A message warning Malaysians to be careful when using credit cards has been circulating on social media recently
The message reminded customers to be alert when keying in their personal identification number (PIN) at restaurants to avoid paying "extra charges".
A lot of people are alarmed because it has been made compulsory for everyone to key in their PIN for all card payment transactions that uses locally issued payment cards at POS (point of sales) terminals in Malaysia, starting 1 July 2017. Signature-only cards are no longer permitted to be used in the country.
According to the viral message, the incident happened at a restaurant after a customer asked for the bill and chose to pay using a credit card
It was said that the customer had apparently entered the PIN number without paying attention to the screen, which led to the person paying a hefty tip without even realising that he did.
"The cashier said it didn't go through and told me to key-in the PIN number again. Turns out before the PIN number screen, there was a screen that asked how much you want for tip."
"My PIN number became the amount to tip and I ended up paying double (the price) of what we ate," the customer said in the message.
Thankfully, the customer managed to get a refund in cash
"I don't think the cashier is at fault as this is the setting on the machine. Please be aware of this," added the customer.
The message also stated that this feature of paying for tips can bypassed by pressing on a green button on the machine.
Apparently this happened to another individual previously. He almost forked out thousands of ringgit in tips.
The Star Online reported that a customer, Jonathan Looi, experienced the same thing at a restaurant when he entered his PIN number as the tipping amount.
However, he managed to rectify the mistake before the transaction was completed.
"I was lucky I realised this before pressing the enter button. I think the credit card machine was programmed that way but the restaurant staff should have informed me of the feature," Looi was quoted as saying.
"I feel people should be made aware of this as we tend not to pay attention to the machine," he added.
It is learned that new POS terminals in the country has this new feature that allows customers to add a tip
The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) stated this on its FAQ page, "Most POS terminals at restaurants should display the amount that customers are paying and ask if they wish to add a tip or gratuity, before prompting for PIN. Customers should simply follow the display prompts."
Here's how it works:
A terminal will prompt the customer to enter a tip amount. The customer has the option to skip this, if he or she chooses to not to leave a tip.
Customers who want to tip will need to enter the desired amount and proceed to the next step. The PIN entry screen will then show the total amount, including the tip, charged to the customer.
Speaking of which, Bank Negara recently outlined four important observations in regard to Malaysians' financial literacy: