With Halloween in the air this seems appropriate, only it wasn’t a Freddy Krueger Nightmare is was a shopping one. All I’ve been hearing about lately is Pin & Chip, Pin & Chip, Pin & Chip.  I was unclear about Pin & Chip credit card processing until I had some friends come to Florida from Wisconsin for a long weekend. They wanted to hit some of the local shops for silly tchotchkes, T-Shirts, visors and things like that. So I took them to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, where we had a lovely Greek meal and hit the local stops.

My friend, Marie, had a credit card with a chip from a local community bank in WI, each time she presented it, it required a pin. I thought it was a debit card but she showed it me and it wasn’t. Now I have a chip card from one of the larger national chain banks and it doesn’t need a pin. Go figure!

The real horror came when we hit the last shop that was overladen with merchandise, I was getting a headache trying to look things it was so packed. When it came time to check out the sales clerk pulls out a 3 part charge slip to write down Marie’s credit card numbers. I had to ask, “What are you doing?”  She said their terminal blew last night so she needed to do this, she also kept trying to call someone while we were standing there. We were really baffled. Then she runs out of the store, with Marie’s credit card and says, “I’ll be right back.” Marie and I just looked at one and other like, “Are you kidding me?”

Apparently, the owner has another store down the street, so the clerk ran over there to get the card processed. Marie and I are standing all alone in this store, we could have taken hundreds of $$$$$$’s worth of merchandise and no one would have been the wiser. Then the clerk comes running back in asking Marie for her pin, Marie runs out the door to the other store to punch in her pin and here I am again unattended in this store, only now the store is getting full with other customers.

Unbelievable! Marie said there were at least 10 people in line at the other store attempting to check out. This happened early on a beautiful Saturday, I can’t imagine how the rest of the day went for that business.  I think looking forward if I was that business owner and I had 4 stores that sell the exact same things that all the other stores sell, I night just invest in an extra terminal. Just sayin’!

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