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Pin or sign is no longer an option at the checkout

CREDIT CARDS: Wide Bay Australia Ltd CEO Martin Barrett reminds the public that signatures are being phased out and that PIN codes will only be used as banking technology rapidly changes. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
CREDIT CARDS: Wide Bay Australia Ltd CEO Martin Barrett reminds the public that signatures are being phased out and that PIN codes will only be used as banking technology rapidly changes. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

PIN or sign will soon become a question of the past when the option to sign for credit card purchases is removed on August 1.

Wide Bay Australia CEO Martin Barrett said the move was intended to guard against credit card fraud.

"I think there's quite a lot of research suggesting that pin codes for credit cards and cards generally is far safer than signatures," he said.

"There's a much higher level of fraud and ease of fraud associated with signature transactions rather than PINs."

Mr Barrett said the majority of credit card holders now used PINs but there were still many who opted to sign for their purchases.

"I still sign so getting another PIN is not something I look forward to but I do understand the necessity and I think our customers will understand," he said.

The rollover to PIN only purchases follows a number of changes in the banking world in recent years with technology becoming more and more involved in the banking process.

"What is fascinating is the significant reduction in cheques that has occurred over the last few years," Mr Barrett said.

"The number one growth area is now transactions done via a mobile device."

Mr Barrett said Pay Pass facilities were also becoming more popular.

The process involves people with PayPass enabled cards simply tapping the card on the transaction machine.

"Paypass is a fabulous invention," Mr Barrett said.

"There are still quite a number of people who are not comfortable with it but it's gaining traction."

"It's quicker than using cash."

Some banks are now even offering customers small electronic chips which people can attach to their mobile phones to use to make contact less payments.

"It's inevitable that the mobile phone will become more of a transaction device and I know there has been quite a lot of research under way to be able to use mobile phones as a tap and go device," he said.

"For an organisation like Wide Bay Australia that's quite exciting because it's quite disruptive in the market.

There's no reason organisations like Wide Bay Australia can't get involved with these technologies and compete with the big banks."



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