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Many small retailers are unaware of who is liable in the event of fraud concerning new Chip and PIN credit cards, according to the Federation of Small Business (FSB).

The FSB are stressing that, although consumers will still be protected from card fraud losses, retailers without the new technology, which is designed to detect illegitimate transactions, must shoulder the responsibility over card fraud rather than the card issuer.

The lobby also claims that firms are also in the dark as to who takes on the risk of customers signing for their purchases if they have forgotten their pin as well as who is liable if the technology is rented from a bank.

The FSB want to make clear that:

  • Where a retailer has a Chip and PIN terminal but a customer asks to sign instead, either because they have an old card or have forgotten their pin, the retailer will not be held liable for card fraud.
  • Where a retailer rents a terminal from a bank, and through no fault of their own has not yet had it upgraded, they will not be held liable for card fraud.

John Walker, FSB Policy Chairman, said: “More than a quarter of the credit card terminals in this country, over 200,000 tills have still not been upgraded, so it is not surprising that small firms are concerned about whether they are liable in the event of fraud.

“Retailers are also in the frontline when dealing with customers who cannot remember their pin. In both situations it is vital that there is clarity about where the liability for fraud lies, and the FSB is determined to do its bit to set the record straight.”

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