A guide to Taiwanese VISA Debit Cards


Yeah, local bank


EDITED per following request. See the entire quote and updated list at the first post on page 1.

Here is some information re three banks that I have been working with to make online purchases with a debit card.

First Bank: It's easy to get a Visa debit card for use here and abroad. No problems getting the card and with dual 4 and 6 digit pins. It CAN NOT be used for internet purchases per bank regulations or so I am told by branch manager.

HSBC: Easy to get Visa debit card with 4 digit and 6 digit pins. CAN be used for internet purchases. However, the vendor ordering form MUST have a location to type in an extra 3 digit security code located on the back of the card or it won't process and will be rejected. This is a big problem at Amazon. If anybody has a Visa debit card that they use at Amazon, please let me know the bank name. I am tired of using my wife's card and the attendant queries of the purpose for my choice of books.

China Trust: Same as First Bank above. Frankly, this bank is about as useful as tits on a boar but the English speaking teller is cute.


I have a Taiwan Cooperative Bank Visa Debit Card. Until today, I didn't realize I could use it in stores, but I did so today and it worked fine. I haven't tried it online yet. There are two pins: six digits in Taiwan, four outside Taiwan. So says the clerk, I can use to to withdraw money from ATM's outside Taiwan, but can't use it for direct store purchases outside Taiwan. Of course, I haven't tried that yet, either.

Oh, and my name isn't on the card.


Thanks for the info! I'll incorporate that into the opening page once i have understood everything. :slight_smile:
(By the way, would you mind taking the 2-page long quote of my post our of your reply - to make it easier to read along for others but also because the text you quoted will now be changed again... thanks :bow: )


Let me see if i got that right: the ordering page at Amazon does not ask for the 3-digit "card in hand" code on the back of the card and HSBC therefore refuses to accept the payment request from Amazon?

This is perhaps not information needed for the listing, but i am just curious: is it (1) your wife who is querying you or (2) her bank or (3) Amazon? If (1): how would your wife know what you order - are the book titles printed on the monthly bill? If (2): Does her bank think amazon orders are strange (perhaps fraudulent)? If (3): what are they concerned about?

Could we get a bit more details (not about the tits, i mean, about the bank)?

Given that probably the majority of those reading this thread are male, it might be worthwhile adding the city where this branch is loacted and/or its and branch name. :wink:


Thanks, likewise, for the added info! I'll add it...



Until now... what had you used it for? :slight_smile: ([edit:] I misread your comment - sounds like you've been using it for in-store purchases in Taiwan...)

Is that normal for Debit Cards? (I thought they look exactly like regular credit cards...)
Is your name on the back? Did you have to sign the card?


I use my Taishin visa debit at Amazon with no problems.


Standard Chartered Bank are being heavily touted on ICRT right now, as they're sponsoring some kind of golf tourney between ICRT and the European Chamber of Commerce. The shill is VERY heavy on how wonderful Standard Chartered is and how its REALLY MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!!! and CARES!!!!! about the foreign community in Taiwan. I guess, therefore, that Standard Chartered should be the first port of call for people wanting a credit/debit card on their own recognizance.



Thanks! Enigma must have overlooked the entry for Amazon under your name - i have now expanded it a bit...

Will add sandman's info if anybody comes back here to report they've got such a card... :wink:


Yes, I had to sign the back of the card, but that's the only place on the card where my name appears. I thought that was odd, too.

In store purchases in Taiwan, yes. I haven't taken it out of Taiwan yet. And the clerk said that I can use it to withdraw money from overseas ATMs, but not make in store purchases overseas. The clerk didn't say there are two pins--I said that. Because there are. It looks like it WILL work at Amazon, but I didn't get to complete the purchase. I'll try again later. Amazon does ask what name is on the card, and I just put my name (as my name is on the back so . . . ).


Your right on your question about HSBC. There is no way to enter the security code and their customer service has told me that they don't and won't be asking for those 3 numbers which makes the card, as issued, useless for ordering at Amazon. Amazon did suggest that I contact HSBC and ask to have a new account opened with no 3 digit security code. Then, keep a nominal amount in the account to handle Amazon purchases or perhaps transfer from one account to the other via internet, just prior to ordering from Amazon. Good suggestion and I am waiting for a response from HSBC. I will post the answer when its received.
EDIT: HSBC says they can not open an account without the security code.

