I noticed during my recent travel that when using my credit card in Argentina (no suspicious places), I was routinely asked to fill in my passport id number. This has happened to me in no other country and I wonder why they do so in Argentina? (secondary question: Does this policy exist anywhere else?) If this is meant as some kind of security measure in case I use a stolen card, I doubt it would help: For one, my bank does not even know that number and hence cannot check it; secondly, no-one ever bothered to check if the data I gave matched my passport (i.e., I could easily have written a bogus number)

  • Well many times using your credit card, your ID is not even checked to match the name on the card although it is a security measure. I suspect it’s the same with filling out your passport number, it’s a security measure that is poorly implemented. – Augustine of Hippo Apr 14 '19 at 9:29
  • When using my credit card in Australia (around 2005) I was asked for my passport and the ID number copied by the seller, never had it in other countries. So it is not unique to Argentina, but I do not think it is common either. – Willeke Apr 14 '19 at 9:44
  • In my experience it’s also standard practice in Cuba, where it seems credit cards are not accepted unless the holder also presents their passport as ID. – Traveller Apr 14 '19 at 10:58
  • @ThEiLlEgAlaLiEn which still leaves open the question how this would be a security feature if the implementation were not poor ... – Hagen von Eitzen Apr 14 '19 at 14:28

In Argentina it is standard that everybody, locals included, are required to show their id when doing any card purchase, and it is common practice to write the number in the receipt. Even with chip-and-pin cards. This is so standard that for seniors to prove they are still alive and keep receiving their pension, it is enough for them to do one card purchase within the month.

I'm not sure how effective this is, but I would expect fraud in Argentina to be higher than in Europe/North America; so it's not surprising that some measures are taken. When my wife's wallet was lost/stolen in La Plata a few years ago, there were several attempts to use it at ATMs, but no purchase. For comparison, last year my wife's wallet was lost/stolen at Charles De Gaulle in Paris, and by the time we landed in Canada there were already several purchases made with her credit card.

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