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Media centre - Background on chip and PIN

Background on chip and PIN

The UK retail and banking industries have joined forces for called chip and PIN to combat the problem of credit and debit card fraud in the UK.

There are two elements involved in making a plastic card transaction secure. The first is to ensure that the card is genuine; the second that the person presenting the card is the true owner. Chip does the former and PIN does the latter. The chip therefore protects against counterfeit fraud and the PIN against lost and stolen cards and those intercepted in the post.

By the end of 2005 most credit and debit card transactions, where a consumer has been issued with a chip and PIN card and is present during the transaction, will be verified by the consumer keying in a Personal Identification Number (PIN) rather than by signing a paper receipt.

Point-of-sale PIN terminals will be of various shapes and sizes like tills are now. Some PIN terminals will have portable or cordless PIN pads, like those often seen in restaurants in France.

Consumers do not need to take any action themselves as their card companies will get in touch when they are ready to issue the new type of card.

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