Up to 1m Aussies yet to switch to PIN

ONE million consumers have been warned they risk being ''stranded at the checkout'' when signatures for debit and credit cards are replaced by personal identification numbers from Friday.

PINs will become the main form of authorisation for cardholders as banks and card companies move to increase security and crack down on fraud. According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association, card fraud cost local banks $262 million between 2010 and 2012.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon, consumer spokeswoman for the payment industry's PINwise campaign, said 80 per cent of cardholders used PINs but the rest were habitually signing for purchases as the August 1 deadline approached.

''There are 1 million consumers who are far from ready for this move, so either don't have PINs or are not yet using their PINs,'' she said. ''I'm really worried ... that they're going to get stranded at the checkout.''

She urged all cardholders without a PIN to contact their issuer. From Friday 800,000 merchant payment terminals nationwide will undergo a software update, rendering the signature obsolete.

Read more at Sydney Morning Herald

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