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Barclays Bike Rentals

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Portland, Maine
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Barclays Bike Rentals

I saw this at the Underground Web Site. What a novel idea. I ride a bicycle for exercise here in Maine and thought it would be great to do so in London. My question is regarding using my credit card for payment. Will the kiosks accept a non chip and pin credit card? If not, is there another option? Thanks.

United Kingdom
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1. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

I found this on the Transport for London website:

"Barclays Cycle Hire - What payment cards do you take? Can I pay by Direct Debit?

The following card issuers have signed up to Barclays Cycle Hire:

• Visa Credit

• Visa Debit

• Visa Electron

• MasterCard Credit

• MasterCard Debit

- Are non-chip & PIN cards accepted?

Yes. Non-chip and PIN card are accepted.

- Can I pay by Direct Debit?

There is no functionality to pay by Direct Debit."

London, United...
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2. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

How does that work, then? You just swipe the card, and there's no authentication? Or does that refer to paying your membership fee and setting up a charge mandate on the website, rather than making payment at a station?

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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3. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

Link to the website - www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx

Note many people refer to them as "Boris Bikes" after the fluffy haired mayor of London (as opposed to the not-fluffy haired Lord Mayor of London)

Upminster, United...
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4. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

Don't all cards have a PIN ? Chip or swipe

London, United...
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5. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

Ah, I see - that makes sense.

Hitchin, United...
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6. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

"Don't all cards have a PIN ?"

Some American cards don't, but the user can request a pin from their bank, specifying a 4 digit one of course.

The "Boris Bike" card readers are the same as the readers at TfL tube station ticket machines, the card only goes part way in which makes me suspect that they're reading a chip.

(I do appreciate that the TfL site says they accept non chip and pin, but I get the feeling that refers to registering for the scheme to pay the daily hire fee). Can any American visitors confirm that they have used underground ticket machines without a chip?

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

As CT notes, many American cards don't have a PIN, although a PIN can be requested.

In answer to CT's question about whether non-chip cards work at underground ticket machines, in my experience the answer is "sometimes". I would estimate that my non-chip card works in Tube ticket machines less than 30% of the time. In fact, I've stopped trying to use my card, and pay cash or go to the ticket window. (No problems at the ticket window, of course.) The same is true for railway tickets.

Edited: 15 September 2011, 15:07
Hitchin, United...
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8. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

Thank you Alison that's helpful. I think if I was the OP I would try to get a chip and pin where possible to avoid disappointment, though I know it's not always easy (or free). It sounds like the hardware *may* work without a chip although it'll be hard to say until someone here uses one. It's rare though to find non-chip cards in the hands of London residents.

OP: There are cycle hire shops in London too, so if your card doesn't work you can hire a normal bike the old fashioned way, even though it misses out on some of the plusses of the TfL scheme. I hope you have some good luck in getting a card or using the scheme either way, it's great fun.

United Kingdom
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9. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

So sorry if I have given duff information. There are a couple of places on the TfL website where they mention that non-chip & pin cards are accepted, so I do apologise if that's not correct for casual users.

Hitchin, United...
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10. Re: Barclays Bike Rentals

"So sorry if I have given duff information."

Not at all, it might be right, and IF it's incorrect it's down to TfL, I just vaguely remembered that people have had issues with non-chip cards in the past at tube stations and have had to use the manned window, I just wanted to make sure the OP isn't left scratching his head at a hire station.