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A guide to Taiwanese VISA Debit Cards

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A guide to Taiwanese VISA Debit Cards

Postby yuli » 27 Jan 2011, 15:04

~ ~ ~ Posted in January 2011; last edited/updated on August 19, 2013 ~ ~ ~

This post, which is meant to be a resource and may therefore be updated from time to time, contains information found in the thread at http://forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph ... &start=100 and in subsequent messages in this thread.

VISA debit card: how to get it
Typically you need to apply at your bank (some banks may automatically issue such a card to a new customer). Successful applicants have in almost all cases mentioned that they needed to show a valid passport and an ARC for a period of at least one year (notable exceptions, with usage limited cards: Post Office, Bank of Taiwan). YMMV - so please let us know any news you may have...

VISA debit card: where to use it
Please see the following first-hand information from people who have a VISA Debit Card. If you have a question or useful information, please feel free to add to this thread - but please do not quote this message, since it is still updated form time to time (quoting it leads to outdated information showing up up in Yahoo and Google searches).

Important Notice:
Your VISA Debit Card MAY become unusable abroad once your ARC has expired or has been cancelled - here are some first hand reports:
Enigma wrote:If your ARC expires, you will be able to continue to use your debit cards in Taiwan but the international option is immediately cancelled. [...] Also any "convenience" card duplicates mailed home for care packages, gifts, etc. will need to be replaced when you renew your ARC.

zyzzx wrote:the debit card stops working when your ARC expires [...]. You have to bring you new ARC to the bank and they will reactivate the card.

enn wrote:I finished my teaching contract on Dec. 31st. The school had me sign a release. [...] It turns out with the release paper I signed the school cancelled my ARC without notice. That info percolated down to the bank which promptly cancelled my outside-of-Taiwan use of the card. [...] I could purchase as much as I wanted, but ATMs wouldn't accept the card.


Many thanks to all contributors! :bow:

Note: I removed the color coding, since most cards are now full use cards (where that is not the case, the most recent comments will indicate it)

:arrow: VISA Debit Cards

Taishin Bank
A-ha
- the card works online: has it linked to Paypal, Amazon, etc.
- the card works abroad
RJF
- has been using his card on the internet as well as for international purchases
cfimages
- has linked the card to Paypal, Amazon, etc. (no problem using it with Amazon) and uses it for recurring monthly/quarterly payments payment
- says that the card works like a regular credit card
zyzzx
- got the card in less than a week from applying
- the card has only a 6-digit PIN
- has used his card abroad (in the US, the UK, and Austria) to withdraw money, using the 6 digit PIN
Equilibrium (June 27, 2011 update)
- reports getting the card within 30 minutes after being persistent when talking with a staff member who mistakenly thought it was not available to foreigners :wink:
- says the card has a 6 digit PIN for local ATM use and a 4 digit PIN for international ATM use
cfimages (May 22, 2012 update)
- I had to get a replacement card. Took about 5-10 minutes.
The new card doesn't have my name on the card or the raised digits on it, and says "electronic use only".
They assured me it [...] will work everywhere except on an actual airplane (buying duty free in-flight).
Linked it to Amazon and bought a Kindle book, added it to Paypal and did the verification charge and it worked okay.
Notes:
List of branches (in English): http://www.taishinbank.com.tw/english/branch.jsp?
Taishin Bank doesn't have many branches outside the large urban areas, but it has ATMs in Family Mart convenience stores

First Bank (第一銀行)
Enigma
- it was easy to get a card for use in Taiwan and abroad
- the card has 2 PINs, one 4 digits and one 6 digits
- (updated: 2011 July 01:) the card can now be used for internet purchases (including Amazon)
cfimages
- has an electronic use only card that can be used in shops and at ATMs in Taiwan but not online
(the regular debit card of this bank can be used online, as well - see the related section)
- not yet confirmed whether it can be used in hotels or stores overseas
YangGuiZi[/b] (Dec 12, 2012 update)
- got a card (at the branch on the corner of Fuhe Rd. and Zhongzhen Rd. in Yonghe) for online and international use.
- staff spoke good English
Note:
List of branches (in Mandarin): https://www.firstbank.com.tw/A7.1.html

Hua Nan Bank
Yazzy
- (old information) the card can only be used for purchases locally or on Taiwan-based websites
- the bank had mentioned this restriction in advance
the bear (June 27, 2011 update)
- the card has become usable for Internet transactions, overseas hotels, etc.
- the bear reports not having an ARC
tango42 (June 8, 2012 update)
- I opened an account at Hua Nan bank without an ARC.
Had my Visa debit card handed to me before I left and immediately went to ATM machine and changed PIN and checked my balance.
(went together with a local friend who uses the bank at that location, whom the staff recognized. and who did a lot of the talking)

