Australia's competition watchdog is to allow card schemes and banks to work together to replace the use of signatures at the check-out with Chip and PIN authorisation for payments.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) believes that public benefits will arise from systematic co-operation between the card schemes and financial institutions, and that the co-ordination is likely to lead to mandatory PIN@POS being implemented earlier by more card schemes.
ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker says: "A co-ordinated approach and a single message from industry is likely to lead to some efficiencies and less confusion for customers and merchants."
Visa and MasterCard have already committed to scrapping signatures by the end of June 2014. However the ACCC is proposing to give an extra year as a cushion to enable a co-ordinated implementation and public campaign involving other card schemes and banks.
Says the ACCC: "This coordination is unlikely to significantly reduce competition, as the card schemes will continue to compete on fees and all other aspects of their product and service offerings to financial institutions, merchants and cardholders."