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HSBC cards no longer work in many overseas ATMs

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HSBC cards no longer work in many overseas ATMs

Old 12th May 2013, 06:36
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HSBC cards no longer work in many overseas ATMs

HSBC customers have complained the bank has made it more difficult to draw out money abroad.

Many on business trips or holidays have said they were unable to get their hands on their cash from ATM machines.

That's because the bank has switched to chip-embedded cards that connect to a single global payment network.

Previously, access was provided to the Link or Plus networks. Plus is owned by Visa and claims to have access to 1 million ATMs in 170 countries. But HSBC has chosen China's UnionPay as its network provider for the new chip cards.

One Hong Kong resident told the Sunday Morning Post: "Since the issuing of new cards, I have been in London, Istanbul, Tokyo, Morocco, Vancouver, Vienna and Paris.

"I had no joy getting cash in any of them. It always said card error, card invalid, or simply spit the card back out with no explanation."

HSBC did not reply when asked whether changing from Plus and Link would mean customers would have access to fewer banks worldwide.

The Monetary Authority has instructed all banks in Hong Kong to adopt the chip-based technology for ATM cards.

The new cards have an embedded microchip on the face, but retain the magnetic stripe on the back. The new technology is designed to make it harder for criminals to use stolen data to manufacture fake cards.

But in adopting the technology, several major banks forced customers onto the UnionPay network this year, instead of the Plus system.

The UnionPay network was launched on the mainland in 2002 and is operated under the supervision of the People's Bank of China. UnionPay cards are accepted at merchants and ATMs in 141 countries.

But Hongkongers say UnionPay is a poor substitute for Plus and Link, as it is not recognised by as many banks worldwide.

UnionPay-friendly terminals outside Asia can be difficult to find. Even if you do locate one, it may not have been updated to handle the new cards.

HSBC said customers would encounter problems if they had not yet activated their ATM overseas cash withdrawal limit - a new procedure put in place by the bank to improve security.

But customers said it was the change from using the Plus and Link networks to UnionPay that was causing the problems. An Australian resident in Hong Kong said only National Bank, Citibank and HSBC would accept the card in his home country.

An industry source said HSBC put the networks out to tender and decided which one to use based on the best deal.

An HSBC spokesman said: "For security reasons, we are allowed to link to only one pay system - we use UnionPay."

He added that ATM card customers can withdraw cash from all HSBC ATMs in the world - except in Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece, Malta, New Zealand, Panama and Turkey - as well as from ATMs covered by the UnionPay network.

The bank aims to complete the card replacement process by the end of March next year.

A Monetary Authority spokesman said it was a purely commercial decision for a bank to choose which network they used.

jetjockey696 is offline  
Old 12th May 2013, 06:54
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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I've been left cashless abroad because of this change, and has taken my loathing for HSBC to new lows. Of course, you CAN draw cash on your credit card.....funny how the method that still makes them money off you still works!
Will be closing all my accounts with this utterly contemptible bank soon.
Kasompe is offline  
Old 12th May 2013, 06:56
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Yeah what a pain the [email protected]@ that is!! I went to Europe in February and couldn't access my bank account, had to live off the credit card for everything. Very annoying to say the least!

However, there is a way around this. You can link your savings account to your Visa card together with a pin. This will then enable you to access your savings through any Plus ATM, just like the old days

Bottom line is that, if something makes sense and makes your life easy, then HSBC will say CANNOT-LA!

Last edited by catpac; 12th May 2013 at 06:57.
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Old 12th May 2013, 08:05
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Thumbs down

I was in Canada and tried to withdraw from my HK savings account using my HSBC visa card. The machine sat thinking for about 5 minutes and then swallowed my card. Tried to get the bank to give it back but they said it was automatically destroyed when the machine took it. I Had to get it declared lost/stolen with HSBC and then a new one was issued - for a fee of course. All my autopays had to be changed.

HSBC customer service was USELESS!

Complete nightmare.

Side note - new policy with HSBC, you have have to set up your card to allow overseas withdrawals from now on.This can only be done at any HSBC ATM in Hong Kong. I did this with my new card and with trepidation tried another withdrawal on my next visit to Canada. Thankfully everything worked fine this time.
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Old 12th May 2013, 08:09
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It seems as if I had a very lucky escape, as I almost changed to HSBC last year after a series of problems with my own bank. I had an intuitive feeling about 'the devil you know' and my intuition was correct.
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Old 12th May 2013, 09:33
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I arrived in Istanbul a fortnight ago after 'setting up o/s ATM limits' to find that my card would not work in ANY ATM, not the HSBC, Citibank or even Union Pay machines as it constantly came back with "chip card error".

THEN I was delighted to find that HSBC 'the worlds bank' wouldn't change RMB or HKD!

