give you the facility to swipe the cards), the merchant is supposed to check the signature on the back of card with the signature on the bill, and only if they match, the merchant should allow the card to be swiped.

However, almost all the merchants avoid checking for the signature. This is violation of terms and conditions and if you have lost a credit card which was SIGNED, and some transaction takes place, you are not supposed to be charged, because the merchant should have checked the signatures on card with the signature on the bill.

If there has been ever a fraud on your credit card, and you are asked to pay the money, just ask your card issuer to check the signature on the bill with your specimen signatures with them and if they do not match, they are not supposed to pay the merchant at all and let merchant take the loss for not doing their duty of checking the signatures.

This explains why you should sign your cards on the back and not leave them blank, because if someone steals your card and puts his signature on the back, then the transaction can be done successfully even if the merchant does his duty of checking the bill signature with the signature on card and in that case you are bound to pay the money to card issuer.