Death knell rings for signed credit card authorisations

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As of 1 August 2014, Australian credit and debit card users will no longer be able to sign for purchases.

Seven million Australians will need to shift their payment behaviours as PIN officially takes over as the main form of card payment authorisation.

The industry-wide move is lead by the Industry Security Initiative, a collective of Australia’s major financial institutions and card schemes.

The phase-out will occur over a short transition period, and all of Australia’s 800,000 payment terminals will undergo an update to no longer broadly accept signature.

The move is supported by the PINwise communications campaign, and is a national bid to make Australia’s payment systems safer.

Notably for overseas visitors, a signature will still be a valid form of payment authorisation.

There will be no change to contactless or online transactions.

With the date now confirmed, PINwise spokesperson Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is calling on all Australians to become PINwise ahead of August.

“All Australian cardholders will need to know their credit and debit card PINs by August 2014. To prepare for this change I’m encouraging the nation to embrace PIN at POS from today.”

  • Peter

    Given that over 70,000,000 Target USA customers and an as yet undisclosed number of customers of 6 other US retailers were targeted by a criminal POS scam just before Christmas, with the malware responsible also known to be viral in Australia, Canada and the UK, what assurances are there that going to a totally PIN dependant POS system in Australia won’t also provide the criminals with your PIN number and provide direct access to your Credit Card?