Exciting Chip-and-PIN Update

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In the past, I have whined at great length about the fact that most new chip-based credit cards are chip-and-signature. This is both insecure—anyone can scrawl a signature—and incompatible with card readers in Europe. But the boffins who run our banks figured that Americans were too dumb to remember a PIN for their credit cards, so chip-and-signature it was.

However, my Wells Fargo debit card claims to be chip-and-PIN. Is it really? Today at the supermarket, a little sign told me that their card reader now accepts chip-based cards. So I stuck in my debit card. A few seconds later it asked for my PIN. Be still my heart! I entered it, and the transaction was approved.

So I can now report definitively that at least one debit card is true chip-and-PIN. And quite handily, the PIN is the same as the PIN for getting cash from the ATM, so it’s easy to remember. Thanks, Wells Fargo!

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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