A decade on from the introduction of Chip and PIN in the UK, almost four in every five pounds of spending at British retailers is made through debit and credit cards.
To mark Chip and PIN's 10 year anniversary on Valentine's Day, the UK Cards Association has published figures which show that plastic has boomed over the decade. In 2006, just 55% of spending at retailers was made on payment cards, compared to 78.5% in December 2015.Meanwhile, Chip and PIN's main purpose of reducing fraud has been met, with annual counterfeit card losses down from £129.7 million in 2004 to £47.8 million in 2014.Around three quarters of UK businesses now accept Chip and PIN although figures from Barclaycard show that entering a four digit number at the point-of-sale is becoming less common thanks to the rise of contactless payments, which saw spending soar 164% last year.Richard Koch, head, policy, UK Cards Association, says: "Chip & PIN was introduced a decade ago to combat the rising levels of counterfeit and stolen card fraud in the UK. It was the biggest change to consumer behaviour since decimalisation and it has been hugely successful in tackling counterfeit cards and reducing the threat of fraudsters using lost and stolen cards on the high street. "The introduction of Chip & PIN was a break with an 18th Century system which relied on signing pieces of paper to authorise a payment. Chip & PIN was deliberately designed so it could deliver significant technical innovation and these successes have included contactless and mobile payments, which use the same robust security features."