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Chip and PIN Reminder from the Office of Fair Trading 20 February 2006

    From 14th February 2006 retailers are being advised by banks and credit card companies that they should only accept a PIN (Personal Identification Number) when a chip and PIN-enabled card is offered in payment. It is expected that by that date 770,000 shops and businesses in the UK will have tills that accept PIN verified transactions. Those consumers who have a chip and PIN-enabled card should not expect to be able to sign for their transaction after 14th February. They may need to provide an alternative method of payment instead.

    The chip and PIN system was introduced to cut fraud on cards. It is more secure than the card with signature system. In France the same system has reduced card fraud by 80%.

    Signature-only cards

    There remain a few people who have not yet received a chip and PIN-enabled card from their card company. These people can continue to sign for their transactions until they receive their chip and PIN-enabled cards.

    There are a small number of disabled cardholders who use a special chip and signature card because they are unable to use a PIN. These cardholders will continue to sign as before. Special chip and signature cards can be obtained from the individual card companies.

    If any consumer with a signature-only card has a problem with the acceptance of their card they should ask the member of staff to insert the card into the terminal and follow the prompts. The machine will automatically request a signature.

    Consumer protection

    The introduction of the chip and PIN system has not affected the rights of the consumers in relation to card fraud. If the cardholder takes reasonable care to protect their card and their personal details relating to the card they will not be responsible for any losses incurred through the fraudulent action of another party.

    Retailers who are not chip and PIN-enabled after 14th February should note that if a chip and PIN-enabled card is used fraudulently at their premises they will be liable for the loss.

    Information on the chip and PIN system can be found at website www.chipandpin.co.uk

    20th February 2006

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