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Canadian Railroads > Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy


Date: 11/29/19 05:47
Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: DrawingroomA

This article is somewhat misleading in that it doesn't mention pre-paid credit cards which are accepted on board. Only briefly near the end does it mention that cash is still accepted on the Canadian and Churchill trains and fails to include the Jasper-Prince Rupert trains.

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/the-people-via-rail-is-leaving-behind/

I had a brief trip in economy this week and bought something from the attendant. I asked him how the new system was working and he said he liked it as it was quicker for him and he didn't have the responsibility of looking after cash. He also said it meant he could make more trips through the coach because of that. My observations were that it was true and he wasn't just quoting "the party line."

 



Date: 11/29/19 09:14
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: gaspeamtrak

That is "good " news to hear !!!
Thank you for sharing that info!!! :):):)



Date: 11/29/19 09:30
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: andersonb109

No cash on most airlines for years. Why should trains be any different. While not everyone can obtain a credit card, debit cards should be no issue. In Europe, there are even some stores that no longer accept cash. 



Date: 11/29/19 09:59
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: WP17

While the Canadain is not subject to this policy, there is one annoying thing abiout the current policy. If you want to use a credit card, the card has to have raised card numbers so thay can run it through their imprtnter machine. Many credit cards (att least in the US) no longer use raised numbers and the VIA attendants will not accept those cards. I'm not sure why they can't just write the number onto the slip?

WP17



Date: 11/29/19 11:25
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: DrawingroomA

WP17 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While the Canadain is not subject to this policy,
> there is one annoying thing abiout the current
> policy. If you want to use a credit card, the card
> has to have raised card numbers so thay can run it
> through their imprtnter machine. Many credit cards
> (att least in the US) no longer use raised numbers
> and the VIA attendants will not accept those
> cards. I'm not sure why they can't just write the
> number onto the slip?
>
> WP17

On the Canadian recently the dining car steward did just that: he wrote my friend's preferred credit card  number on the slip. On an economy class trip a few weeks ago the attendant did not offer to do that but asked my friend for a different card.  On my "corridor" trip earlier this week I noticed the crew have card readers so that shouldn't be a problem.



Date: 11/29/19 11:34
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: robj

DrawingroomA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WP17 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > While the Canadain is not subject to this
> policy,
> > there is one annoying thing abiout the current
> > policy. If you want to use a credit card, the
> card
> > has to have raised card numbers so thay can run
> it
> > through their imprtnter machine. Many credit
> cards
> > (att least in the US) no longer use raised
> numbers
> > and the VIA attendants will not accept those
> > cards. I'm not sure why they can't just write
> the
> > number onto the slip?
> >
> > WP17
>
> On the Canadian recently the dining car steward
> did just that: he wrote my friend's preferred
> credit card  number on the slip. On an economy
> class trip a few weeks ago the attendant did not
> offer to do that but asked my friend for a
> different card.  On my "corridor" trip earlier
> this week I noticed the crew have card readers so
> that shouldn't be a problem.

Smiling, I haven't seen an imprinter in years,  I am sure they are being forceably discontinued as they no longer want to deal with the paper.

I was recently at an Outback and they simply brought a reader to the table, inserted the card to make sure it read and then left if there for us to process.

Bob



Date: 11/29/19 11:49
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: joemvcnj

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No cash on most airlines for years. Why should
> trains be any different. While not everyone can
> obtain a credit card, debit cards should be no
> issue. In Europe, there are even some stores that
> no longer accept cash. 

How does a debit card from a US bank work in Canada ? As you know, Canadian banks own the Interac debit card system. So aren't debit cards from US banks useful in Canada only as ATM cards, therefore not good for an application such as on VIA Rail ?

Do remember that while Discove-It card has zero Foreign Trasaction fee, it has little acceptance in Canada. It is also a flat card with ALL numbers printed on the back. Nothing is in front.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/19 12:01 by joemvcnj.



Date: 11/29/19 12:22
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: thehighwayman

robj Wrote:

> I was recently at an Outback and they simply
> brought a reader to the table, inserted the card
> to make sure it read and then left if there for us
> to process.

Almost every restaurant in Canada does that nowadays.
We Canadians often chuckle about how far behind the US is when it comes to debit/credit cards.
As an example, when using a debit card (or credit card) for a purchase under $100, most stores/restaurants etc accept a "tap" where you just hold your card over the machine.
Most gas stations now have the tap function right at the pump so you don't even have to stick the card into the machine.
Costco (in Canada) accepts "tap" up to $400 when you are using a Costco Mastercard.

