Australians will need to get used to using their PIN for credit card purchases, with signatures set to be phased out from the middle of 2014.
In a bid to crack down on fraud, Australia’s card payments industry has moved to phase out the decades-old practice of signing to verify purchases from August 1 this year.
The changes won’t affect online purchases but will apply to all transactions over a point-of-sale terminal.
“All Australian cardholders will need to know their credit and debit card PINs by August 2014,” said Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon, the spokeswoman for the payment’s industry’s PINwise campaign.
Ms Pedersen-McKinnon urged people who did not already have a PIN for their card to get one well before the August deadline, to avoid any problems during the transition.
Australian Retailers Association spokesman Russell Zimmerman said the move would make card payments safer.
“The phasing out of signature verification will help protect consumers and retailers alike from fraudsters,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman said Australian credit card fraud ran to about $81 million a year, most of it on credit cards where it wasn’t necessary to enter a PIN.