Chip and PIN programme hails successful transition despite retailer criticism

Chip and PIN programme hails successful transition despite retailer criticism

The UK's Chip and PIN programme says the nationwide transition to the new point-of-sale security technology has been a success, despite fierce condemnation of the effort by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

More than 45 chip and PIN transactions took place every second across the country over the bank holiday weekend, with more than 12 million transactions verified by PIN rather than signature, according to the Chip and PIN programme.

But despite the threat of a liability shift from banks to retailers, two in ten retailers have yet to upgrade tills to accept both chip and PIN and signature cards. Retailers that haven't upgraded to the new technology will now be liable for fraudulent transactions rather than banks.

The Forum of Private Business has accused banks of pushing implemention of the system before retailers and consmers are ready. According to a Press Association report, FPB says more then 50 million chip cards are still to be issued, with Barclays and HSBC both admitting that one in three of their customers haven't received a chip and PIN card.

FPB chief Nick Goulding told PA: "FPB members have been contacting us complaining that they are still waiting for their chip and PIN machines, and it is estimated a quarter of business have not installed the technology."

But the Chip and PIN programme says retailers were pleased with the first weekend, with Nick Mourant, group treasurer at UK supermarket Tesco saying: "Contrary to media reports we found that thousand of cardholders used their PIN every hour with no problem. Queuing times have stayed the same or got shorter."

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