Overseas cardholders exempted from Chip and PIN deadline

Source: Apacs

With less than two weeks to go until all chip and PIN cardholders need to use their PIN to be sure they can pay with their chip and PIN card, the UK Chip and PIN Programme today reassured overseas cardholders that they will still be able to use their debit and credit cards in shops and businesses in the UK after 14 February 2006.

UK chip and PIN cardholders must use the PIN on their chip and PIN cards after 14 February to be sure of being able to pay with that card. Overseas cardholders, however, will not be affected and will still be able to sign when using non-chip and PIN cards in this country.

For the last three years the UK banking and retail industries have been working together to implement a new fraud fighting technology for debit and credit cards in the UK. This new technology, called chip and PIN, involves a customer entering a four-digit PIN instead of signing their name when paying for goods and services. It has been implemented to stem the rising level of fraud committed on UK debit and credit cards. If left unchecked it was forecast that fraud on these cards would have risen to more than £800 million a year by 2005. The UK is one of a number of countries around the world implementing this technology to protect our credit and debit cards from fraudsters.

In the UK almost all old-style magnetic stripe cards have now been upgraded to chip and PIN with over 80% of shops and businesses accepting PIN transactions. In October 2005 the UK Chip and PIN Programme announced that after 14 February 2006 all UK chip and PIN cardholders must use their PIN to be sure of being able to pay with their chip and PIN cards.

Whilst this is an important change for UK cardholders, chip and PIN is reassuring all overseas customers that it will not affect anybody from abroad who holds a card which requires a signature to pay for goods and services. Retailers will continue to accept a signature instead of a PIN for those cards that are not chip and PIN.

Sandra Quinn, from chip and PIN reassured all overseas cardholders:

"There have been isolated reports of some overseas cardholders being told by shops that if they do not have a chip and PIN card they will not be able to use their cards after 14 February. This is incorrect advice and we would like to reassure all overseas cardholders that they will be able to use their cards as normal in UK shops and businesses after 14 February 2006."

"Chip and PIN has been working with the British Retail Consortium and other retail trade associations and retailers to ensure that shop staff throughout the UK are trained to follow the prompts on their chip and PIN terminal, which will tell them if a signature is acceptable.

"If you find that a retailer is not accepting your card you should urge them to insert the card into the terminal. The terminal will read the card and will instruct the retailer to ask you for your signature."

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