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A few banks impose credit verifications on ALL prospective customers, even though the customer isn't applying for credit. This is a controversial way to discourage certain kinds of customers.

What is more commonplace, though, is many banks require credit verifications for customers seeking to open an account with a Check Card. Are there legitimate business reasons why a bank must run a credit verification since the customer isn't, at least in theory, applying for credit?

Are there still "holes" in the VISA and MasterCard point-of-sale systems where an unscrupulous Check Card holder could rip off the bank by making substantial charges exceeding their actual account balance? In the past there were many VISA and MasterCard point of sale terminals which ran transactions in batches rather than in real time - is this part of why the credit checks are required by many banks?
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many banks require credit verifications for customers seeking to open an account with a Check Card. Are there legitimate business reasons why a bank must run a credit verification since the customer isn't, at least in theory, applying for credit?

Yep.

There are "holes". Even though each transaction is supposed to take place in real time, if the network is down, the terminal may just store the transaction (and will attempt to transmit it later). If the terminal itself is down, the store may process the transaction using carbons. In either of those situations, it's quite possible for you (or thieves posing as you) to charge more than your account balance.
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