On the 1st of August, signatures stopped being accepted as a means of authorising payments on credit cards, with Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) now required. While a PIN has been an option for a while, the traditional option to sign has always been available.
The move is designed to help increase security and reduce the amount of credit card related to fraud, which costs banks over $260 million between 2010 and 2012.
The change won’t affect current direct debit in place including those for life insurance.
PINWise, an initiative of the Australian payment card industry to encourage the use of the PIN instead, of the signature, has urged all Australians to make sure their credit card has a PIN and if they don’t have one, to contact their financial institution.
They have also offered a number of PIN Safety Tips:
- Don’t choose a number that is easy for someone to guess
- Never share your PIN
- Tell your bank or card issuer if your card has been lost or stolen
Signature Preferred Cards
Signature Preferred Card may be issued by certain financial institutions to individuals who may not be suitable to have a PIN, such as those who may not be able to remember a PIN or those who pay not be able to use the keypad.
Concern for hospitality industry
The restaurant and hospitality industry has been concerned about the impact the change will have on their tips, which customers have always written down manually and signed for when paying by credit card. The new process may make it potentially more difficult and awkward for customers to tip.
The other concern is the need to introduce multiple portable payment terminals which can be brought to the table, which can cost up to $60 each per month. The traditional method of handing your credit card to wait staff and waiting for them to bring you the credit card slip to sign will no longer be available. You will now have to enter your PIN, or use PayPass or payWave if the transaction amount is under $100.00.
However to hopefully mitigate this, a number of payment apps are available for smart phones, such as Zapper and Clip, which can turn everyone’s phone into a payment terminal.
Don’t have a PIN?
If you don’t have a PIN for your credit card or cannot remember your PIN, please contact your financial institution or card issuer.