Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, said consumers have been warned they risk being stranded at the checkout when signatures for scheme debit and credit cards are replaced by PIN as of this Friday, August 1 2014.
“Cardholders need to memorise their credit and debit card PIN numbers before they head out for lunch or try to purchase any goods this weekend. The ARA is urging all cardholders without a PIN to contact their bank or card issuer immediately,” Zimmerman said.
Over the next three months 800,000 merchant payment terminals nationwide will undergo a software update, rendering the signature obsolete. The move from pen to PIN is being lead by the Industry Security Initiative, a collective of Australia’s major financial institutions and card schemes, to protect consumers against card fraud.
Trevor Evans, CEO of the National Retail Association, warns both shoppers and retailers will need to be patient during the first few days of the new scheme as there are bound to be a few glitches as the PIN only system is rolled out.
“There are more than 800,000 merchant payment terminals throughout the country that need to undergo a software update before they accept PIN only purchases.
“The introduction of PIN only scheme will frustrate some retailers and shoppers at first, but at the end of the day it’s about strengthening payment security across Australia so we can all be more confident when using our cards to make purchases.”