The payment initiative, known as the PINwise campaign, aims to increase the amount of PIN numbers used for authorisation on chip-enabled credit and debit cards instead of a signature.
More PIN usage will present a number of changes to the ways Australians transact and accept payment. Careful consideration is being taken to ensure each industry that may be affected by more PIN usage will be ready for it. The move, however, will not impact contactless transactions for purchases under $100.
While cardholders can still sign to authorise a transaction at this time, a future requirement for PIN usage may require all of Australia’s 800,000 payment terminals to undergo a software update to accommodate the change.
Russell Zimmerman, executive director, Australian Retailers Association (ARA), urged business owners not to stress about increasing PIN usage or the costs of updating technology.
“Almost every Australian retailer currently takes PIN at point of sale, few, if any will actually have to put in new equipment. Businesses that prefer to take a payment at table, such as restaurants, pubs, and cafes, may need to consider new technology. In this case, most venues rent their terminals and their financial institutions will cover the cost of replacing the equipment,” Zimmerman said.
“I don’t see any real costs hitting merchants.The real change to business for expanding PIN usage will be a behavioural one. Habits at point of sale will require some adjustment and consideration; however, it is a move that will help safeguard against fraud, making cards even safer to use.
Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon,founder of the TheMoneyMentorWay.com and PINwise spokesperson said: “Statistics suggest that card use, not only online but also in-store, has grown significantly over the past decade. More PIN usage is an effort to further protect businesses and their customers from fraud.
“The Industry Security Initiative is working with relevant trade associations to ensure that PIN usage is not disruptive. This includes early education of affected businesses to ease any changes that may be necessary.”
The PINwise campaign comes following the release of new research on consumer payment habits which revealed signatures aren’t always checked at the payment terminal, with more than half of those surveyed indicating they sometimes receive their card back before they’ve signed to validate their purchase.
The Australian Consumer Payment Snapshot Report 2013 showed PIN is the preferred way to pay for high-cost items; a large 68 per cent of those surveyed preferring to PIN for transactions of more than $100, and that almost all respondents (91 per cent) believe it’s important for the payments industry to stay one step ahead of fraudsters.