PINS coming, ready or not

CARDHOLDERS could strike trouble at the checkout if they don't organise a PIN for credit or debit cards before next Friday, Heritage Bank CEO John Minz warned.

In an industry-wide move, holders of credit and debit cards issued in Australia will no longer be able to use a signature to authorise a transaction after 1 August.  Instead, they'll need a PIN to complete the transaction.

"After August 1, terminals will simply not allow you to continue with the transaction unless your PIN is entered," Mr Minz explained.

"It's important for cardholders to get in touch with their banks make switch from signature to PIN now, if they haven't already, to avoid any issues at the checkout.

"The change applies to all financial institutions across the country, not just Heritage."

Mr Minz said the change was about adding an extra layer of security, particularly when cards are lost or stolen.

"Your PIN transaction is encrypted and sent in real-time to your card issuer to be authorised.  This makes it more difficult for fraudsters as they need to get hold of both the card and the PIN to be able to misuse it."

Mr Minz said there were a number of ways that Heritage Bank customers could organise a PIN on their card:

  • Visiting a branch to organise a PIN in person
  • Organising for a PIN to be send out via mail
  • Going online to Heritage's internet banking site and doing it there.

The PIN requirement does not apply to "tap and go" purchases up to $100 using contactless terminals.


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