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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 February 2006, 11:52 GMT
Some shops lacking chip and pin
Around one in 10 of the UK's tills will not have been switched to chip and pin by the deadline on Tuesday night, the group behind the programme has said.

Apacs, which represents banks and credit card companies, said 770,000 out of 860,000 tills had been upgraded to chip and pin so far.

Businesses which do not have chip and pin are liable for credit card fraud carried out on their premises.

But some small independent shops do not intend to switch to chip and pin.

Smaller retailers who have to buy their own equipment are less likely to switch because of the up-front costs involved, according to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), which represents 32,000 shopkeepers.

Chip and pin cards aim to cut fraud by including a smart chip, which can store more information than the usual magnetic strips, and also by having users verify transactions by keying in a pin number rather than signing a receipt.

Chip and pin has had massive success on cutting down on card fraud
Shane Brennan
ACS spokesman

Over the past two years card issuers have been busy replacing credit and debit cards in the UK.

But not everyone has been issued with chip and pin cards.

Cardholders who have an old-style chip card and are awaiting a new-style chip and pin card can continue to use their signature on receipts when making payments.

Shane Brennan, an ACS spokesman, said: "Chip and pin has had massive success on cutting down on card fraud, but there is growing concern amongst our members that the card fraud crime is being displaced to other kinds of crime, like theft against retailers."

Speedy transactions

He urged independent retailers to upgrade to chip and pin where possible.

But overall it seems the majority of businesses will meet the deadline for change.

Most members of the British Retail Consortium, which represents more than 80% of the UK retail market, have the new system up and running, the body said.

A spokeswoman said: "People have been gearing up to it for a couple of years now and we've got to the point where we had to put a date on it.

"Our members are ready. It will speed up transactions, especially in places like supermarkets."

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