The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the Industry Security Initiative are urging cardholders to prepare for August 1, when PIN will become the main form of card payment authorisation in Australia.
ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman, said the industry wide move to expand PIN at point of sale (POS) and phase out signature as a form of verification on Australian credit and debit cards is welcome move by Australian retailers.
“The move to PIN is about strengthening payment security across Australia and takes advantage of the ‘chip’ technology on Australian payment cards. This initiative will help protect consumers and retailers alike from fraudsters,” said Zimmerman.
“Starting with some of the nation’s largest merchants, the move will gradually see all of Australia’s 800,000 merchant payment terminals undergo a software update to require PIN at the point of sale. For most, these costs will be covered by the terminal’s provider.
“The real change 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.
He added that while the financial institutions will be communicating the change to their customers, those businesses that may require new technology should proactively speak to their terminal provider about upgrading their equipment to ensure that they’re ready for increased PIN use by August.
“It is also important to note there will be no change to contactless or online transactions and for visitors from overseas, signature will still be a valid form of verification.
“The ARA encourages the retail industry to embrace this change as reducing fraud saves both time and money, allowing retailers to get on with the job of doing business,” Zimmerman said.