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Dunne: credit card problems are real

Thursday, 20 July 2006

Dunne: credit card problems are real

United Future leader Peter Dunne is concerned that Kiwi travellers to Europe are not being given full information about possible problems with their use of credit cards there.

Mr Dunne pointed out yesterday that some European outlets were accepting only credit cards with computer chips, or smartcards, new technology that has yet to be introduced into New Zealand, and were refusing to accept credit cards validated by a signature.

"A number of credit card providers in New Zealand have since claimed that this is simply scaremongering on my behalf. This is simply not true all I am trying to do is ensure New Zealand travellers are not caught out overseas," said Mr Dunne.

"I have been informed by several constituents, and even by a senior official of a major trading bank, with the latest just this morning, that they have been confronted by UK and other European outlets and restaurants unwilling to take their magnetic strip and signature credit cards.

"As these credit card holders were not informed by their providers that they could encounter this problem while travelling, they were unaware of their rights and confused on how to proceed with purchases.

"The UK outlets are legally required to accept credit cards from countries where the new technology has yet to be introduced, but many seem unaware of this obligation.

"The local credit card companies and banks are being overly defensive. I am not attacking them rather my criticism is directed against the UK merchants who are refusing to accept New Zealand credit cards, even though they are required to.

"I am simply urging the local banks and credit card companies to be open with their customers about the potential risks, and to do what they can to ensure New Zealand credit cards are accepted in outlets in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

"I have written to credit card providers about this and I hope they make an effort to make more information available for travelling credit card customers soon," said Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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