Ready for the new PIN requirement? 3 steps to start complying

From today, millions of Australians will be ditching the pen for credit card payments at point-of-sale. Instead, we will be punching in PINs to authorise transactions with the PINwise initiative taking effect today.

The initiative was launched by the Industry Security Initiative, a group composed of Australia’s major financial institutions and card schemes to expand PIN at point-of-sale and phase out signature as a form of verification.

The main aim is to improve Australia’s payment system. Although this will mean one more thing you have to remember among a million other passwords and login details, using PIN for credit and debit card purchases is safer and faster than signing.

PIN usage can help protect against fraud due to lost or stolen cards, because the fraudster would need to have both the card and the PIN. While signatures can be forged, your PIN is your secret, and therefore far more secure. According to PINwise, there is only a one in ten thousand chance of someone guessing your PIN.

If you own a business and haven’t done anything to comply with the new requirement, here are a few tips you can get cracking today.

1. Rethink the customer experience

If you own a restaurant where you take credit cards from the table, think about how you could maintain or improve the customer experience. What about counter registers? Queues could actually be longer, especially as some customers may not be aware of the changes early on. How would you educate your customers?

2. Get your systems ready

Is your system able to accept PIN for credit card payments? If not, there’s plenty of solutions in the market for small business owners. If you’re not taking credit card payments, now is the best time to consider providing that option for your clients or customers.

At MYOB, we recently launched a new PIN-compatible mobile payments card reader for MYOB PayDirect – a solution that turns your smartphone into a quick and easy payment terminal.

3. Retrain your staff

For merchants the change means retraining your staff not to say “PIN or signature?” at the point of card transaction, but rather, “Would you like to key in your PIN?”

There are materials to assist with promoting PIN usage from PINwise as well as the banks and financial institutions. As a consumer, you should have set a PIN for all your credit cards by now. But what digit combination should you choose?

  • Don’t choose a number that’s easy for someone else to guess

Stay away from numbers based on your birth date, phone numbers or other information fraudsters could easily guess from your details that are in the public domain.

  • Make sure it’s memorable

Choose something that’s easy for you to remember but hard for anyone else to guess.

  • Keep it private

It’s important to protect your PIN. Don’t write it down or share it with anyone. If you have to keep your PIN somewhere to remind yourself, make sure it’s safe and secure.