 

Will MacKenzie
Dundas, ON



Date: 11/29/19 12:30
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: WP17

DrawingroomA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WP17 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > While the Canadain is not subject to this
> policy,
> > there is one annoying thing abiout the current
> > policy. If you want to use a credit card, the
> card
> > has to have raised card numbers so thay can run
> it
> > through their imprtnter machine. Many credit
> cards
> > (att least in the US) no longer use raised
> numbers
> > and the VIA attendants will not accept those
> > cards. I'm not sure why they can't just write
> the
> > number onto the slip?
> >
> > WP17
>
> On the Canadian recently the dining car steward
> did just that: he wrote my friend's preferred
> credit card  number on the slip. On an economy
> class trip a few weeks ago the attendant did not
> offer to do that but asked my friend for a
> different card.  On my "corridor" trip earlier
> this week I noticed the crew have card readers so
> that shouldn't be a problem.

On my recent trip on the Canadian, my experience with the Prestige concierges was different -- they were insistant the card had to have raised numbers and would not consider writing the numbers. Fortunately I travel with several credit cards so I was able to use a backup card to open a tab to cover the Fort Garry Dark I was consuming.

WP17



Date: 11/29/19 12:37
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: WP17

thehighwayman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> robj Wrote:
>
> > I was recently at an Outback and they simply
> > brought a reader to the table, inserted the
> card
> > to make sure it read and then left if there for
> us
> > to process.
>
> Almost every restaurant in Canada does that
> nowadays.
> We Canadians often chuckle about how far behind
> the US is when it comes to debit/credit cards.
> As an example, when using a debit card (or credit
> card) for a purchase under $100, most
> stores/restaurants etc accept a "tap" where you
> just hold your card over the machine.
> Most gas stations now have the tap function right
> at the pump so you don't even have to stick the
> card into the machine.
> Costco (in Canada) accepts "tap" up to $400 when
> you are using a Costco Mastercard.
>
>  
Another example of how far behind we in the USA are, all merchants in Canada use "the machine" so that the card never leaves your hand. In addition I was amazed on my recent visit that every restaurant asked how we wanted to deal with the cheque -- separate or combined in whatever way we wanted-- their systems could easily track who consumed what. 

WP17



Date: 11/29/19 12:44
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: jp1822

thehighwayman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> robj Wrote:
>
> > I was recently at an Outback and they simply
> > brought a reader to the table, inserted the
> card
> > to make sure it read and then left if there for
> us
> > to process.
>
> Almost every restaurant in Canada does that
> nowadays.
> We Canadians often chuckle about how far behind
> the US is when it comes to debit/credit cards.
> As an example, when using a debit card (or credit
> card) for a purchase under $100, most
> stores/restaurants etc accept a "tap" where you
> just hold your card over the machine.
> Most gas stations now have the tap function right
> at the pump so you don't even have to stick the
> card into the machine.
> Costco (in Canada) accepts "tap" up to $400 when
> you are using a Costco Mastercard.
>
>  
This is very true. The US is behind when it comes to credit cards. I had dinner with business associates in some fancy restaurant in Toronto back in 2014 or so - this was before the US had come out with the chip on the credit cards mind you - and I asked to pay for the dinner. The waitress brought me the terminal and it was basically up to me to finish the transaction and roll through the prompts. I had no problem with it, as I had been on the other side of the terminal as well more than once in this lifetime. This is how it should be  and how the whole system was designed with the credit card with the chip. The idea is for the customer to manage the sale once the merchandise/service fee is entered in. The customer then completes the transaction and retains possession of the car. Merchant doesn't take or touch the customer's card (for fear of any identity or theft in general). You also preserve the integrity of the customer card. Merchant never has knowledge or access of the full card number. That's how it was initially supposed to work with the whole chip system etc. I know it happens - and often for good reasons - but I cringe when someone writes down or tries to write down someone's complete credit card information on a piece of paper. You don't know where that paper is going to end up. Waitress left me the terminal to complete my sale. I couldn't change the amount - just add a tip and insert/swipe my card. That's it!

The idea of a cashless system is an accountant's dream as you then have good controls over a transaction and minimize the risk and temptation of losing or miscounting or (God forbid) misplacing cash. Airlines have done it for years. The trains can do it too. How many times I used to see the lead service attendant in the diner bring out that "wad of cash" to make change for a customer! I certainly understand those that don't have a credit card could have issues, but if VIA allows for "cards" to be created at train stations (exchanging cash for a "pre-paid card" then the problem is basically solved. One shouldn't be forced to go get a full credit card. As mentioned, a debit card works, and so to does the pre-paid card VIA will create. They should follow this article up with someone who has a accounting degree and is involved in auditing cash day in and day out!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/19 12:46 by jp1822.