Fubon Bank Taiwan
Muzha Man
- his card has a 7 digit PIN for use in Taiwan and a 4 digit PIN for international ATM withdrawals
- has used it for online purchases (e.g., Kindle books, plane tickets, groceries, hotel rooms, etc.)
- fraud protection: after each purchase he gets a confirmation message to his cell phone
- there is no name on the card
- he reports that he used the card all over Alaska with no troubles for car rental, plane tickets, restaurant bills, etc.
catfish13
- no longer has an account with that bank but had a card from them once
- the PIN had 4 digits
- the card worked over the internet
- there was no name on the card

China Trust
andycjw
- the card works online but only for websites that DO NOT have the 'verified by visa' security feature (like amazon.com) - but this limitation appears to be a bug, not a feature, and CT said it's under repair
mike029 (Apr 14, 2012 update)
- My Chinatrust card worked overseas in Malaysia and Singapore when I wanted to withdraw cash with no issue
ThorsMallet (June 6, 2012 update)
- got a Visa debit card (had to show his ARC) that is supposed to work online and abroad (has a 6 digit PIN for Taiwan and a 4 digit one for international use)
YangGuiZi[/b] (Dec 12, 2012 update)
- got a card no problem (at Zhongshan Rd. Sec 2 branch in Banqiao) for online use, domestic shopping, and ATMs, etc. (Not yet used abroad)
Had to return to the bank to get some restrictions lifted after first attempting to use it on the internet.
Note:
List of branches (in English): https://www.chinatrust.com.tw/english/b ... n05_01.htm
China Trust has ATMs in 7/11 convenience stores

HSBC Taiwan
Enigma
- it was easy to get the card
- the card has both 4 digit and 6 digit PINs
- the card can be used for internet purchases (except Amazon)
Charlie Phillips
- his card has a 6 digit pin for local and 4 for international ATMs
- there is no fee to use it at HSBC ATMs anywhere in the world
- the card can be used for internet purchases (except Amazon)
Steve4nLanguage (Dec 14, 2012 update)
- opened an account (Taoyuan) in June with NT30,000; has ARC, got a debit card with the Visa logo; can use it at stores in Taiwan and online.
Notes
List of branches and ATMs (in English): http://www.hsbc.com.tw/1/2/Misc/common- ... ce-channel

Taiwan Cooperative Bank
housecat
- has used the card successfully for an online purchase at Amazon
- the card can be used in stores
- the card has two PINs: six digits in Taiwan, four outside Taiwan (so says the clerk)
- the card can be used to withdraw money from ATM's outside Taiwan
- the card cannot be used for direct store purchases outside Taiwan
- no name on the card

Megabank
trubadour
- did not apply to use it overseas
- the card has two PIN numbers (4 and 6 digits) and was activated as soon as it was used in an ATM
- the card can be used in most shops and to some extent online (it apparently works with Amazon and Paypal - in certain situations - but not with ebuyer)
- the card doesn't have the number printed on the back side that is needed to use it for "card-not-present" transactions (like online)
- the card seems easy to get: when opening an account the staff offered it
trubadour (Apr 14, 2012 update)
- My card (Visa Electron) now also works without a hitch on the bookdepository.co.uk site

Union Bank
Mr He
- one needs to ask for the option to use it overseas when applying
- the card has 2 pin codes.

Taiwanese Post Office Bank
Mawvellous
- it took one week to get the card
- the card will work abroad but one needs to explicitly ask for that
- using the card abroad requires a second PIN
- the card does not work for online purchases
digiboy
- had to show something to prove his residential address
zyzzx (August 14, 2011 update)
- reports that an ARC with a validity of at least 3 months is sufficient to get the card (for details in English see
http://www.post.gov.tw/post/internet/u_ ... 6_visa.jsp ; for details in Mandarin see
http://www.post.gov.tw/post/internet/b_ ... 3500255027 - an English explanation: http://forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph ... 0&start=96 )
- the card has only a 6-digit PIN
- has used his card abroad (but it did not work in all shops, perhaps because he has no 4-digit PIN)
Note:
ATMs are available in or near most post office branches
Branches can be located on this page: http://www.post.gov.tw/post/internet/u_ ... al_h_1.jsp
and on this page: http://www.post.gov.tw/post/internet/u_ ... al_h_2.jsp

Cathay United Bank Taiwan
TheLostSwede
- hasn't tried yet using the card abroad, but it has two pin codes and it should at worst work as an ATM card abroad
- the card can be used in all shops in Taiwan
- the card can't be used online
enn (September 19, 2011 update)
- the card can be used abroad to pay for purchases in shops
- the card also worked as an ATM card abroad until the ARC got cancelled

Bank of Taiwan
Leon
- reports getting a Visa Debit Card with only a visitor visa and the paper with the ID number from immigration office
(note: the document with this number can be used in place of an ARC and is available free of charge from the immigration office)
- on the card there is the expression "Electronic Use Only" (which according to somebody else's explanation means the card cannot be used online)
- the card is valid for 7 years
Bobarctor (Aug 19, 2013 update)
- "electronic use only" card now works for any transaction (web payement, credit card payment and ATM) and in several countries without problems.
- can't be used beyond ARC expiry date

Other useful information:
Charlie Phillips wrote:When my Taiwan Debit Visa doesn't work, I use https://www.entropay.com/
It will cost you 5% but that's the difference between a debit and credit card. I've often had the Taiwan Visa Debit card rejected but never the Virtual Visa.

