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November 08, 2004


CardThere's safety in numbers, according to the TV and print advertisements designed to encourage us all to embrace Chip-and-PIN charging systems. But Sneak has discovered that there is also considerable confusion in the system as well. Picture the scene: it's time to pay after a large and now rather drunk party has enjoyed a lengthy meal. As often happens, ten cards are proffered, for the bill to be split. The waiter pokes the first card into a handheld chip-reading machine and keys in the amount to be paid. It then demands the customer's PIN. Only then does the waiter realise that, because the metal chip-contacts are positioned at the same, right-hand end of the card as the customer's name and the bank's logo - all of which are now inside the slot of the machine - he has no idea whose PIN is needed. "Err, whose is the blue MasterCard?" he asks. "Mine," answer three people, not very helpfully. The waiter is forced to cancel the transaction, whip the card out, note the name, and start again. Fine, of course, except that he is a slow learner and repeats the mistake on the next three cards as well. Hilarious at the time, but in hindsight an interesting object lesson in the dangers of blindly adding functions to existing systems, without considering the new user-interaction requirements. Perhaps the banks might consider moving the cardholder name to the opposite end of the card?

November 8, 2004 in Top tips | Permalink


The only problem with chip+pin is this...
how much succure is putting your pin in at the till then when taking money out of the cash machine. Both methods use the same pin and both can be viewed over the users shoulder!
Maybe I am the only one that has thought of this but it's not the most succure method of transactions.
The banks and police always warn people not to give theives a chance and let people see you enter your pin into the machine.
I feel less succure using chip+pin in shops as everyone can see what you enter. It will take one egal eye to see this, beat me up and steal my wallet and pop off to the nearest bank and withdraw all my money.

What do you think...?

Posted by: SEAN KELLY | 16 Nov 2004 15:48:08

Loads of small shops have cameras all over the place, often pointing at the counter, how many of them are getting a nice recorded view of every pin number typed in..................


Posted by: ken | 17 Nov 2004 22:41:18

People just need to get used to Chip&Pin. Personally, I love it - you wouldn't write your pin on your card in case of theft, but you're OK with a copiable signature on the card.
As someone who works in a bar and is very careful about signature checking, I know there are a lot of cards with no signature on (strip rubs off), which people are happy to use (and accept) Personally, I don't accept them, but there's no messing about with PIN - it's either there or it isn't.
As for people peeping over your shoulder, just be aware of your surroundings, and take the same precautions you would at the hole in the wall. Simple.
Also, becasue the reader's in front of you, the card doesn't need to be out of your sight ever - goodbye skimming!

Posted by: David Miller | 22 Nov 2004 00:57:18

Is it true that the banks/credit card companies are making the cardholder pay for any fraudulent charges on their chip and pin cards, and if so, why? If "their" new technology is so tamper proof, what are they afraid of? Personally, I'm starting to feel a "stand and deliver" situation coming on but I can't tell who the highway robber really is!!!

Posted by: Janice | 31 Jan 2005 12:11:30


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