Mobile Commerce

Visa to Replace Signatures with PIN In New Zealand

For Visa customers in New Zealand, swipe and sign credit cards are soon to be a thing of the past.

In a recently announced move, Visa will be ending signature cards for Kiwis by the end of 2014, requiring from here on that users enter a PIN when using a credit card. The change in the system is intended to bolster security and lower instances of fraud.

"This is about taking better advantage of the chip technology on Visa cards which is the international standard that provides the most security for electronic payments today," Visa NZ manager Caroline Ada said, reports the Daily Mail. 

PIN Transactions are already the norm in New Zealand, and have been since the 1980's, with only 4 percent of card transactions a year carried out by swipe alone. For that reason MasterCard has elected not to move to PIN based systems as a mandatory requirement, noting that if it is already happening efforts at enforcement are likely unnecessary.

"Very, very few transactions use a signature for authorization," MasterCard New Zealand's country manager Peter Chisnall told NZ Newswire.

The new Visa rules will only apply to cards issued in New Zealand--foreigners from nations that do not require PINs will still be allowed to swipe and sign.

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