Rewards checking accounts typically require 10-12 monthly transactions to earn decent interest. Often I see that they require these transactions to be "PIN-less".
I neither understand exactly what this means, nor do I understand why this matters for the bank.
I know that when you use a debit card in a store, you can either use it "as debit" or "as credit".
My understanding was that the former always requires a PIN, and the latter never does.
I also used to think that merchants get charged for credit transactions, but not debit transactions.
However, it seems like a PIN-less transaction is neither of these, which raises questions for me:
What are PIN-less transactions for debit accounts? Aside from the fact that you don't need to enter your PIN, how are they different from regular debit transactions? How are they different from debit transactions that are processed via credit?
Can any transaction be PIN-less? If not, which transactions can be PIN-less?
(e.g. online vs. in-store, groceries vs. services, etc.) I'm basically trying to understand how easy it is to actually perform 10-12 PIN-less transactions during a month.
Why does requiring the transaction to be PIN-less benefit the bank in any way? Does it avoid some kind of fee for the bank? Does it let them charge the merchants some extra fee? etc.
Additional relevant information about the topic is appreciated as well.