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Visa to Replace Signatures With PIN

Visa to Replace Signatures With PIN in New Zealand to Strengthen Payment Security

Visa cardholders encouraged to start using PIN now, ahead of change

AUCKLAND, May 20, 2014 – Visa cardholders in New Zealand will be required to use PIN instead of signature from later this year in a move that aims to strengthen payment security in New Zealand. Already more than 96 per cent of Visa transactions use PIN over signature in New Zealand and Visa will be encouraging all cardholders with New Zealand issued cards to PIN instead of sign. There will be no change to Visa payWave, phone and internet transactions.

Caroline Ada, Visa Country Manager for New Zealand and South Pacific, says this is part of a Seven Point Security Plan announced by Visa in 2009 and Visa is taking the lead to strengthen payment security.

“Where Visa cardholders currently sign to authorise their purchases today, we are encouraging them to start using PIN instead. This is about taking better advantage of the chip technology on Visa cards which is the international standard that provides the most security for electronic payments today. It is through the chip that PIN and contactless transactions are made at the point-of-sale,” said Ada.

Visa transactions are protected by multiple layers of security that help keep Visa’s global fraud rates near historic lows.

“The move to PIN is another step led by Visa to enhance the payment security of our cardholders,” she said.

There are some exceptions to the move to PIN:

• This change applies to Visa cardholders with New Zealand-issued cards only. There will be no change for visitors to New Zealand using overseas-issued Visa cards.

• New Zealand Visa cardholders travelling to countries where PIN is not used will still be able to sign to authorise transactions.

• Visa cardholders who still sign can expect to receive communication from their financial institutions over the course of the year.

Visa cardholders in New Zealand will still be able to sign at restaurants and cafes until October 2015. “Anyone unable to use a PIN should contact their financial institution to discuss their options because in certain circumstances they may be able to continue to sign for purchases,” said Ada.

Tips for Visa cardholders

• Confirm you know your credit and debit card PINs.

• If you don’t, visit your financial institution’s website or the relevant branch to get more information.

• Where you sign today, you should start using PIN instead.

• Remember there is no change to Visa payWave contactless transactions for purchases under $80. You can also use contactless for transactions over $80 with a PIN.

• Visit for more information.


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