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May 23, 2014

Visa to stop accepting signatures for New Zealand-issued credit cards

In a bid to strengthen security, Visa has decided to abandon option of using signature to authorize payment in New Zealand from later this year.

By Verdict Staff

In a bid to strengthen security, Visa has decided to abandon option of using signature to authorize payment in New Zealand from later this year.

Instead, the card-holders will be required to enter a personal identification number (PIN) to complete a purchase using Visa branded credit cards.

The US-company revealed that approximately 96% of its transactions use PIN over signature in New Zealand.

Visa country manager for New Zealand South Pacific, Caroline Ada, told New Zealand Herald that the move was part of a seven point security plan announced by the company in 2009.

"Where Visa card holders currently sign to authorise their purchases today, we are encouraging them to start using PIN instead," Ada added.

"This is about taking better advantage of the chip technology on Visa cards which is the international standard that provides the most security for electronic payments today. It is through the chip that PIN and contactless transactions are made at the point-of-sale," Ada further explained.

Without stating a deadline for PIN migration, Visa said that the banks and financial institutions should decide when they will stop processing signature payments, while executing PIN transactions.

The change only affects Visa cards issued in New Zealand, international tourists visiting the country may still need to sign.

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