The company offering this service says they are working in cooperation with VISA and Mastercard, so that would explain why a payment coming from them would normally be accepted.
 
Internet Support for Expats:
http://www.taiwan-okinawa.info/flis/
Our Fight for Democracy in Japan:
http://www.kenpou-gakushuukai.pw/english.shtml

This post was recommended by 2 Forumosans: KeLun (02 Jul 2011, 04:57), Loretta (13 Apr 2011, 16:17)
Rating: 11.76%
yuli
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby andycjw » 28 Jan 2011, 14:36

my latest updates on ChinaTrust Visa Debit Card, I was on the phone with their customer service just now.

I tried lodging a complaint two weeks ago at the Banking Bureau Financial Supervisory Commission (http://www.banking.gov.tw/Layout/main_e ... x?frame=13)
as per JHW suggestion on the previous topic thread, ChinaTrust customer service finally got back to me on phone for a few times this week, trying to solve this problem.

At first, they called back to inform me that their system was designed to allow foreigners account, and they don't purposely block foreigners account, then asked me to try applying for the visa 3d security again. It didn't work and after some explanations from me, and checking on their parts, going on like this for few days, they finally convinced that it was not working for foreigners account due to a bug in system.

They explained that no one had complain this before, and they already filed a bug fixing request to their system maintainer. I was told this will probably takes some time before it'll get fixed and deployed, probably around end of March, pushed late due to upcoming chinese new year break. They'll call me again to let me know when it's done.


tl;dr: Chinatrust VDC has a bug on visa 3d for foreigners account, scheduled to be fixed around end of March.
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby trubadour » 31 Jan 2011, 13:34

I have a debit card from Mega Bank (can't see a short hand in OP).
I can use it in most shops but not online (as far as I know) and not abroad (I have not applied to use it overseas).
It was issued when I applied for my account (they asked if I wanted one). I just showed them the regular two forms of ID (one of which was my passport), they gave me two PIN numbers (4 and 6 digits) and it was activated as soon as used it in a machine. I have lost it many times and have had excellent service from both VISA and the bank. I'd love to be able to make online purchases (esp. from Amazon) with it.
I remember trying to register it but it does not have the PIN on the reverse side of the card necessary for online purchases (which the debit card from my UK banks always had).
I look forward to seeing progress on this issue. :pray:
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby cfimages » 31 Jan 2011, 14:16

Some extra info about mine in case it helps.

I can use it anywhere you can use a normal credit card. As mentioned above, it's linked to my Paypal and I've used it at Amazon. I also have a couple of monthly payments to service providers in the US that come out automatically, I've book and paid for flights online with it, used it in a hotel overseas, used it to upgrade Photoshop through Adobe's US website and so forth. It's also meant to work in overseas ATMs but I didn't try it. I do have a 4 digit pin as well as the 6 digit one.

I also have an electronic use only visa debit card from First Bank that can be used in Taiwan but not online. I think it can be used in hotels, stores etc overseas but haven't tried.
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby Mucha Man » 31 Jan 2011, 14:34

There was a problem a couple years ago using them for online purchases but that is no longer the case.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby yuli » 31 Jan 2011, 14:36

cfimages wrote:Some extra info about mine in case it helps.

Thanks!

I can use it anywhere you can use a normal credit card.

Good to know - i got myself a Taishin account in 2009 (during my first visit to Taiwan) and will apply later this year, once I have my ARC. :-)

I also have an electronic use only visa debit card from First Bank

Interesting... what does "electronic use only" mean?
 
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby cfimages » 31 Jan 2011, 14:41

yuli wrote:
cfimages wrote:
I also have an electronic use only visa debit card from First Bank

Interesting... what does "electronic use only" mean?


I think it means it's got to be physically swiped through the machine.
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby yuli » 31 Jan 2011, 14:48

trubadour wrote:I have a debit card from Mega Bank (can't see a short hand in OP).

It's there now. :) Thanks for the info!

I just showed them the regular two forms of ID (one of which was my passport)

... and the other one your ARC?
 
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby yuli » 31 Jan 2011, 14:50

cfimages wrote:I think it means it's got to be physically swiped through the machine.

Oh... and i thought it meant "online"... which didn't jive, of course...
OK, so it means it can't be used for "card-not-present" transactions.
 
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Re: Visa Debit Card: how to get it; where to use it

Postby yuli » 31 Jan 2011, 14:53

andycjw wrote:my latest updates on ChinaTrust Visa Debit Card

Thanks for the info! So it's a bug, not a feature... :wink:
Will update the entry...

They'll call me again to let me know when it's done.

Let us know, OK?
 
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