A trial of the technology, which had been going on in Northampton since May, had been a success. “The main thrust of the trial was to see how customers reacted to chip and Pin,” said Steve Sinclair, communications director of the chip and Pin programme.
“We already knew that the technology worked but we wanted to see the technology in action, test getting the certification and approvals processes right and iron out any detailed configuration bugs".
The chip and Pin initiative aims to halve card fraud with banks and retailers planning a nationwide rollout of the technology at the end of 2004.
However, the BRC warned retailers who own their own integrated point-of-sale equipment not to delay implementing chip and Pin.
David Smith, corporate affairs director at the British Retail Consortium, said, “They must act now to meet the 2005 liability shift date, when retailers become liable for fraud on chip and Pin cards in their stores which could have been prevented by using chip and Pin point-of-sale technology.
“The trial showed that time is a crucial factor and allowing enough time for planning, testing, approvals, training and implementation is crucial to success.”
More than 200,000 new-style credit and debit cards have been issued in Northampton with around 1,000 outlets, including shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels and petrol stations taking part in the trial.
Hazel Blears, Home Office minister for crime reduction and policing, said, “I am pleased that so many retailers as well as the banking industry have already committed themselves to introducing it. With the support of the rest of Britain's retailers we can step up the fight against crime. “
Lessons for retailers identified by the report include:
The need to engage software and hardware suppliers early
A good two-way relationship with acquiring banks is crucial
Allowing enough time for testing is key to success
Retailers should consider the needs of people with disabilities early in the process
Chip and Pin is quick for retail staff to learn
Cardholders learn quickly and trial experience suggests that by their third transaction they are competent and confident.