Businesses urged to get ready for PIN now
Merchants who haven't adopted a PIN-only payment solution are putting their business at risk, Bendigo Bank warned today.
Speaking on day one of the phase-in of PIN-only transactions, the bank's Head of Access and Payment Systems, Michael O'Shea, said businesses had been slow to take up solutions for accepting PIN-only card payments.
"We've contacted our business customers a number of times in recent months hoping to get them ahead of the game, but the take-up of new technologies has been slow," Mr O'Shea said.
"I'm sure many business operators don't understand the risk they are taking. Once banks turn off the signature option on customers' cards, businesses without the ability to capture PIN will struggle to accept payments.
"In particular we are worried about hospitality businesses like restaurants and pubs – their staff will soon realise there's an issue because they won't be able to receive tips via electronic payments."
In anticipation of the impact of the new PIN regime on businesses who want to take payments on the go, Bendigo Bank recently launched Bendigo microPay. The bank also provides a mobile EFTPOS device, GoPos.
Provided in conjunction with Quest Payment Systems and Strategic Payments Services (SPS), Bendigo microPay uses new technology that makes accepting card payments more portable and easier for both the business operator and their customers.
Mr O'Shea said the device was one of the first of its kind released in the Australian market.
"Bendigo microPay is a pocket-sized, lightweight payment card reader that connects to any network, giving business owners more freedom and connectivity than ever before," he said.
"This will be a great tool for market stall holders, tradesmen or other mobile businesses, as they'll be able to receive payments on the spot while offering their customers greater convenience.
"With more people choosing to pay with cards, Bendigo microPay is a cost-effective solution which enables businesses to improve their cash flow and serve customers who may not carry cash.
"Once approved, merchants simply download a free app onto their smartphone or tablet, then pair to the microPay device via Bluetooth.
"The transaction is keyed into the smartphone or tablet and the customer then enters their card and PIN into the reader. A receipt can be sent to the customer via email or SMS to complete the transaction.
"A major benefit of Bendigo microPay is security. The customer is able to perform a secure card transaction, with a PIN, while merchant risk is reduced as payment authorisation is sought automatically."
To find out more about Bendigo microPay, visit www.bendigobank.com.au/micropay
"This is all about making payments safer for customers and Bendigo Bank supports the industry wide initiative to reduce risk in the system."
Mr O'Shea said it was unlikely many merchants or banks would switch off signatures immediately.
"Indications from the retail and hospitality industries are that most are likely to take action in September or even later, but of course that's not everyone - some might go earlier.
"So the message is, if you have a PIN start using it, and if you don't, get one now."
Bendigo Bank customers can obtain a PIN by contacting their branch or phoning 1300 BENDIGO and having their card handy.
(Special 'Signature Permitting' cards will be issued to people with disabilities or impairments preventing them from remembering and using a PIN.)