Now I assume that most of us have some type of bank card, either a credit card or debit card. It doesn’t matter which because both can be used to go shopping online or in a physical store. Now I won’t preach about budgeting your money. What you spend your money on is your business.

The problem is that banks just want your money because that’s how they stay in business. When you open an account, you give the bank your money and they give you a little plastic card in exchange, and to many banks have to many rules/fees about using the cards to access your own money.

But I really wish that it was required that every bank gave a mandated class on how to use a credit card everytime you get one. What I mean is…a class to teach you how to use the card to pay for items at a register if the business doesn’t have a chip reader. You would be surprised how many people argue with me about the fact that their card has a chip, so they HAVE to use it. Well guess what folks, your chipped card also has a strip on the back and it’s about time you refresh your memory on how to use it. It wasn’t that many years ago that we all used that strip before the silly chip was invented. Actually the chip was added to bank cards in the Fall of 2015, so unless you got your very first card after 2015, then you should remember how to slide a card at any register.

There are times when a credit card machine will decline a card, and sometimes it’s just because they can’t use the chip reader. I had a customer who had just used his card in another business before shopping in my store. His card worked fine in the other business but not in mine. He called his bank up to find out why. He had to explain that he was on vacation at a national park and that he was shopping in a store that didn’t have a chip reader. Quite a few stores in small communities (in the middle of nowhere) are not set up to accept the chip on cards. After being on the phone for about 15-20 minutes asking for permission to spend his own money, the bank told him to try the card again. After the phone call his card worked…which proved that the only reason it declined before, was the bank was refusing to let it go through not because there was anything wrong with the store’s machine. So now I use that guy as an example when other customers have cards that decline. So far, nobody else wants to take 20 minutes to call their bank. It’s easier for most people to just have someone else in their group pay with a different card.

I had another guy slide 5 different cards through our register to pay for his items. Why someone needs 5 different cards is beyond my comprehension. If a register declines your card when you use the magnetic strip, then you might have the option to try the same card by “tapping” the card with Apple-pay. I don’t fully understand Apple-pay and because I move around all over the country so often, my bank has never offered me that option. But I do recognize cards that have the option and will tell customers to use it if their card declines when the use the magnetic strip. Then I end up with a customer who will try to tap their card, even though their card doesn’t have that option. It’s because the bank never took the time to verbally explain their particular card’s account to them. They are just standing in a register line and see 1 customer use apple pay so they assume that they can also.

If I tell a customer to enter the card manually, they have no idea what I am talking about. When I tell them that they have to type in their numbers, then they will just type in 4 numbers as they are putting the card back in their pockets. Huh, ok, obviously it’s a debit card and they just put their pin number on the screen, for anyone to see. So I have to explain that all cards run as a credit card and unless they have all 14-16 numbers of their card memorized they need to get the card back out and type all the numbers from the card, along with the expiration date and the 3-number code on the back.

Sometimes they get all confused and have no idea what to do. So they either hand me their card telling me to do it or they decide to pay with cash. Then they get disappointed when I tell them that my store (and no business in the area) does Cashback with cards. The atm machines in the area have been empty for about a month because they guy whose job it was to fill them with cash has quit so customers can no longer get cash from them when their cards decline. If customers would just learn how to use their card for everything then they wouldn’t need cash…well unless they need to go to our post office or the laundromat in the campground nearby. Obviously if you have a bank card, you got it so you wouldn’t have to carry cash around, so why ask for Cashback?

Banks claim that a chip makes your card more secure. My argument to that is, if anyone stole my card there is nothing stopping them from using my card in any business that runs all cards as credit. If the business ran debit cards correctly then whoever was using the card would need a pin number. That new chip can’t tell if the card owner or a thief went shopping.

Even with all the information that’s supposed to be in a chip, my bank still has a hard time keeping track of me. I move around often and don’t always update my address with my bank. So now my bank will send me a new debit card about every 4 months. Sometimes it will take almost a month to get the new card because the bank sent it to an old address that I’m no longer located at. If the chip in my debit card is so secure, that my own bank can’t read it’s information to know that I have moved across the country again…then why does a chip hold such information? Who is this info for?

Actually I do have a few older relatives that refuse to shop online or pay any bills online because they would never dream of putting their card info on the Internet. Oh heck, some of them still send out paper checks to pay utility bills, while others will drive to the utility office twice a month to pay cash towards a bill. I also have one relative who pays for everything with his credit card. It’s easier for him to keep track of where is money went. If he ever needs to challenge a charge from any business and the business doesn’t want to refund his payment, then he can pull out his file of receipts…with dates, item purchase numbers and what else he needs to get the head of his credit card company to get his money back. So it boggles my mind, when customers don’t want receipts at my store..they even tell me that they don’t want to know how much they spent on vacation.

I have been waiting for the day, when every single customer in my store uses a bank card at my register. I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of change in my drawer. Of course I have been waiting for that for a long time. I don’t think it will happen anytime soon.