Chip & PIN invades Australia

So-called smart cards - which require a PIN rather than a signature - will be rolled out by all Australian card issuers from next January in Australia.

Visa Australia general manager Chris Clark said the aim was to move entirely to Chip & PIN technology, with signatures no longer accepted from April 2013.

"From January, all Visa credit cards issued by local banks must have an embedded chip, and by January 2011 all Visa debit and reloadable prepaid cards must be chip as well", he said.

"As long as cards are not chipped and transactions are not being made over EMV (the Europay/MasterCard/Visa chip verification standard) terminals, we're holding ourselves open to skimming of credit card data from the old magstripe cards", he added.

According to Clark, around 37% of Visa cards in Australia are already chip-enabled.

Visa Australia says it wants to phase out signature cards by 2013 and will ban signatures completely for Chip & PIN cards by April of that year.

APACS, the UK bank payments authority, has been crediting Chip & PIN as helping to cut retail card fraud in the last few years. This is despite overall levels of card fraud rising - largely as a result of cardholder-not-present fraud - in 2007.

Steve Howes, CEO of Gridsure, a UK-based company that developed a pictorial alternative to the Chip & PIN system, has repeatedly told Infosecurity he does not regard the Chip & PIN system as secure

He said that Chip & PIN's implementation in the UK is a classic case of this `management by committee' approach.

The Chip & PIN technology, he added, was originally developed and used in France in the 1980s and, by the time it rolled out in the UK, it was a technology that was 20 years old.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?