One of the most embarrassing aspects of shopping, second only to being wrongly accused of theft, is having your card refused.
It’s bad enough when it is refused because you have no credit limit left (it happens), but when it happens for no reason it is more frustrating.
You feel like shouting out loud “My credit is good! I have money, see! It’s a technical glitch!” as if the rest of the queue are quietly judging you and tutting under their breath. Of course, the rest of the shoppers have likely had the same thing happen in their lives and know exactly what it is like.
One of the issues that crops up occasionally is shops asking for additional ID. Now, in the UK, some of us carry around drivers licenses, and I know in other countries it is sometimes common to have ID, but what do you do if you have nothing on you, or if the ID you have is not good enough for them?
It turns out the only time they can ask for ID is if your card is not signed!
In fact in some parts of the United States, it’s actually illegal to record the additional information (your drivers license or passport number for example) while processing a credit card transaction unless the details are required to complete the order (for example, your delivery address).
Mastercard has this to say:
A merchant must not refuse to complete a MasterCard card transaction solely because a cardholder who has complied with the conditions for presentment of a card at the POI [point of interaction] refuses to provide additional identification information
So next time a store clerk pushes you for ID, you might still be embarrassed, but at least now you know your rights.