Consumers happy with chips

PIN technology no hassle for UK shoppers
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

PIN technology no hassle for UK shoppers

Chip and PIN technology for credit cards that will replace the signing of paper receipts at check-outs has been given the thumbs up by consumers, according to new research. The study, commissioned by Visa, shows that 96 per cent of UK consumers are happy to remember and use a selection of PINs in their everyday lives – which the credit card companies are hoping will translate into an enthusiastic response from the public when chip and PIN technology is rolled out in 2005. The chip and PIN system has been in use in France for 10 years, but it's still a relatively new concept for British consumers. Adrian Furnham, Professor of psychology at University College London, said in a statement: "The British pick up new technology rather speedily…I would expect 9 out of 10 people to have no problem [with using more PINs]." The main worry is that with the average person needing an ever-increasing number of PINs and passwords to access everything from online banking to burglar alarms, UK consumers will suffer from password overload. But Marc O'Brien, vice president for Visa, said: "We found the majority of people tended to know the PIN for their debit card, but not for their credit cards. With chip and PIN, if people don't know their code, they can't use their card. People find that a four digit number isn't too difficult to remember: the feedback we've had has been positive." A trial of the new technology in Northampton, which has seen the chip and PIN system in use in over 600 shops and more than 180,000 credit cards, has produced a favourable reaction among users. O'Brien said: "The consumer reaction in the Northampton trial has been that the system is easy – it's a no-brainer. We thought it would be more of a mountain than the molehill it turned out to be." Supermarket chain Safeway is also to introduce the chip and PIN technology throughout its UK stores following the success of its Northampton outlets involved in the trial.
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