Thankfully the branch manager there was patient and worked non-stop for 5 hours against HSBC HK to get an 'emergency encashment' for me.

I'm changing to Citibank!
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Old 12th May 2013, 09:45
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Also inconvenienced by the above. We were all informed of this new security measure however, and as usual, most of us just wipe our arses with any correspondance from these pr1cks, instead of actually reading it.
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Old 12th May 2013, 11:37
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He added that ATM card customers can withdraw cash from all HSBC ATMs in the world
Flat out lie....
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Old 12th May 2013, 16:13
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It would be a lie if he'd said that. I'm not trying to defend HSBC but the article actually said:

"He added that ATM card customers can withdraw cash from all HSBC ATMs in the world - except in Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece, Malta, New Zealand, Panama and Turkey - as well as from ATMs covered by the UnionPay network."

For those who haven't set their overseas withdrawl limit, you DO NOT need to do so on an HSBC ATM in Hong Kong. You can do it online very easily, I just did mine a minute ago.
hkgcanuck is online now  
Old 12th May 2013, 19:43
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
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Down in OZ and have I the same problem. Tried Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac(the 3 biggest banks in OZ - ) and it wouldn't work. Rang HSBC and they gave me the location of the nearest HSBC ATM - just a few hundred miles away. However, they do work in most NAB ATM's, which although not prolific, may save some pain.

The situation is, as the SCMP reports, due to the switch to the Union Pay system, the Chinese based and CONTROLLED provider. I won't go down the trust road.

I also noted the apparent deflection from the main issue by HSBC spin doctors in bringing in such things as the requirement to activate the ATM for overseas transactions. HSBC and Cx Corporate Communications staff must go to the same Spin School.
rick.shaw is offline  
Old 12th May 2013, 20:26
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Join Date: May 2007
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I ran into the same problem in Germany. I tried Deutsche Bank with no joy. Volksbank didn't work either. The only bank that worked was Sparkasse. The world's local bank, don't think so.
As an aside, has anyone figured out a decent car rental place in Frankfurt. I couldn't rent a car from the Lufthansa Carpool. CX is no longer on the list.
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Old 12th May 2013, 21:20
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I was surprised to fine that on my annual trip to Italy the regular ATMs I used were not now accepting my card. On trying other ATM's nothing.

Called HSBC and they said no banks in Italy now worked. Well thanks for telling me! I had spent hours prior to my trip ensuring HSBC security knew I would be using my cards in Italy and so please don't cancel them ( as they've done before ).

I had to use the emergence cash advance off my credit card to get money. HSBC waived the charges after my phone fury! Deutche BAnk was the only bank that could do this and I had the branch manager and deputy manager at work trying to make it happen. They said HSBC was a very difficult bank to do business with and the whole process took hours instead of the normal 1o minutes.
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Old 13th May 2013, 02:08
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You can add Indonesia to the list of countries where your HSBC cards won't work. The only ATMs that will handle them are HSBC and Citibank, which are very few and far between.

Also, standard chartered also uses union pay, so no joy there. If anyone can come up with a non union pay bank in HK it would be much appreciated.
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Old 13th May 2013, 03:41
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On this trip.. Chile and Hawaii.. No joy.. Only happend to have decent funds in another account which worked.
I can believe what absolute c*nts HSBC is to try this.. They are supposed to be a world bank
AAIGUY is offline  
Old 13th May 2013, 04:26
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Just came back from Mexico and was denied at an HSBC bank machine there.
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Old 13th May 2013, 04:49
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I always assumed that the HSBC card would not be honored by overseas banks other than HSBC ATM machines.
Never been disappointed.

Now cancelled HSBC for other reasons, glf
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Old 13th May 2013, 05:46
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What do you expect from a company that launders money for Mexican drug cartels and as yet has still to be properly punished for it. Not to mention the role they play in illegally naked short selling gold and silver prices. This institution like most other banks you find in HK is an utterly contemptible institution with zero shame!

Last edited by Threethirty; 13th May 2013 at 05:47.
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Old 13th May 2013, 07:19
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HSBC cards

Okay hope this helps
For any ATM that displays cirrus or plus cards accepted, simply use your credit cards along with PIN and it will give you the opportunity to withdraw cash from your savings with No charges, or so they say, It works , but I have yet to see if there are any charges applied If there are I will be phoning the bank to complain but I was assured that charges would to be raised

For anyone in Canada use HSBC or Scotia Bank with your new chipped ATM card which will work with either bank.

I have had some issues in the states and had to use my credit cards,
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Old 13th May 2013, 08:16
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And I thought that the UAE HSBC was bad!!!!
oz in dxb is offline  
Old 13th May 2013, 08:18
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This where the cards should work.


Im glad to see that it will work in Zimbabwe and Iraq...yeah..
Frogman1484 is offline  

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