Credit Card Giants Are Looking to Speed up Transactions
Tired of standing in a queue and waiting for another credit card to be processed? You are not the only one who gets irritated having to waste your time on that customer's business. If you are a citizen of the United States, you could sigh with relief as the enhanced speed and security of credit card transactions are provided by the Radio Frequency ID technology which is becoming available with most big card issuers.
In Australia and New Zealand, however, customers are offered another option, namely - the option of entering a pin code on a keypad instead of signing your name on a receipt.
Hopefully, the RFID technology will be implemented and become omnipresent in Australia in the nearest future and if it is, such major problems as the speed of transactions and fraud will successfully be resolved.
For now, let's look at what benefits Australian cardholders will gain thanks to their new option to use pin codes for verifying purchases.
The new technology is to put Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards in line with Eftpos (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) system and is designed to speed up retail sales and reduce fraud occurrence.
Visa representatives claim that it may speed up things at the checkout counter by some eight seconds, which is rather significant considering all the working hours. It will not only increase sales numbers but will also save a cardholder's time who will probably continue coming back for the convenience.
Beginning June 4, all Australian customers will be able to enter pins and forget about the fuss of getting a printed receipt, signing it and returning it, with as many as 10 people behind you waiting for their turn.
After not less than a year of setting terms of the transition to PINs, all the major card issuers have teamed up to offer the new service.
While PINs are very likely to gain national recognition and acceptance, customers will still be able to sign receipts. The question is "What for?"
Why continue signing receipts and exposing your card to risk of fraud when you can more safely enter the numbers. Australians are aware that a signature is very easy to guess and forge, while it is almost impossible to guess a PIN.
Once a card is stolen, it may accumulate countless fraudulent purchases, as your signature is very often unchecked even. You may also discover unauthorized purchases on your plastic even without having lost or stolen it. The thing is, the magnetic stripe on the card can easily be read off by a waiter in a restaurant.
No wonder, the cases of credit card fraud recorded in Australia are sure to go over the line soon.
The technology of entering a PIN is a new level of security as a computer chip with the PIN embedded in your credit card is much harder to crack.
It is only in everyone's best interest that the enhanced security goes together with improved speed and convenience.