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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 19:24 GMT
Have Your Say: Chip and pin
Chip and pin machine
127m standard chip and pin cards are in circulation in the UK

From 14 February people with chip and pin cards must use their pin number if asked when making a purchase.

But Money Box has found confusion over who needs to use a pin as the deadline for conversion to the chip and pin payment system looms.

We asked if you are confused by chip and pin and whether you were still waiting for a chip and pin card.

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

I have a bank card with my picture on it but with no chip and pin facility.

I was told by the bank that there was a choice when issued, a photograph card or a chip and pin card, the picture being more secure and was acceptable for transactions.

But now, I just checked with the bank and it seems I have to change to chip and pin.

This seems a shame when my photograph seemed more secure.
Andrew Henry

Christmas 2004 - I tried to use my credit card with chip and pin in Sweden without success. I reported this to my bank on my return and mentioned that it worked in other countries before and since.

Christmas 2005 - I again tried to use the card in Sweden and, again, without success. Again I reported it to the bank and they said they had never heard of this problem before.

So much for their interest in reported problems.
Mike, Kirkcudbright

I think the I love pin adverts are misleading. For a start, most people will just scan the notice and may not realise that it only applies to chip and pin cards.

The wording is clear, but at the same time it is ambiguous. The implication is that no card will be acceptable if a pin is not provided.

I have no problem using pin myself but I still think the changeover should be handled better
Alison Keys

Secondly the notice makes no mention of any alternative, such as chip and signature, or that a non-chip card can still be signed for.

I have no problem using pin myself but I still think the changeover should be handled better.
Alison Keys

In some shops you are expected to enter your pin without being able to see the amount the shop has entered. When I queried this, the assistant got most indignant saying that she would not make a mistake. I wish I had her faith!
Dee, Wiltshire

I have seen frequent cases of pensioners unable to remember their pin to withdraw money at the post office. They are then left without cash to pay for their shopping. They are distressed, confused and are being marginalised by new technology.

I have also experienced memory loss about my pin, when suffering from excess stress when my mother was ill, and when recovering from an operation.

My grandmother is blind, and now carries large amounts of cash around with her, because she cannot use a pin reader. Where's the security for her? With the previous card, she could still sign clearly, and had no need to carry cash.

Another example of the minority population being bulldozed by the technology geeks and the government.
Karen Hanley, Bath

I am most concerned about the positioning of the chip and pin card machines in shops.

Many are in such a position as to be easily seen by others queuing behind you.

Why are we not required to sign as well? Surely it would be safer? Is there any protection for card holders if their pin number is used illegally by an observer of a transaction?
Tina Upson, Essex

The vast majority of people will easily get to grips with it
Kevin Foote, Macclesfield
It really isn't that difficult a system to learn how to use. The vast majority of people will easily get to grips with it so please stop the moaning!
Kevin Foote, Macclesfield

Last September, after listening to advance warnings of chip and pin, I wrote to my bank requesting a chip and sign card, as my piece of plastic was due to expire in October.

I was sent a chip and sign card with a covering letter, confirming that I could still sign for my purchases.

Now more and more retailers are telling me that they are installing new equipment at their check-outs and I will no longer be able to sign for my purchases, despite my covering letter.

I do have a pin, but I have never used one and would rather not use pin at all.
Jane M Reynolds, Barnesley

All of my four cards (all with different companies) are now chip-and-pin. I have had no problems at all.

If I were someone who hadn't received a chip-and-pin card by now I would have changed my credit card company to one that would supply one.

The only people who are disadvantaged by chip and pin are the blind
Andy Grant, London
It is not hard. It is not difficult. It is not confusing.

The consumer has had over a year to sort this out with their credit card companies. The only people who are disadvantaged by chip and pin are the blind.
Andy Grant, London

I agree that shops are not fully informed and some people will be disadvantaged when the new system is introduced.

Banks have not been organised enough and alternatives for people with disabilities and overseas visitors are not well-known.

I realise there are a lot of people to organise this for, but we have had an equivalent system in place in New Zealand for at least 10 years (called EFTPOS - electronic funds transfer at point-of-sale) and it's simple.

I don't see what is so complicated about it.

