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Northampton chip and PIN trials kick off

19 May 2003  |  3544 views  |  0 Northampton chip and PIN trials kick off

The first chip and PIN transactions in the UK are now taking place in Northampton, the town selected as the testbed for the new card fraud busting system.

Half the adult population of Northampton will be sent the new cards - which replace handwritten signatures with four-digit PIN entry at the point-of-sale - as retail outlets across the town begin to trial the system. The public tests will continue through June and July and the system will eventually be rolled out across the UK.

It is expected that by the end of the trial, Northampton consumers with the new cards will be prompted to use their PIN for one in every two or three transactions as they shop in the 1000 local stores participating in the programme.

"The trial is the first phase of a massive nationwide programme which will see more than 850,000 retailer terminals, 120 million cards and 40,000 cash machines upgraded over the next 18 months," comments Sandra Quinn, chip and PIN programme spokesperson. "We’re learning valuable lessons in Northampton for the national rollout which will tackle UK card fraud head-on, on an unprecedented scale."

Graham Pye, store manager of Safeway, Kettering Road, says the early transactions at the store have gone off without a hitch. "Our customers seem to be quite comfortable with entering a PIN instead of signing their names," he says.

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