Westpac Credit Cards: Should I Use A Pen Or Pin?

Information verified correct on September 26th, 2016

Should I pay using a signature or via a pin number with my Westpac Card?

Whether to use a pen or PIN will be largely dictated by what you are trying to do with your credit card. Trying to sign for cash from an ATM is going to be difficult. The idea with PINs is that they are safer than using a pen for in-store transactions with your Westpac credit card. However, if you are the genuine cardholder, it is clearly no safer for you to use a PIN over a pen – the transaction will go through either way. In fact, until the option to sign with a pen is done away with completely, the possibility of in-store fraud by an unauthorised person is perfectly real because any idiot can learn to forge a signature.

As a preference, Westpac urges using a PIN in the pen or PIN debate because it is faster and easier for the customer and the merchant.

Comparison of Westpac Credit Cards

Rates last updated September 26th, 2016.

Westpac Altitude Business Gold Credit Cards

Purchase rate offer + $0 annual fee for the first year has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 2nd, 2016

Westpac Business Choice Rewards Card - Qantas Frequent Flyer

40,000 bonus Aquire Points offer has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 2nd, 2016

Westpac Business Choice Rewards Card

40,000 bonus Acquire Points offer has been extended to 31 October 2016.

September 2nd, 2016

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Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day credit card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, an introductory purchase rate of 1% p.a. for up to 12 months, plus a waived annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum benefits offering complimentary insurances, 24/7 concierge, balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, purchase rate offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with $0 annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Card
Enjoy 50,000 bonus points (Altitude or Qantas Points) and a balance transfer rate offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months. Also receive 1% p.a. on purchases for 12 months.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $100 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
Receive 50,000 bonus points (Altitude or Qantas Points) on eligible spend and a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months. Also enjoy a low purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $150 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Black
Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases, choose between two reward programs offering Altitude or Qantas Rewards and receive premium cardholder benefits and enjoy introductory offer for balance transfers and purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $395 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Student Credit Card
A card designed for full-time tertiary students, enjoy $0 annual fee for the first year with a low credit limit and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
20.45% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Business Platinum Credit Card
A platinum business card with a long term purchase rate offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months, with uncapped reward points earnings per dollar spent on eligible purchases.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 4.99% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter) More info
Westpac Altitude Business Gold Credit Cards
Earn up to 2 reward points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases with $0 annual fee for the first year and receive complimentary insurances.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 4.99% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter) More info
Westpac Business Choice Rewards Card
A rewards credit card for business transactions which lets you earn uncapped Acquire Points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases and get up to 10 cards on one account.
18.99% p.a. $150 p.a. More info
Westpac Business Choice Rewards Card - Qantas Frequent Flyer
A rewards credit card for business transactions which allows you to earn Acquire Points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases.
18.99% p.a. $150 p.a. More info

So, what is a PIN?

PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, so when anyone refers to their PIN number, they are actually calling it a Personal Identification Number number. However, pedantry aside, a PIN is a 4-digit security access code that is linked to a specific card.

Although you can choose to have a PIN greater than 4 digits, many ATMs only accept four-digit PINs so you may be shooting yourself in the foot by having anything more than four numbers. That would be like signing a different name to the one on the card – your transaction will be refused.

Pen or PIN?

Keying in your PIN is more convenient than signing because it’s quicker and easier. How many times have you forgotten to carry a pen, and the merchant’s has all but run out, causing you to make such a mess going over your signature several times that you look like a card thief doing a bad forgery? The PIN option brings Australia into line with Europe and the United Kingdom, and there are some overseas merchants who will only accept PIN authorisations for credit and debit card transactions.

At the moment, every major Australian bank, financial institution and card scheme is collaborating with retailers, merchants and service providers to ensure blanket implementation of PIN usage.

Of the Westpac cards, the MasterCard Gift cards are unable to use PIN verification, so there is no choice between pen or PIN with this one; you have to sign.

Completing PIN transactions

Making a PIN transaction is a simple process, so there is no reason why even the most technophobic person should balk at the idea:

  • Press ‘Credit’ on the payment terminal.
  • Enter your PIN when prompted to do so.
  • Press OK.
  • Take your receipt.

Pretty soon, the question of pen or PIN won’t exist, because the signing option will have disappeared, so you may as well start using your PIN and get used to it.

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6 Responses to Westpac Credit Cards: Should I Use A Pen Or Pin?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Mark | November 12, 2015

    I have a Westpac Gift card loaded , since there was no pin issued will I have problems making purchases, Im worried that a signature will not be accepted

    • Staff
      Jonathan | November 13, 2015

      Hi Mark, thanks for your inquiry!

      Since this gift card only uses signature you can press the ‘credit’ button when making a purchase, then sign the receipt.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    Dawn | November 3, 2014

    I have a Westpac Mastercard Gift Card from work and yet I am unable to use it in shops because I have not been issued with a PIN and signature transactions are no longer valid.

    Please explain how I can use my Gift Card on anything other than online transactions.

    Please also explain why I cannot speak to anyone about this issue without paying for the privilege.

    Finally, if I am unable to use my Gift Card on the High Street please can you explain why I am not entitled to a cash refund of the value of the card as this severely limits me to online purchases which I do not use.

    Kindly ensure you address all three issues I have raised when you respond.

    Thank you
    Dawn

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 4, 2014

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for your questions.

      According to Westpac’s gift card terms of use, ‘You can use your card at most merchants who processes MasterCard transactions electronically. You can also use your card for mail order, telephone order or through the internet, depending on a merchant’s policy.” Unfortunately, you’re also unable to redeem your gift card for cash. You’re able to discuss these issues with Westpac for free using their customer service number which I’ve emailed to you.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

    • Default Gravatar
      Roger | January 10, 2015

      Hi, in relation to the Westpac gift card when I’m making a transaction at a store that accepts payment what pin number do I use ?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | January 12, 2015

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks for your question,

      With gift cards the pin is usually on the back and needs to be ‘scratched off’ to reveal the 4 digit code. If the card has not come with a 4 digit code on the back, then by default you can exercise the sign option.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 26th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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