I was going to post this as a reply to a previous thread on this topic, but it seems to have sunk pretty far down.


Looks like Walmart VP for Payments has come out strongly criticising the US banks (incluing USAA) decision to give preference to signature verification over PIN verification for credit card transactions. Article headline is "Walmart: EMV Signatures are Worthless" Interestingly enough, both Visa and Mastercard are OK with signature verification, claiming that card cloning (which EMV prevents) is a much larger problem than transaction verification.




Since USAA has implemented PIN verification and has just chosen not to make it primary, it would be nice if PIN primary were offered as an option to those who need it.


Had my first experience with EMV Signature Verification in the EU. While the transaction did eventually complete, the clerk was confused at first at the register instructions to get a signature and then had to find a manager to get a pen. Of course there was no attempt to compare the signature on the receipt with the card making the verification meaningless. It would really be nice to have a PIN preference EMV card from USAA.

OK - Just finishing up about 3 weeks in Europe and the UK and have loads of experience with the latest incarnation of my USAA EMV card. The good news is that for the most part the card does work. The bad news is that by programming the card to prefer signature verification over PIN verifcation, the card acts almost the same as the old swipe style cards.


Out of dozens of transactions, only once or twice did anyone attempt to compare the signature on the card to the the signature on the slip. This was just as well as I hadn't signed my card yet. The larger problem was that very few clerks had pens available to sign the slip. I did get lots of quizical looks when the signature slip printed out instead of the transaction completed slip and one comment "I haven't seen a signature slip in years!"


Interestingly enough, one or two transactions at terminals with no printers did go through with a PIN. Those were at London Underground Oyster topup kiosks, so I'm not sure if they were just approved with no verification, or the PIN was used. Shortly after the first time at the kiosk, I got a verification txt and phone call from USAA asking me if I really made the transaction. Considering it was a PIN verification, I'm very confused why that occurred.


Bottom line - I'm going to keep asking that USAA offer the option to restore PIN verification as the primary EMV verification method - at least on request. Signature verification is very uncool and a real pain to use outside the US.