Signatures phase out begins


visa,shopping,online,credit card,eftposThe Industry Security Initiative has confirmed that PIN will become the main form of card payment authorisation in Australia from August 1, 2014.

The industry-wide move to expand PIN at point of sale (POS) and phase out the signature as a form of verification on Australian credit and debit cards will take place over a short transition period from August 1, as POS terminals migrate to new software.

The move to PIN is about strengthening payment security across Australia and takes advantage of chip technology on Australian payment cards.

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.

There will be no change to contactless or online transactions, and for visitors from overseas, signature still be a valid form of authorisation.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director at the Australian Retailers Association, believes the move is a positive step for the retailer community.

“While the switch may take a little adjustment at first, this is an update to Australia’s payment technology that will make transactions safer.

“Business owners, merchants, retailers, and the like should embrace this change as it’s about reducing fraud, thus saving time and money,” says Zimmerman.

“Restaurants, pubs, and cafes are among those who will be most likely to notice the change, given they typically use a pay at table system. In some cases, these retailers may need to upgrade to mobile terminals to continue receiving payment in a normal manner, and of course, tipping will still be supported.

“While the financial institutions will be communicating the change to their customers, those businesses who 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.”

The move to PIN is supported by a PINwise campaign which aims to provide a smooth transition.

PINwise spokesperson, Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon, says sales staff should start encouraging customers to use PIN as soon as possible.

“The Industry Security Initiative is working with associations across a number of industries to ensure the move to embrace PIN goes smoothly. This includes an education campaign highlighting the change and the actions that need to take place prior to August 2014 to ensure a well managed transition.

“It’s important that all Australians prepare for this change by embracing and encouraging PIN use from today. Retailers should ask their customer facing staff to encourage PIN use, as this will help everyone adopt the new process,” says Pedersen-McKinnon.

More information about the transition can be found at

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