Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not sure if to blame Presto or banks... or Moneris... or some guy in a suit...

Shoddy communication? Presto, as we all know, could do better when communicating with customers. I've had my own frustrations with them but nothing but good experiences when dealing with the folks at GO Transit about their Presto counterpart. Banks? Well, they aren't perfect either.

I've been checking the site logs and I've noticed a few Google searches from people experiencing issues using debit cards on the Presto website to load value onto their cards, and I believe the trouble lies with those who have upgraded to VISA debit cards.

Your new debit card with the VISA partnership no longer functions like an Interac debit card on Presto's website (which links to Moneris who hasn't updated their site framework to know the difference). No where on the Presto website is there a message to give you a heads-up that if you have one of these (like I do):

... this won't work:

That's because the number on your debit card is too long. If you're looking to top up your Presto card online using a debit card that has the Visa symbol on it, you need to choose the credit card option:

The money is debited from your bank account and you will have to set up a Verified by Visa password to secure future transactions.

I figured this out on my own but I noticed others were struggling through the site logs and this morning, one woman emailed me to tell me she schlepped all the way to a GO station to load her card in person after experiencing this issue last night online. When explaining to the GO CSR at the wicket what had happened, the CSR expressed surprise but could not tell her what she had done wrong.


I don't care if it's Interac, Moneris, Presto, GO Transit, Baby Jesus or a guy in some Metrolinx office's fault. Not everyone is computer savvy enough to realize that a Visa debit card no longer functions as an Interac card online when using Presto's website. The folks at Presto should put a note up on their site, on the transaction page, informing customers of the process. GO Transit should also let customers know, and at the very least, send out a communication to their front-line ticket staff what to tell GO passengers who express concerns about online debit transactions with Presto and VISA debit cards.

Since none of this has been done (and if it has, please point me to where I can find the info) I figure I would pick up the torch here and help people out.

You can still use your new VISA debit card on the Presto site but treat it as a credit card and all will be right with the world.


Squiggles said...

Odd. I do not have a debit (visa) card, just a regular debit card. But I never had to enter my number on the site. I selected the interact option and it sent me to my bank's site where I authorized the option. Then again, it's been a month or so since I have done this, so I could be mistaken about which option I selected.

Since my troubles last month, I will never use their online system. At least until I have too. I would rather schlepp to a station and deal with it there.

C.J. Smith said...

And that's how it should happen but it will take those to their banking site with their stored old card info and they will retype their new card info and won't be able to continue.
Regular debit cards aren't the problem.
It's those who have upgraded and try to use it the Visa debit card the way they did with their old card that will encounter an issue.

Squiggles said...

Gotcha and confusion cleared.

For some reason, I thought they changed the Presto site itself and had you enter the card number on the Presto site, not the Presto's Bank Site.

C.J. Smith said...

Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Unknown said...

Strange. My Scotia card number is 16 digits... mind you, it isn't a Visa Debit. I have a separate MC for that.

C.J. Smith said...

All I know is that TD won't take a 16-digit number on their Interac back door to their website from Moneris

TomW said...

I don't get why I can't use my Interac debit card exactly like a credit card when buying anything online. (It's easire to use my UK debit card in Canada than my Candian debit card!)

Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention that CIBC also offers VISA Debit.

In addition, RBC also offers a "virtual" VISA Debit - solely for online/telephone purchases. It can't be used anywhere else outside of it (as it doesn't have a magstripe or chip on it).

RC said...

I ran into the same issue 3 months ago. Presto never answered my email - they are the worst. I ended up going to my TD branch to trade my new 16 digits debit card for an older one. Luckily they still had a few.

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Simon
Thanks for the note about CIBC and RBC VISA debit. I didn't specifically mention bank names but the photos show who I bank with. I could have researched it more but there's the whole working for free thing ... and Presto should really be picking up the slack here... and don't get me started on Moneris...