As the UK's banks and retailers prepare for the national roll out of a new chip and PIN security system, research from consultancy Detica finds that more than one-in-four consumers would not be happy entering their personal information number at a public point-of-sale terminal.
The study, conducted by Mori among a representative sample of over 1000 adults, paints a bleak picture of customer confusion and long queues at the check-out over the busy Christmas and New Year season as consumers struggle to get to grips with the new scheme.
As around 120 million new chip & PIN bank cards are rolled out in time for the 1 January 2005 deadline, the research finds that 60% of British cardholders still know little or nothing about the programme - which will replace tried and trusted signature verification with more secure PIN-entry at the point-of-sale.
Among the Detica sample, many people expressed significant worries over using the new chip cards. More than half (56%) say they fear their PINs will be more at risk of becoming exposed to someone else and more than a quarter (28%) say they would not be happy entering their PIN in a terminal in a shop or restaurant.
According to David Porter, head of fraud & security at Detica, a lot needs to be done between now and December to get consumers onboard
"The key issue here is simply one of education," he says. "Banks have been contacting customers about the scheme for some time, but the message does not seem to be getting through. We believe the retailers need to do far more to help their customers understand how the way we shop will change."