Visa has announced plans to switch all New
Zealand Visa cards over to chip and PIN technology over the next
four years in a bid to reduce card fraud.

Sean Preston, Visa’s Country Manager for New
Zealand said: “From April 2010, all new Visa credit cards issued in
New Zealand will feature secure embedded smart chips to give New
Zealanders a higher level of confidence in the security of their
transactions. This will be followed by the upgrade of Visa debit
and reloadable prepaid cards from April 2012.”

Signatures at the checkout will no longer be
valid from 2012, however signatures would still be accepted on
overseas-issued magnetic stripe or chip cards without PINs.

The switch is part of a security agenda that
also includes initiatives to enhance the security of online
transactions. Cardholders will be enabled to use a Verified by Visa
password when shopping over the internet. Online retailers will be
required to capture the three-digit cardholder verification number
when processing transactions, while small and medium sized
businesses will be required to enhance their levels of data