Visa Australia to phase out signature cards by 2013

Visa Australia to phase out signature cards by 2013

Visa has stepped up its migration to chip and PIN cards in Australia and will ban signature transactions by April 2013.

The move is part of a five year, seven pronged programme embarked on by Visa last year to improve payment system security in the country.

Following discussions with banks and merchants, a timetable has been set for the migration of around 14 million cards, 500,000 point of sale payment terminals and thousands of ATMs.

All new credit cards will be chip and PIN from January, with debit and pre-paid plastic updated from early 2011. Merchant POS terminals need to accept chip and PIN by April 2012 and ATMs by January 2011.

Last year, according to the Australian Payments Clearing Association, credit/charge card fraud in Australia was A$144.7 million. Debit card fraud was A$14.6 million.

In the UK, authorities have credited chip and PIN with helping to cut high street card fraud in recent years. However, overall levels of card fraud in 2007 actually rose, partly due to card-not-present scams and fraud committed abroad - often in countries where chip and PIN is not used.

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