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Chip and PIN hits 8 million cards

'Steady progress'

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Plans for the UK rollout of a more secure method of authorising credit and debit card payments are progressing steadily, with around eight million next-generation cards issued to date.

The Chip and PIN scheme, which began in October 2003, is designed to make credit and debit card purchases more secure by asking the majority of consumers to enter a four digit PIN code instead of signing to verify card transactions by 2005. Newly-issued credit and debit cards will come with smart chips to recognise this PIN number when transactions are processed.

Eight million next-generation cards have been issued, which means that an estimated one in six cardholders have received a new, secure chip and PIN card, according to a quarterly update 'barometer' issued today. Meanwhile approximately 100,000 businesses accepting plastic card payments have switched over to Chip and PIN.

The rollout of chip and PIN is been backed by the UK’s banking and retail industries.

New chip and PIN cards will be issued and tills switched over according to the individual plans of banks, merchants and retailers.

Five of the UK’s biggest card issuers had begun issuing chip and PIN-enabled credit and debit cards. And by the beginning of 2004, Safeway, the supermarket chain, which has completed its rollout, was accepting an average of 100,000 successful chip and PIN transactions a week across its 480 British stores.

Sandra Quinn, chip and PIN spokesperson, said: “We are pleased with the first weeks of the chip and PIN rollout. Cardholders and retailers across the UK are starting to benefit from this new fraud-busting technology.

"Cardholders don’t need to do anything until they receive their new card."

The UK Chip and PIN Programme is part of an international initiative to tackle credit and debit card fraud. France has seen an 80 per cent reduction in fraud since the introduction of a similar PIN-based system (restricted to domestic debit cards) ten years ago.

Chip and PIN is designed to address losses arising from counterfeit, lost and stolen card transactions.

Other types of card fraud, such as identity fraud and card-not-present fraud, are being tackled through separate initiatives.

These schemes include programmes to verify a cardholder's address and cross-checking a card's security code to combat fraud made over the phone and internet alongside various education and research initiatives. ®

External Links

Chip and PIN Programme - "the biggest consumer project since decimalisation"
"Annual card fraud figures reach record high", APACS report (PDF)
UK plastic card fraud facts and figures

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