The Industry Security Initiative, a collective of Australia’s major financial institutions and card schemes, confirms that PIN has become the main form of card payment authorisation in Australia starting from 1 August 2014.
The industry-wide move to expand PIN at the point of sale (POS) and phase-out the signature as a form of verification on Australian credit and debit cards will take place over a short transition period which started on 1 August this year.
The initiative, which is supported by the PINwise communications campaign, is a national bid to make Australia’s payment system even safer.
Starting with some of the nation’s largest merchants, the move will see all of Australia’s 800,000 merchant payment terminals undergo a software update to no longer accept signature as the main form of card authorisation for Australian cardholders.
There will be no change to contactless or online transactions and only in some circumstances such as when using a card issued from a bank overseas, will signature still be a valid form of verification.
Contact your bank or card issuer for more information on how to get your PIN.
PINwise is an Initiative of the Australian payments card industry to encourage the use of PIN instead of signature.Why?
Using your PIN for credit and debit card purchases at point of sale is safer and faster than signing. There is only a one in ten thousand chance of someone guessing your PIN.How?
Use your PIN when you make a purchase in person or the quick and convenient contactless option where available. For any questions about your PIN, contact your bank or card issuer using the links below.
Stay away from numbers based on your birth date, driver's licence, phone numbers or other public/semi-public personal information as fraudsters can easily guess them. Choose something easy for you to remember but hard for anyone else to guess.
Don’t write your PIN down and don’t share your PIN with anyone. Be sure to cover your hand when entering your PIN into an ATM or store machine. If you feel your PIN has been compromised, notify your bank or card issuer immediately.
Alert your bank or card issuer immediately if your card has been lost or stolen. Change your PIN immediately if you suspect any fraudulent activity on a card in your possession.
Your bank / card issuer will provide you with the PIN for your credit or debit card. If you have forgotten your PIN, the card issuer can provide you with another PIN upon request. PIN’s may be issued over the internet, by phone or via mail (usually in a separate envelope to the actual card). Some card issuers allow their customers to customise and select their own PIN during the card activation process over the phone.
It will be important that you remember the PIN for each of your debit and credit cards. If you do not remember what PIN they have, it is best for you to contact your bank/card issuer directly.
Different card issuers have different processes for changing a PIN. It is best for you to contact your bank/card issuer directly, or visit their website, to find out how to change your PIN or request a new one.
Much like choosing a computer password, and, like those passwords, you should keep your PIN a secret. You should avoid using a PIN that contains repeating characters (like 9999) or digits in sequence (like 1234), or numbers that represent publically researchable information, such as your birthday, year of birth, or address.
Some banks and card issuers allow cardholders to set longer PINs, of up to six characters long. A longer PIN number is much harder to guess than a shorter one. A longer PIN may not be compatible in some overseas locations. In that instance you may have to sign for goods and services. Longer PINs on debit cards may not be accepted in overseas ATMs for cash withdrawals.
If you enter the wrong PIN multiple times in a row, your card may be locked so that fraudsters cannot keep trying to guess your PIN.
Unlocking the card is simple - just contact your bank/card issuer for instructions. For some cards, it may be possible to unlock your PIN at your bank’s nearest branch; however it is best to contact your bank/card issuer for further instructions.
Unless conducting a contactless transaction under $100 or a small ticket purchase (under $35)that does not require PIN or signature , or a transaction at unattended terminals such as a vending machine, a PIN will be required at all point-of-sale terminals in Australia for purchases of goods and services, as well as cash-out transactions, if your card supports them.
To find out if your card has cash-out functionality, please contact your bank/card issuer directly. Also not all merchants support cash-out at point-of-sale. Please ensure that you ask your merchant whether or not it supports cash-out at their terminal.
If you type in the wrong PIN three times into the point-of-sale terminal, your card will become locked and you will be unable to complete a point-of-sale transaction. You should contact your bank or financial institution to obtain instructions on how to unlock it. In many cases they will ask you to go to one of their branches or ATMs to unlock the card. When you know your PIN, it will work in an ATM to obtain cash.
If you have forgotten your PIN, or if you don’t know if you have a PIN, you should contact your bank or financial institution directly. They will advise you of their procedures for supplying you with a new or replacement PIN.
No, not all transactions at point of sale will need a PIN, most notably contactless transactions (Visa payWave,
MasterCard PayPass or American Express Contactless) under $100 do not need to be authorised by a PIN, and do not
require a signature today.
Other exemptions are:
In each case, the payment terminal that is reading your card will prompt for a PIN if it is required.
Yes. In Australia, where that facility is enabled, you can still ‘tap’ your MasterCard™ PayPass, Visa payWave or
American Express Contactless enabled credit or debit card on a contactless enabled terminal or touchpad to initiate
the payment side of the transaction. When contactless is used, for any transaction under the value of $100 there is
no need for you to PIN or sign. For transactions of $100 or greater you will from August 1
To check whether the point-of-sale terminal supports contactless transactions, ask the attendant at the terminal, or simply look at the terminal’s screen prompt for instructions. The following symbol indicates that the card and the payment terminal or card reader can conduct a contactless transaction.
A PIN is not required for mail or telephone order transactions, or transactions conducted on the Internet.
PIN is only applicable when you are physically present at the point-of-sale during the purchase or withdrawing cash at an ATM. There are some circumstances at the physical point-of-sale when PIN is not required (and neither is signature), most notably contactless (“Tap and Go”) payments under $100 and low value payments (under $35) at some merchants and transactions from most unattended terminals e.g. vending machines and parking meters.
There are no circumstances in which you should reveal your PIN when making a purchase or booking services by mail order or over the telephone or internet.
Please contact your bank/card issuer for a full list of exemptions.
While it is recommended that cardholders always use their PIN if given the option, it is understood that some cardholders may have a genuine requirement to be able to continue to sign due to mental or physical impairments, even once the PIN mandate is in force from 1st August. For these select cardholders a number of card issuers will be providing an option for the cardholder to request a replacement card which will allow them to continue to sign if they have difficulty using a PIN. You should contact your own financial institution or issuer if you require further information on this topic.
The vast majority of PIN pads on point-of-sale terminals have a tactile feature that includes a raised dot on the middle ‘5’ button. This layout will be familiar to most people with vision impairments, and should therefore be easier to use. Also, the primary 'function' keys are colour coded for ease of visibility. Usually, the 'cancel' button is red, the 'clear/cancel' button is yellow, and the 'Enter/OK' button is green.
Many PIN pads are designed to be picked up from their holders, to make it easier and more secure for you to enter your PIN. You may also come across PIN pads which have been built into the shop counter, and in restaurants and bars the PIN pads are likely to be wireless so that you can pay whilst sitting at the table. Whatever the case may be, merchant staff should always be able to help you through the process and answer any queries. But you should never disclose your PIN to the staff, your PIN should remain confidential/secret to you.
Research with blind/visually impaired cardholders in February 2013 showed that the vast majority of those interviewed were happy to use a PIN, having tried it and found it easier and quicker than signing. If you believe you have a disability that may make it difficult for you to use a PIN, contact your bank/card issuer as they will be able to discuss this with you.
If you are travelling overseas, it is a good idea to know your PIN before you leave. It is best to check with your bank/card issuer before travelling overseas, in order to understand how your bank/card issuer’s procedures apply and whether you will be asked to enter a PIN when travelling overseas. This is because some banks/card issuers program their cards to require a PIN even when used overseas.
If you are travelling overseas, you should contact your bank/card issuer about your travel plans, in order to ensure that they know to expect transactions processed from your country of destination.