A guide to Taiwanese VISA Debit Cards


I posted previously that First Bank debit cards wouldn't work with online purchases. My particular problem was with Amazon. I complained about it and lo and behold I heard back from CS today. First Bank has now changed their policy and their debit cards reportedly now work online, including Amazon. I haven't tried it yet as I had gotten pissed off and went to China Trust with 10 years of tax records and they gave me a Platinum Credit card. I guess I will have to take back the comment about them being about as useless as tits on a boar. They came through when provided with enough evidence of long term residency and sufficient NT coming in on a regular basis. I kind of chuckled when I was applying because the bank manager that I was dealing with commented that I was making more money than he was and my income isn't anything to jump and shout about.
EDIT: I just tried out the new changes to First Bank on-line ordering and it worked smoothly. My purchase was at Amazon but it will probably work for other on-line purchases.


So, give it a try when it is convenient to do that, and once we have the evidence (confirmation) i'll update the listing... :slight_smile:


I just tried out the new changes to First Bank on-line ordering and it worked smoothly. My purchase was at Amazon but it will probably work now for other on-line purchases.


Thanks for the update - it' s in the opening post now... Would you mind telling us more abot the situation with your China Trust card? Thanks!

Also looking for updates from [color=#00BF40]cfimages[/color] (First Bank) and [color=#00BF00]the bear[/color] (Hua Nan Bank)...


No problem. I had applied at the China Trust branch near my home in Tuchen when I happened to have last year's tax return A4 receipt in my bag. I spoke with an English speaking clerk, Ariel, and she helped me fill out the form. I never heard anything from the bank. When I started buying from Amazon for my Kindle, I discovered the lack of purchasing options with only an ATM card. When First Bank absolutely refused internet purchasing, I went back to China Trust, the branch on Jongyuan Rd, Section 2 and spoke again with Ariel. I took copies of all my A4 blue receipts with me and asked her to find out why the bank had not even told me no. She fetched the bank manager who speaks a little English and between them concluded that they would help me apply again and the manager would make a personal call to the main branch. I got a call from Ariel a few days later telling me that it was approved and I would get my card in a couple days. I did. I took it back to the branch and she helped me activate it and sign up for English internet banking (which doesn't work, by the way). I have used it for many purchases including a new fridge. I figure if I use it, I will start getting a credit rating in Taiwan. So far, all is well.


OK, thanks! What people would like to know now, of course, is whether card's use in any way restricted when compared to a regular VISA credit card. For exmaple, are there restrictions on using it abroad or on the internet? Are there situations where it has proven to not work? Any information of that sort would be useful... :slight_smile:


I was not told of any restrictions. It looks like any other Platinum card and seems to work the same too but I haven't tried taking it abroad. It has, however, been used for purchases abroad with my local shiopping address. The only oddities that I noticed so far is that it got swiped twice when I bought the fridge. The two totalled the full amount so I conclude that there may be a per purchase max but multiple purchases are allowed. I guess it may be like the ATM machines that only allow a withdrawl of 20k or 30k at a time but you can use it multiple times. The fridge was over 20k so the receipts were evenly divided in two charges. Also, when I got my bill, it was a little confusing because I was used to looking at the right column for all the charges. When I totalled them, they added to more than the total bill. Then I noticed that the right column is for U.S. $ purchases and another column on the left for NT purchases. So far, I have been through two billing cycles. I get the bill about the 28th of the month with a payment date of the 10th (I think) of the next month. There is also a minimum payment option for time payers. I know that keeping a balance improves credit ratings but I don't like to keep a balance so I just went to the bank and payed Ariel directly. Now, the bank has positive personal contact with me on me on multiple occasions and they know I immediately pay in full.
Off topic but I seem to recall a post in about 2003 where a woman happened to get a credit card and was leaving back to her home. For some weird reason, she believed that she could go home with as many electronics products as she could pack into her bags, thinking she was going to make a profit for resale at home. Of course, she left a huge balance on her card and couldn't even break even on her purchases at home. As I recall, her post was in the form of a cry for help wondering if they could chase her abroad. It is these f______s that cause problems for everybody else.


