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UK smart card deadline set to 2004

And guess who'll foot the bill?
Written by Pia Heikkila, Contributor

And guess who'll foot the bill?

UK retailers have to be smart card-compliant by the end of 2004 and consumers may end up footing the bill. All point-of-sale (POS) devices have to be integrated with a smart card reader which ensures better transaction security. This upgrading process involves a number of changes in both hardware and software. Like many technology migration plans, it might become a cost retailers prefer to cover with price increases. Speaking at the CarteS event held this week in Paris, John Rozek, marketing manager at Retail Logic, a smart card software vendor said: "Retailers will have to have hardware which can run smart card software, a card reader and a piece of software which talks between the two. "The cost is heavily dependent on what sort of till hardware the shop already has as well as how many tills needs upgrading." Steve Price, manager of chip architecture at Visa, said some smaller retailers rent their equipment from banks which would mean the banks are forced to hike up their rent charges. He told silicon.com: "Banks will have to cover the cost of technology upgrade somehow. Some retailers own their own equipment, some rent them from banks. "Depending on the retailer's hardware situation, they will have a different overhead, so it is up to them to decide how they'll get the cost back." EMV, the consortium which oversees all credit card standards developments, in said all POS machines must be migrated to the chip architecture by 1 January 2005 otherwise the retailer will be liable for any fraud involving card transactions.
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