Wife inquiry: She get's her statement and asks what I bought. I don't know if she sees the names of the books but if asked, I tell her. But . . . I don't like having to justify any purchase much like a child would be required to do. I should have left that stuff out of my post. Now, on to

The teller:
Ahh hell, what else can I tell you other than she is in the Tuchen Branch on Jhongyuan Rd. Section 3. Cindy, as I recall.


cfimages and Yuli;
I saw it but I thought this account had now been cancelled and was not sure of their current policy. Taishin will be getting a new depositor if they offer this service. I will check with them as soon as I get some daytime free time.

EDIT: Also,
Most know this but it would be useful to put it on Yuli's list.
If your ARC expires, you will be able to continue to use your debit cards in Taiwan but the international option is immediately cancelled. Thus, don't expect to leave before or after your contract expires and plan on withdrawing funds when you get back home. By then, your ARC will (may) show as cancelled and you are blocked. Also any "convenience" card duplicates mailed home for care packages, gifts, etc. will need to be replaced when you renew your ARC. Like all things here, there is variation from bank to bank but I think this is government policy and not a bank choice. However, I have been told otherwise.

As for the name on the card: Some cards show a name and some don't. Also, refuse to sign the back of the card if requested to do so. I simply write in "Ask for ID" on the strip. Signing simply gives anyone who finds your card, if lost, an opportunity for fraud.

You can use any of the Visa debit cards for store or restaurant purchases in Taiwan. Some banks will send you a separate statement of your charges (debits). You don't need to pay for these billings. They are deducted automatically from your ATM account.

One last point: If using your Visa debit card for store purcheses (as opposed to "in bank" use) don't enter your pin in their little keypad. This information is not linked to the bank but goes instead to their in-house data storage software where now your bank card and pin are available for anyone with access to their network. Also, they have your signature on the purchuse invoice. If required to do so to complete the transaction, refuse and get some ATM funds.


I didn't see any problem with signing it. In the States, on one even looks. A clerk did once and asked me about it because I hadn't signed it, so I signed it on the spot. She said, "Umm. Okay, thanks," and took the card!

Here, my signature is NOTHING like anything that a Taiwanese could come up with, so maybe it IS actually more safe to have signed it, right?


You may be right as to Taiwan but I just see no reason in signing it. I can only see a downside, especially when traveling to an English speaking country. Your right about nobody looking at it anyway. Not once have I been asked for ID, even though it says to do so on the card. However, there can be that one instance that some scofflaw can use your signature to your disadvantage.
EDIT: mmmmm? Just got to thinking that maybe that's why some banks have stopped putting a name on the card. It makes it easier for a crook to know your name and use a signature to defraud. Just a ponder.


OK. So... of you don't mind, please let us know once you've had a reason to order something there and know whether the card works or not. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info - i've added that to the opening page.

Concerning the other things you mentioned:
Since i am not at all clear about how much of that applies to Visa debit cards only and not also to other kinds of cards, i have put all that into a new thread
"Credit Card / Debit Card Fraud Protection" here: http://tw.forumosa.com/t/credit-card-debit-card-fraud-protection/64247/1



When you people say your cards work online, does it mean they also work for purchasing things with a monthly payments plan like offered with yahoo, pchome, etc. ?


Yippie! I ordered my Kindel today and the card worked! I'm gonna get Kindel, I'm gonna get a Kindel!!! :smiley: :sunglasses:


Thanks for the info - i've updated the post at the head of this thread accordingly... :bow:


Mine does. I have a couple of recurring monthly payments and a recurring quarterly payment (all to North American companies) that go through fine.


Has anyone tried to rent a car overseas with one of these cards? I'm in big trouble if I can't. My application for a regular visa card was turned down as I don't work for a local company and don't have a fixed monthly income as I am freelance.


From all we have heard about the Taishin Bank VISA Debit Card it works exactly like a credit card (as such a card ideally should, but not all in Taiwan do), so that might be your best bet...