Personal Finance

Is it secure to use debit cards on Laundry card reloaders?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 13th, 2018 11:43 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 31, 2016
57 posts
11 upvotes
Arva, ON

Is it secure to use debit cards on Laundry card reloaders?

I've been using credit cards only ever since I've been reading and watching the articles about personal finance. I haven't seen one article recommending people to use debit cards rather than credit cards.

But then today I've found out that the laundry card reloader in my apartment building charges 85 cents for using credit cards which is the most expensive fee in any market by the way. It doesn't even set a minimum cost to waive the fee just like many small retailers do. Interestingly, I could see some similar posts from here, but there hasn't been any result about the matter. I guess the options are pretty thin unless I pay 85 cents for the fee.

My question is that is this laundry card reloading machine secure for using debit cards? I mean, you get to hear in the news about those Chip & Pin machines getting hacked and people loosing money. Most of all, if you loose the money, It's cash. There's no way you can get the money back unlike credit card theft. I don't think the location of the machine in the building is secure unless the residents are doing laundry in the middle of night.
It would be nice to hear from someone who's dealing with this kind of debit machines.
Thanks in advance.
6 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 18, 2005
17708 posts
2406 upvotes
GTA West
There are no guarantees. But if it's real fraud then you will eventually get your money back. Eventually.

The real reasons it is dangerous to use debit instead of credit are:
1. Debit card fraud actually deprives you of money, whereas credit card fraud only deprives the bank of their money.
2. If your chequing account gets cleaned out, you might bounce a lot of other payments and cheques, leading to a lot of other fees and a big mess, even if you eventually get the money back. Landlords can legally start eviction procedings when your payment is 1 day late.

This is why I never use Interac debit from my main chequing account at Simplii.
I have another separate chequing account at Tangerine in which I store a maximum of $250. If it gets defrauded, my real banking won't be affected. Let them take their sweet time in investigating it...

This brings me to the real benefits of using debit:
1. You can support small local businesses because Interac costs a lot less to accept than credit cards. Small merchants pay A LOT OF MONEY to accept credit, and don't get the preferential deals of big stores like Wal Mart, etc.
2. Some, but not all, restaurants will actually dock a small part of their servers' tips if you pay with credit cards, due to the merchant fee losses. Debit helps your local tip-based workers.
3. Debit cards do not accrue debt. This can be really important for some people due to philosophical, emotional, economic, or spiritual reasons.

Bottom line, stop fretting and open a free account somewhere and use that as your 'banking condom' for debit purchases.
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[OP]
Newbie
Jan 31, 2016
57 posts
11 upvotes
Arva, ON
Jucius Maximus wrote:
Sep 12th, 2018 10:00 pm
This is why I never use Interac debit from my main chequing account at Simplii.
I have another separate chequing account at Tangerine in which I store a maximum of $250. If it gets defrauded, my real banking won't be affected. Let them take their sweet time in investigating it...

Bottom line, stop fretting and open a free account somewhere and use that as your 'banking condom' for debit purchases.
This is certainly a great idea. Maybe I'll open up an account with Tangerine as a banking condom. Thanks. I appreciate it.
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2017
679 posts
395 upvotes
Calgary
ludwig3 wrote:
Sep 12th, 2018 10:29 pm
This is certainly a great idea. Maybe I'll open up an account with Tangerine as a banking condom. Thanks. I appreciate it.
It really depends on the card. if it's a purely Interac card (i.e. no Visa/MasterCard cobadge) then it is pretty secure as the Interac network doesn't allow magstripe payments or online purchases (well not with the card details anyway). The chip to date hasn't been cloned.
Sr. Member
Dec 16, 2017
825 posts
298 upvotes
Raincouver
CanadianSpruce wrote:
Sep 13th, 2018 10:00 pm
It really depends on the card. if it's a purely Interac card (i.e. no Visa/MasterCard cobadge) then it is pretty secure as the Interac network doesn't allow magstripe payments or online purchases (well not with the card details anyway). The chip to date hasn't been cloned.
I'm pretty sure Interact card can still be swiped if the chip reader fails. If not, what's the point of having it at the back of every card? And in Canada, VISA/MC Debit is always an Interact card for in person use. i.e. BC Ferries do not take debit card (even if it's Canadian VISA/MC Debit) so you need a real credit card or a foreign VISA/MC Debit one
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2017
679 posts
395 upvotes
Calgary
dekvitaly wrote:
Sep 13th, 2018 10:49 pm
I'm pretty sure Interact card can still be swiped if the chip reader fails. If not, what's the point of having it at the back of every card? And in Canada, VISA/MC Debit is always an Interact card for in person use. i.e. BC Ferries do not take debit card (even if it's Canadian VISA/MC Debit) so you need a real credit card or a foreign VISA/MC Debit one
It’s for foreign ATM usage if it supports that (and it’s also how all suck in ATMs know a card is there by detecting the magnetic stripe). You can’t fallback with Interac (unlike the credit networks) and swipe Interac payments as a whole don’t exist anymore (discontinued in 2016). My point about the cobadged cards was that they could be cloned and used for a purchase in the US, UK etc. An Interac only card couldn’t be cloned and used like that, they are as fraud proof as a payment card can get.
Sr. Member
Dec 16, 2017
825 posts
298 upvotes
Raincouver
CanadianSpruce wrote:
Sep 13th, 2018 11:17 pm
It’s for foreign ATM usage if it supports that (and it’s also how all suck in ATMs know a card is there by detecting the magnetic stripe). You can’t fallback with Interac (unlike the credit networks) and swipe Interac payments as a whole don’t exist anymore (discontinued in 2016). My point about the cobadged cards was that they could be cloned and used for a purchase in the US, UK etc. An Interac only card couldn’t be cloned and used like that, they are as fraud proof as a payment card can get.
In my understanding, even if you clone a Canadian VISA/MC debit mag stripe, the reader still knows the card itself should have a chip hence prompting you to insert the card.
Fyi, even a regular debit card can be used overseas if the card is Maestro registered (non MC Debit BMO card and a bunch of BC credit unions) and NYCE system per se.
Here is another example, lots of Canadians in BC use their debit in WA, USA by swiping at Verifone chip reader terminal (Superstore, Costco one) and I'm unsure why it works through Maestro that way rather than typical insert and PIN.

So no, even an Interact debit card (no cobadged) can be cloned for overseas use under Maestro network, I just do not have a lot of data or analysis to prove anything further

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