Chip and PIN 5 Year Anniversary

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

The nation is celebrating the official changeover to chip and PIN on debit and credit cards which took place five years ago today.

Chip and PIN has led to an increase in the number of people paying with plastic with figures from last year revealing the nation has spent more on debit cards than with cash, and has helped drive down card fraud.

Before the launch of PIN Day it was still possible to use a signature even if the retailed had upgraded to chip and PIN.

“Five years on and cards continue to be an increasingly popular way to pay – whether at home or abroad,” commented Melanie Johnson, The UK Cards Association’s chair.

“Chip and PIN is a great success. The UK was the first country in the world to fully rollout this global version of chip and PIN – demonstrating our commitment to embrace innovation for the benefit of our customers.”

UK cardholders can also expect to use their PIN in the vast majority of European countries, and many countries across the world are also upgrading such as Asia, Africa, South America and Canada and Australia.

The Payments Council revealed last year that the August Bank Holiday saw plastic outperform cash for the first time.

Debit card spending amounted to £272 billion on this day, beating the cumulative amount of cash spent of £269 billion.

The number of withdrawals from cash machines supports this figure as it fell by 1.5 percent in the third quarter.

High Debit and Credit Card Surcharges

Recently however, a campaign has begun to prompt the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate the high card surcharges which are not always obvious before customers make their payment.

The super-complaint by Which? states these surcharges can often be far higher than the cost to the retailer for the process of the transaction.


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