Coles ditches PINs in payment pilot

Coles is currently conducting a pilot to speed up card payments in over 100 of its various retail stores by removing the need for a PIN or signature for payments under $35.

Coles is currently conducting a pilot to speed up card payments in over 100 of its various retail stores by removing the need for a PIN or signature for payments under $35.

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(Checkout image by Nate Grigg, CC2.0)

The "Fast Pay" pilot program includes 118 stores across the Coles Supermarkets, K-Mart, Target and Officeworks brands. Under the trial, Coles has simply tweaked the protocols of its payment systems, allowing customers with magnetic stripe cards and chip cards to swipe or insert the card to pay, without verification, for payments under $35. It is not the same as the contactless card system that Woolworths plans to roll out, which Coles' terminals don't support.

Douglas Swansson, head of Payment Services, Finance for Coles, told ZDNet Australia today that the trial doesn't put customer security at risk.

"From our perspective, it doesn't impose additional security concerns over what's out there today. The security is no different than the security we have in place," Swansson said.

The payment head added that any losses resulting from fraudulent transactions is usually covered under Visa, MasterCard and American Express' no liability fraud coverage, meaning that losses incurred by fraudulent payments will be reimbursed.

"Card suppliers are confident it won't create a whole lot of unauthorised transactions," Swansson said, adding that no new payment hardware was installed to handle the trial.

"We're keen to understand how customers react to the service ... we've had quite a lot of positive feedback," Swansson added.

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