Wow - didn't know my username was listed on the first page of this thread.

Yes, I am still using my HuaNan Visa debit card and it works online with no problem so far. In the past month used it on AirAsia and eBay, in addition to a couple PCHome transactions. Just waiting for my company to give me the promised credit card :raspberry:


Off topic: How did you manage that? Are you using a Chinese name? I found PCHome will not accept roman characters in their name field.


It is actually my gf's account that I use - she helps me order :wink:

I select the 信用卡 option, but then use my debit card to pay. They just call me the next day to verify the payment, due to the different name.


If you want to update my entry Yuli I used my debit card all over Alaska with no troubles. Rented a car, bought plane tickets, paid restaurant bills, etc. The car rental was the one I worried about but no one even looked at my card twice.


For some reason i had overlooked the new posts a month ago...

Wait... suddenly it sounds like you have a credit card at hand there, not a debit card! How did this happen? :sunglasses:


Updated - many thanks!
And it is still the card without a name that you once reported to have? Somehow i had assumed that such cards wouldn't be acceptable in shops abroad... or did you show some ID when using the card...?


Same card. Only had one person comment that there is no name on it and I just shrugged and said yep, and she let it go. Most of the time now you stick the card in a machine, or swipe it yourself. They might look at the signature on the back but not the front. I think I might run into trouble if I was picking up an airline ticket and needed to show the card with my name on it.


Rumour has it that at the post office bank it's possible to get a VISA debit card with an ARC that has less than one year validity.
Hoping for someone with concrete info to show up here... :wink:


Since I started the rumor, I suppose I can elaborate...
For the Post Office card, all you need is to have 3 months remaining on your ARC to apply. I applied 3 months and 1 day before my ARC expiration date (although this took a bit of arguing). It's in writing on their website here: http://www.post.gov.tw/post/internet/u_english/bank_a_6_visa.jsp
I know that you don't need an ARC with a full year because my ARCs have all had slightly less than a year validity, and I got the card. The total length of the ARC never came up, it was all about the time from application to expiration.

Another thing - the debit card stops working when your ARC expires (as I remembered today after my card was rejected at two different stores :aiyo: ). You have to bring you new ARC to the bank and they will reactivate the card. Kind of a pain during that period when you're between ARCs.

I can also report that I used the card in France in the ATM and in some shops, but in places where you need to do the chip and PIN thing (ie. where they can't print out a thing for you to sign) I sometimes could not use it. It was accepted more often than a chip-less American card was, but still not everywhere. Probably because I don't have a 4 digit PIN.


Very useful information! And i suspect the amount of arguing can be vastly reduced by making a print-out of this page and taking it along:
post.gov.tw/post/internet/b_ ... 3500255027 - these are the same rules are written out in a language the average post office clerk can easily understand. :wink: Here are the relevant excerpts (with my explanation added):

(Let me know if you see any errors in the explanation...)

OK... a very important point...

Can you not apply for two PINs - a 6-digit one for domestic ATMs and a 4-digit on for abroad?


Yep bringing the printout helps. I think the problem in my case was that the lady first calculated the three months incorrectly and told me that I wasn't eligible. I pointed out that I DID still have three months, but then she kept trying to find other excuses. She seemed very reluctant to admit she was wrong and give me the card (face-saving, perhaps?).
I also argued quite a bit about the 4 digit PIN, but was less successful. I suspect it is possible, but only if the people at the bank know what the hell they're doing.
But the 6 digit PIN has worked at every ATM I've tried. It's only the chip-and-PIN systems where I've had trouble.


Chinatrust update: finally got my verified by visa enabled, but need to test it out by buying something online that requires the security code. Will report back once i have tried it out.
Applied for credit cards as well, should arrive next week. Procedure was easy!

Anyone interested in trying to activate their verified by visa, i can post the procedure that worked for me. ( no gaurantee it will work for you, but worth a shot)


Useful info - thanks... we'll await the details.