The way we pay for things with credit and debit cards has changed. In the UK we are now using chip and PIN for the vast majority of our transactions. Chip and PIN means your cards are better protected from fraud.
The main difference is that when you go to pay for anything with your chip and PIN card - in a shop, supermarket, hotel, restaurant or garage - you are asked to enter a four digit number instead of being asked to sign a receipt. This number is a Personal Identification Number, better known as a PIN. It works exactly the same way as when you tap in your number at an cash machine to withdraw money.
Chip and PIN was successfully trialled with shoppers in Northampton, and a wide variety of store types and other places which accepts cards. Based on the success of the trial, the nationwide roll-out began in October 2003.