No more pen and paper for Australian payments

Signing for purchases the old-fashioned way is being scrapped across Australia, as upgrades to payment terminals usher in a four-digit age – leaving many stranded.

Many cardholders across Australia could be left unable to pay for credit card purchases as planned upgrades to more than 800,000 payment terminals come into effect today.

The PIN payment method is being rolled out across Australia amid plans to reduce fraud and improve security.

The nation had been warned about the payment upgrade which comes into effect today (1 August).

However, ANZ, one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, estimates that about 700,000 cards are still being used without a PIN, with about 83 per cent of its customers being prepared for the transition.

Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman warned that it’s impossible to ascertain which retailers would move first.

“If a customer comes into a store where the machine has been changed to the PIN upgrade, they won’t have an option to sign — a PIN will be the only method the machine recognises,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The customer runs the risk of not being able to complete the purchase unless they have cash or another card with a PIN such as EFTPOS,” he added.

However, those left aloof by the changeover could be rescued by the relatively popular ‘tap and go’ payment method – with limits of AUS 100.

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