When I came to the UK 5 years ago, I felt really vulnerable not having to enter a pin when using my card. It's definitely an improvement in security having to use a pin.
Pauline McQuoid, Wirral

Our local supermarket has been advertising in the past week that credit cards without chip and pin will not be accepted after 14 February.

My father received his new credit card only a few weeks ago, not a chip and pin one!

Why has something so potentially simple been made so confusing?
Helen Hayden, Chippenham
Last night whilst at the checkout, the assistant pointed out to him that his signature would not be accepted from next Tuesday nor would it anywhere else.

Returning home he rang the card's 24 hour helpline to be told that swipe cards will be accepted after the 14 February. They took note of which chain had spoken to us and are looking into it.

They are also sending forms for Dad to change to chip and pin, but should this not be automatic anyway?

Personally, I agree with chip and pin and understand the reasons for it, but why has something so potentially simple been made so confusing?
Helen Hayden, Chippenham

Royal Bank of Scotland told me nothing about the 14 February deadline. I heard about it in December from staff at my local supermarket.

There's no point in the banks saying the old cards are still valid with a signature if retailers are not prepared to accept them.

I called at my bank, and was assured that if I wanted a card with a chip, one would be issued. I'm still waiting.

It seems to me the banks have not planned this change properly.
Tom Roberts, Wivenhoe, Essex

Thank goodness for Money Box.

I run a very small shop and had absolutely no idea about the deadline for my customers. We have had no help or advice from our bank. I did not know that we, as a retailer, may have to have our credit card machines altered.

None of the parties concerned with providing these services have bothered to give us any information. Maybe they consider us too small to bother with?

All this confusion puts me and my staff in a horrible situation with our customers.

Any you just try and use any of the help numbers! You simply cannot get through. If we have a card referred for authorisation this can take up to one hour! And again, the card companies put us in the front line, making us keep the customer waiting and forcing us to ask them personal questions about their finances.
Denise Marchent, London

I have been led to understand by several stores that chip and pin will not be mandatory
Heather White, Neston, Wirral
I have been led to understand by several stores that chip and pin will not be mandatory.

If it is used then any problems that might arise are between the card holder and the bank. However, if a signature is used the onus is then on the retailer to sort it out, hence why they prefer chip and pin.
Heather White, Neston, Wirral

I have a non-chip credit card, which shows little sign of being replaced by the 14 February.

One thing I have noticed over the last few months is that staff seem so used to not handling cards any more as customers insert their own cards into the machines and type the pin, that they have rarely actually checked my signature against my card: the habit seems to have been lost very quickly, and is a worrying fraud opportunity for the future with all the "exceptions" (foreign cards, disabled users etc).
Hamish Walker, Croydon

I am always disturbed when counter staff insist on pressing enter up to the pin entry point, so I don't have the opportunity to confirm the sum being debited. It's my job surely, to check that before entering the pin.

Does anybody else feel this is a problem? Perhaps I should revert to writing out cheques.
Joan Walsh

The banks are quite happy for us as retailers to take "signature cards" as from the 14 February. The responsibility - if the card is stolen - falls directly on the retailer, where as before the banks usually paid out for stolen cards.

It this just another way of banks passing the buck?
Valerie Goldston, London
But they will not as of the 14, so if we refuse to take them, we risk losing a sale, and if we do take it, we run the risk of accepting a stolen or cloned card. We will not be reimbursed, so we are the losers no matter what.

It this just another way of banks passing the buck?
Valerie Goldston, London

I have a photocard which I am loathe to exchange for the new chip and pin replacement as I feel the photocard is a much safer option. After all, if someone did manage to steal my present card it would be of little use to them for in store transactions. As far as I know there is only one person who looks like me, ME.
Beryl Wilkin,

I have used my credit card several times at a self service check out in a Kensington store, and I have never been asked to do anything other than scan the card to pay. I do not have to enter my pin! Is this not a security loop hole? Someone else could have been using my card as there is no check at all.
Ellen Mullin, London

I am registered blind and have a chip and signature card but have encountered problems in various shops which do not recognise it.

They say I cannot use it after 14 February.

I wish that banks would publicise this, even my own bank could offer no solution!.
Mrs A Petty, Milton Keynes

North Americans do not have chip and pin cards but will be travelling to the UK and Europe as usual. How will they be able to use their non chip and pin cards?

If they can still sign as before, then what is the point of chip and pin?
Nathalie Rivard, Montreal, Canada

Here in France we have had chip and pin for many years.