Date: 11/29/19 13:07
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: jp1822

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> andersonb109 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > No cash on most airlines for years. Why should
> > trains be any different. While not everyone can
> > obtain a credit card, debit cards should be no
> > issue. In Europe, there are even some stores
> that
> > no longer accept cash. 
>
> How does a debit card from a US bank work in
> Canada ? As you know, Canadian banks own the
> Interac debit card system. So aren't debit cards
> from US banks useful in Canada only as ATM cards,
> therefore not good for an application such as on
> VIA Rail ?
>
> Do remember that while Discove-It card has zero
> Foreign Trasaction fee, it has little acceptance
> in Canada. It is also a flat card with ALL numbers
> printed on the back. Nothing is in front.

I've used a debit card at the ATM machine to withdraw cash, and at least two other credit cards to pay for hotel, transportation, rental cars, restaurants, etc. Never had any issues in Canada. I can even remember going to the bank in Jasper and entering an extra zero at the ATM machine. Ironically it dispensed the amount that I had keyed in by accident, and it took three to four more trips to get through all the cash. I had even made money as it was a good time to invest in Canadian money!



Date: 11/29/19 14:04
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: joemvcnj

NY-MTA is slowly converting to a tap system for the new OMNY system, something to be like Ventra and Oyster. It recognizes a Smartphone app and Contactless credit and debit cards. But thus far 80% of transactions over the last 6 months are from Smartphones largely because US Banks are so ass-backwards and slow into offering such cards. A disproportionate amount of users are from foreigners.

A relative just got a renewed bank card from BoA/Merrill to expire in 2025, but it is NOT Contactless.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/19 17:03 by joemvcnj.



Date: 11/29/19 21:59
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: jeffgeldner

Although somewhat off topic, consider a ruling in San Francisco,California whereby merchants are now required to accept cash. The city leaders felt that restaurants and fast food establishments which only accepted credit cards were discriminating against those potential patrons who did not have credit cards. These potential patrons include international visitors who may be concerned about acceptance of their credit cards in the States and/or the transaction fees involved.

I have several credit cards and one of them is by Capital One. There are no foreign transaction fees but the card also does not have raised numbers. This makes  me wonder about acceptance. I still have 3 of the 5 major credit credit cards with raised numbers but they have foreign transaction fees. 

Life becomes more difficult when traveling north of the border for those living in the States...

Jeff Geldner
Sequoia National Park, CA



Date: 11/30/19 00:46
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: SP4360

Donj't confuse him with facts.

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> andersonb109 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > No cash on most airlines for years. Why should
> > trains be any different. While not everyone can
> > obtain a credit card, debit cards should be no
> > issue. In Europe, there are even some stores
> that
> > no longer accept cash. 
>
> How does a debit card from a US bank work in
> Canada ? As you know, Canadian banks own the
> Interac debit card system. So aren't debit cards
> from US banks useful in Canada only as ATM cards,
> therefore not good for an application such as on
> VIA Rail ?
>
> Do remember that while Discove-It card has zero
> Foreign Trasaction fee, it has little acceptance
> in Canada. It is also a flat card with ALL numbers
> printed on the back. Nothing is in front.



Date: 11/30/19 07:45
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: Lackawanna484

The electronic hand held machines also provide a permanent record for the tax man. I was told I had to retain my copy when leaving the restaurant. Even for cash deals.

Posted from Android



Date: 11/30/19 08:04
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: ghCBNS

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The electronic hand held machines also provide a
> permanent record for the tax man. I was told I had
> to retain my copy when leaving the restaurant.
> Even for cash deals.
>
> Posted from Android

Funny.....most places where I tap the handheld or any tap transaction they just assume you don't want the paper copy unless you ask for it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/19 08:30 by ghCBNS.



Date: 12/02/19 17:42
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: ORNHOO

 
> >
> > How does a debit card from a US bank work in
> > Canada ? As you know, Canadian banks own the
> > Interac debit card system. So aren't debit
> cards
> > from US banks useful in Canada only as ATM
> cards,
> > therefore not good for an application such as
> on
> > VIA Rail ?

Last summer , on a visit to Vancouver BC, I discovered that the Skytrain ticket vending machines would not accept my Mastercard debit card. I ended up buying my tickets with my Visa credit card.



Date: 12/03/19 07:36
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: joemvcnj

I had a B&B in Jonquire accept Visa, but not Mastercard. 

About 12 years ago, in Waterton, AB, all the ATM machines would accept Plus, but not Cirrus. Many tourists were running to a particular liquor store to charge their cards and get cash in return with no fee. 



Date: 12/04/19 15:44
Re: Maclean's Article re VIA's "no-cash-on-board" policy
Author: cbk

I’m on the Canadian as I write this - cash is allowed, preferably Canadian. No Visa cards without raised letters and no Visa cards that have the word “debit” on them. I’m glad I brought cash.

Posted from iPhone



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