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Paying with your Mastercard

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When to PIN, when to sign, & how to know why

We know you need your card to be two things: convenient and secure. As your credit union, we play a big role in that. But, every merchant and payment processing company can impact your experience differently. So, how do you know when to enter your PIN or when to sign? Why is it different at some stores?

Tapping credit card

Wave, pay and go

Community Choice Mastercards are set up to simply “wave, pay, and go”or “swipe and sign,”wherever possible.



Other action neededInsert card or enter PIN

A merchant, or their payment processor, can override that preference. In those cases, you may be asked to insert your card or enter a PIN. Often, you still have the option to cancel out of it to process your payment as credit. In limited cases, you may be unable to bypass the PIN requirement.


Update Your Debit Card Daily Limit

Daily Card LimitsIf you're going to be making a purchase that is higher than your typical daily debit card purchase limit, no worries, you can increase it right from our mobile app! Follow these simple steps:

1. Login.
2. Select the "More" button  at the top right of the screen.
3. Scroll to the bottom and select the image of your debit card.
4. Under "Card Controls" select "Daily card limits"
5. Under "Cash/point of sale transaction limit", increase your PIN-based transaction limit to as high as $1,000.

Why do some merchants and processors require a PIN?
  • The age and settings of their payment equipment
  • Their contracts with payment processors and relationships with competing credit card providers
  • The expense of processing a transaction as credit
  • The merchant’s business preferences
Which is safer - PIN or Signature?

Signature-based transactions are protected by and fully disputable through Mastercard, and frankly, more convenient. PIN-based transactions, if committed by another individual, are harder to dispute as only you should know your PIN.

Is using a PIN unsafe?
Not necessarily. Take these steps to protect your PIN:
  • Choose a unique PIN that cannot be easily guessed – avoid the last four digits of your social security number or any variation on your birthday, address, or phone number.
  • Do not write your PIN down. Commit it to memory or use a secure password saving app.
  • Cover the PIN pad with your other hand when entering your PIN at the checkout counter or ATM.
  • Be aware at the checkouts and ATMs – if your card does not insert easily into the machine or the card reader appears to be tampered with, reconsider your options. Card “shimmers” and “skimmers” target older equipment that don't support contactless transactions.
  • If you feel your PIN has been compromised, use our mobile app any time of day to freeze your card, lower your spending limit, or close the card and order a new one.

Your card, your control

Use our mobile app to protect your card, 24/7. If something's just not right, you can freeze it, close it, reorder it, and more.

Download our mobile app
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