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Signature vs PIN

Signature vs PIN

Source: Victor Lubasi, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Victor Lubasi, senior analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, explores costs and benefits of two types of debit card authorisation methods - signature and PIN (personal identification number) - for merchants, consumers, and financial institutions.

The article considers competition between signature - and PIN-based debit cards in the United States and looks at Canada’s predominant usage of PIN-based debit cards.

While the UK banking industry has spent vast sums on converting to Chip and PIN based authentication at the point-of-sale, Lubasi concludes that differences in payment fraud risk associated with PIN-based and signature-based debit cards are less significant than often suggested.

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