What does the February 14 deadline actually mean?

Consumers with PIN-enabled credit and debit cards must use their PIN number during any transactions. If they don’t their card may be declined.

Why are the banks removing the option to bypass Chip & PIN?

Allowing shoppers to sign when using Chip & PIN cards gives fraudsters a window of opportunity between the time they steal the card and the time the owner reports it lost or stolen – during this time they can claim they don’t know their PIN and forge the signature. By getting all shoppers to use their PINs, we can reduce this fraud.

What about people who don’t have PIN-enabled cards?

These shoppers will still be able to sign for their purchases.

What about disabled customers, who cannot input their PIN?

Again, these people will still be able to sign for their purchases. All card companies are committed to ensuring that the small number of disabled customers who are not able to use a Chip & PIN card are able to use an alternative such as a Chip & Signature card.

What about customers from overseas?

The UK is the first country to fully roll out Chip & PIN. There are still many cardholders from overseas using old-style signature cards. These cardholders will still be able to sign for their purchases after February 14.

What if my business has not yet upgraded to Chip & PIN?

If you don’t have Chip & PIN then you may already be charged for fraudulent transactions that could have been protected by it. This will continue after February 14, but you should be aware that fraudsters are more likely to target shops that are not using Chip & PIN.

What if staff are unsure whether to ask a customer for a PIN or a signature?

Don’t simply refuse the card – instead insert the card in the terminal and follow the prompts. The machine will tell you whether a signature or a PIN is required.

What do I do if a transaction is declined?

Whatever you do, you must remember that if you decide to override the decision and accept the transaction with the card, then you may be liable for any fraud or other charges that result.

What about staff training?

You must ensure that your staff are fully trained and regularly briefed in line with our ‘Best practice guidelines for staff’. You could consider performing weekly checks of store till and cashier PIN bypass levels to identify any training or technical changes that might be necessary. You might also consider a competitive initiative between your store or stores, to drive down PIN bypass incidents.

How successful is the Chip & PIN initiative?

More than nine out of 10 people have a Chip & PIN card and there are 100 successful Chip & PIN transactions every second. At present, 97% of transactions on Chip & PIN debit cards and 89% on credit cards are successfully verified by PIN. The use of Chip & PIN has already cut fraud and now we want to close off even more opportunities to the fraudster.

Does February 14 bring any more changes for the consumer?

No, they will continue to be protected from card fraud losses by The Banking Code but just as now, cardholders do need to be responsible about protecting their cards and keeping their PIN a secret.

Where can I find out more?

At our website: www.chipandpin.co.uk