Boris Mann’s Personal Blog

Jun 2012

Vancity fraud lock means I can't trust Interac

I’ve just had my Vancity Interac debit card blocked for ‘confirmed skimming’. The last time this happened was about 2 weeks ago.

Before that, it was about 3 months ago. That last time, I got my card replaced with a new chip & pin version, being assured that it was much less susceptible to fraud.

My card has been blocked for ‘fraud’ about once a quarter since I’ve been with Vancity. I simply can’t trust my Interac card to be available as a payment tool when I need it.

I’ve asked for more information, both in person at the branch and on the phone. Front line bank clerks have been all over the place with their answers. When I press for more details, they realize I want actual answers, and fall back to saying they can’t say more because of security.

Which store was it? We can’t say. Did my card trigger something? Not necessarily, you might have just used your card in the general area where fraud has happened. Which area is that? We can’t say.

When I went in 2 weeks ago, the clerk told me his own personal story. That before chip & pin, his card got blocked every few DAYS. He said “It completely changed my purchasing patterns” and went on to explain how he switched to using his credit card.

When I asked if that was what Vancity recommended - switching to credit card usage rather than using the bank’s debit card system - he back tracked, explaining it was just a personal story.

The adoption of Interac in Canada has been near universal. But I no longer trust using it, or at least not the debit card & associated automatic fraud detection systems that Vancity uses.

I’ve asked several times in person & on the phone for a manager from Vancity to follow up with me, and it never happened. I’d like an explanation on what Vancity is doing to improve my experience.

Taking time off work to reset my card, having to make alternate payment agreements, and in general my anxiety every time I go to use my debit card - all of these have lead to a terrible Vancity experience for me.

Vancity: let me know if I should give up on Interac & just use a credit card.