ARA Call for Patience on PIN Transition

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Predictably, there is some angst associated with the new mandatory PIN scheme that is being deployed over the next three months.

The National Retail Association and the Australian Retailers Association have both issued statements attempting to enlist the patience of both retailers and customers as the transition gets underway in the hopes of having all the seen and unforeseen glitches ironed out before signature authorisation of credit cards purchases is phased out completely by the end of October.

The ultimate goal of the program is enhanced security for all parties. Credit card fraud is a billion dollar industry, and whilst it is unrealistic to envision anything that will eliminate fraud entirely, a reduction of any kind benefits everyone, from consumers who appreciate the convenience of credit card purchases, to retailers who are relieved of cash intensive activities, to banks that facilitate credit card transactions.

Some of the foreseen difficulties include the necessary software upgrades to merchant payment terminals, along with the requirement that the holders of around one million credit cards that do not yet have PIN numbers assigned to them obtaining those PINS from the card issuers.

It is also highly likely that some consumers will be delayed as a consequence of being in a queue behind someone vehemently arguing with some unfortunate clerk over the inability to complete their transaction after they have steadfastly ignored all the warnings about signature based credit card transactions being phased out.

There is also bound to be a little confusion due to the fact that online and telephone sales, along with contact-less payments of under $100 will proceed as they always have done and not require a PIN number for authorisation.

No one is certain how long it will take before all the issues are completely sorted, but at some point in the not-too-distant future the new system will be old habit to all the participants.

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