Chip & sPIN arrives in Australia next month

Cardholders will be able to use their PINs in Australia at most retailers from June 4 onwards, Visa International has announced.

The good news is that, unlike in the UK, where punters don't get a choice, consumers on Australia will be able to choose whether they use a PIN or a signature to verify their transactions.

According to Visa, this brings Australia into line with the UK, New Zealand, Korea and Japan.

"We expect cardholders will take up the option to use PIN because of the added speed and convenience it offers," said Bruce Mansfield, Visa's strategic innovations general manager for Asia Pacific.

Maybe, but the Australian banks have decided that punters will have a choice of whether they want to use signatures or PINs, and not force PINs on a majority of the card user base, as has happened in the UK.

It will be interesting to see how Australia's card fraud levels compare to those of the UK in a couple of years' time.

My guess is that they will be lower, but I suspect APACS in the UK would predict otherwise.

No surprise there then -Ed.