UK firms ignorant of 'chip and PIN' payment revolution

UK firms ignorant of 'chip and PIN' payment revolution

More than 41 per cent of UK businesses are unaware that 'chip and PIN' technology will be used for all face-to-face credit and debit card payments in the UK by January 2005, according to research by Alliance and Leicester's business banking arm Girobank.

A survey of 200 businesses with a turnover of between £1m and £100m, found that four in ten are not aware of the migration to chip-based technology where customers use a personal identification number (PIN) rather than a signature to validate card payments.

Firms in the services sector were least aware, with 55% expressing no knowledge of the technology. While most companies says they welcome the initiative, 40% of retailers express concerns about the outlay of installing new point-of-sale terminals and the accompanying training costs.

Gareth Williams, head of marketing at Alliance & Leicester business banking, says: "With the plans little more than two years from full implementation, businesses need to be aware of them now and start preparing."

The move to Chip and PIN technology is expected to more than halve fraud losses. In 2001, £411 million of card fraud was recorded, a 30 per cent increase on the previous year.

Public trials of the payment system next year will precede a full national rollout. Within little more than two years, 100 million cards, 750,000 point-of-sale terminals and 35,000 cash machines need to be upgraded.

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