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If you accept card payments - Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions

We've gathered together questions we're frequently asked about the Chip and PIN Programme. You can also read the questions that consumers ask us too.

What do I do if a customer forgets their PIN after 14 February 2006?

If your terminal requests a PIN but the customer forgets or doesn't know their PIN, you should let the transaction continue by selecting PIN Bypass, if permitted, which will seek an authorisation. The card company may decline the transaction, in which case you should ask the customer to use an alternative method of payment such as:

  • another chip and PIN card for which they know their PIN
  • an old style signature card if they have one
  • cash or cheque

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What do I do if a customer doesn't have a chip and PIN card?

There will be instances where cardholders do not have a chip and PIN card, disabled cardholders who are using chip and signature cards, and UK and foreign cardholders who don't have a chip and PIN card yet. These cardholders will continue to sign even after 14 February 2006. A customer using a non chip and PIN card will automatically be prompted by the terminal to give their signature. As always, you need to undertake the usual security checks so that you are protected from any liability for fraud.

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Do I have to check anything else when a card is used and verified with a PIN?

No, a PIN is all the verification required.

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What do I do if a customer's card becomes locked at the point-of-sale?

You should advise the customer to contact their card company. The customer may need to provide an alternative card or payment method for their transaction.

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How will I know if the chip and PIN transaction has been successful or declined?

The terminal will give you these messages exactly as it does now. Authorisation will be a similar process but will only happen if the correct PIN has first been entered into the PIN pad.

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What chip and PIN solutions can I choose from?

There are a wide variety of chip and PIN solutions to choose from and the list is constantly growing as suppliers introduce new products. Your first step should be to speak to your existing supplier to discuss the options they can offer you. You can also talk to your acquiring bank to find out which suppliers they regularly work with.

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How much will this cost me?

This depends whether your equipment is owned by yourselves or a third party. You will need to seek further information from your acquiring bank or from hardware and software suppliers.

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How is my contractual relationship with my acquiring bank affected?

Please contact your acquiring bank.

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Are there any changes to settlement procedures and or timescales?

Chip and PIN does not affect backend processes: the purpose of chip and PIN is to enhance cardholder security at POS.

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What about mail order, telephone order and internet transactions?

These are not currently covered by the Chip and PIN Programme, however there are several initiatives going on in parallel that address security for these types of transaction. They include Address Verification, Security Code checking, and, for Internet transactions, Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode. In the longer term, it may be possible to use your chip and PIN card over the Internet as well.

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What should I do in preparation for 14 February 2006?

In the run up the 14 February 2006 you should encourage those few remaining customers who have a chip and PIN card but are not using their PIN to start using it as soon as possible.

If you are not already doing so ask customers to 'enter their PIN', when a customer asks to pay using their chip and PIN card. Do not ask them if they 'know their PIN' as this will give them an opportunity to opt out of PIN entry (opens in a new browser window)

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Should I insist on PINs for all transactions now?

You can continue to accept a signature up to (and including) 14 February 2006. After this time, transactions may be declined by the card company if a PIN is not used with a chip and PIN card. To make the transition as smooth as possible you should communicate the change to customers as soon as possible so they have time to prepare by finding out and memorising their PINs.

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What if a customer says they don't know their PIN after 14 February 2006?

If a customer presents a card and says that they don't know their PIN, advise them to contact their credit or debit card company who will be able to reissue their PIN. Until 14 February 2006 you should still be able to process the transaction if the card is locked using the cardholder's signature. However, after 14 February 2006 this may not be the case and the card may be declined by the card company. If this happens you will have to ask for another form of payment.

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What if the card given by the customer is 'locked'?

Always 'dip the chip' and follow the terminal prompts. If a customer presents a card where the PIN is locked, advise them to contact their credit or debit card company who will be able to tell them how to unlock the card. Until 14 February 2006 you should still be able to process the transaction if the card is locked using the cardholder's signature. However, after 14 February 2006 this may not be the case and the card may be declined by the card company. If this happens you will have to ask for another form of payment or accept liability for any fraud.

If the issuer approves the transaction, you need to undertake the usual security checks so you are protected from any liability for fraud.

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What are chip and signature cards?

Most disabled cardholders find chip and PIN easy to use, but not all. The banking industry has therefore offered those cardholders who have difficulty using PIN pads a chip and signature card.

If a disabled customer presents a chip and signature card after the 14 February 2006 you should insert the card as normal. The terminal will then request a signature from the customer.

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What if a customer consumes the goods before payment (eg. a restaurant, pub or petrol station)?

If you are in an industry where customers consume before they pay it is particularly in your interests to encourage all your customers to know their PIN well ahead of 14 February 2006. If they do not use their PIN after this date, their card may be declined and you may need to ask them for an alternative form of payment.

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