My question is, why do bank machines recognise my pin number but the machines in supermarkets do not?

I visit England many times a year and currently have to sign a receipt. Will supermarkets recognise my pin number as the banks do when I want to withdraw cash?
Bill Fraser, Paris, France

My research shows two local supermarkets I know of are under the impression that no one can sign after 14 February.

This whole changeover has been badly handled leaving elderly and disabled people anxious
Mrs W George, Norwich
They had not heard of the chip and signature card. Some banks seem not to know either.

This whole changeover has been badly handled leaving elderly and disabled people anxious.
Mrs W George, Norwich

I am not in the least confused. Come on, it is not that difficult.
Mike, Oxford

My local shop has a very clear sign saying it will not accept any non chip and pin cards after 14 February.
Alison Keys, Brigg, Lincs

What happens when the chip fails and becomes unreadable as my card did last Saturday. How are shops being told to act?
Duncan Young, Chippenham

I had to proactively contact my card company to request chip and pin cards to replace my existing cards. Otherwise I had no communication with them ahead of the change.
Tony Griffiths, Oswestry

I have had a chip and pin card for at least six months now and a few times over that time I have had my card refused because they told me my cards chip didn't work.

It seems that some shop machines are not that reliable
Matthew Bate, Cheltenham
I have then gone into the bank to get a new card, the bank has then tested the card in one of their machines and found that it is fine.

It seems that some shop machines are not that reliable. I am worried that I will end up not having a card that works when the shop thinks that their machine is working fine when it is not.
Matthew Bate, Cheltenham

With this chip and pin, what will we visitors to the UK be required to do? Carry lots of cash? In Canada I have no chips on my credit cards.
Michael Cooper, Toronto

I have a French credit card that uses chip and pin but when I use it in the UK my pin number does not work and I have to sign a slip. Will I still be able to use my card in the UK?
Mr Richard Longworth, Pontivy, France

I have just returned from a local supermarket where I was told I would not be able to use my card - no chip - after 14 February.

The store has obviously not heard your programme or followed the instructions from the card companies and banks!
R. M. Phillips, Brighton

On the most recent Money Box the correspondent blithely dismissed the possibility that foreign visitors and residents would have their cards turned down, even after 14 February.

I have already encountered difficulty with my traditional signature card on - of all places - London's tourist-flooded Regent Street.

Neither my obvious American accent, obviously American card or repeated offers of valid UK ID made any difference.

Not having a UK bank account, I had no idea that doomsday is approaching, and thought it was just one shopkeeper.

Obviously, I will continue to spend money in the UK. I'm a student here, and need to eat, after all, but if this is what I encounter every time I go into a shop... no thank you.
Ellen Lindner, London

My new card which runs from 1 February 2006 for three years and is not chip and pin.

I shall not use my new card unless it is replaced by a chip and pin version
Clive Litchfield, Birmingham
I contacted the card company when it arrived about two weeks ago who assured me that they would be sending out chip and pin cards - including to me - by the end of January (when my old card expired).

Needless to say no new chip and pin card has arrived.

The result is that I shall not use my new card unless it is replaced by a chip and pin version.
Clive Litchfield, Birmingham

When paying at the supermarket the handset in which I punch my pin always briefly flashes a message "Refer To Terms". What are the terms? Where can I refer to them? Are the terms any different from the old pre-chip and pin days? Should I be concerned?

A Money Box investigation would be welcome and, I hope, reassuring.
Roland Jeffery, London

I really think your programme should present the alternative view that chip and pin is a huge retrograde step from the point of view of the customer's security.
John Collins, Welwyn Garden City

I have been with my bank for 31 years but it has let me down. It has not supplied me with a chip and pin card.

It says I will still be able to use a signature with my card, but local businesses are not of the same opinion.

They say that because they and not the banks will be liable for the transactions they will refuse to let me sign after the 14 February.

I have already e-mailed the bank and had no reply. It seems to me that my best option would be to change banks to one which can give me a chip and pin card.
Chris Rose, Perth

I made a purchase of over 150 at a store recently. I was not asked for either a pin number or for a signature.

When I asked why, they said it was not necessary as they can still put it through. Does this make a mockery of the whole system?
Patricia Baynes, Rayleigh Essex

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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