Retailers in Australia are being urged to ensure they are prepared for the impending PINwise Industry Security Initiative due to come into action on August 1.

There are now less than 100 days left before PIN becomes the main form of card authorisation at point-of-sale in Australia.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Executive Director Russell Zimmerman explained the move away from signatures as a form of verification is good news for retailers across the country.

“The move to PIN is about strengthening payment security across Australia and takes advantage of the ‘chip’ technology on Australian payment cards. This initiative will help protect consumers and retailers alike from fraudsters,” he revealed in an April 29 media release.

Security is a vital consideration in any retail strategy, as data breaches and card information thefts can significantly impact on a business’s reputation. Additionally, recent retail research has shown security violations can damage consumer trust, with nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of customers saying they would not trust a retailer after a breach, according to American Consumer Credit Counselling.

Fortunately, the industry-wide adoption of PIN verification is expected to significantly boost payment security. From August 1, all of Australia’s 800,000 merchant payment terminals will undergo a software update. Most of the expense of upgrading POS terminals will be covered by the terminal’s provider, Mr Zimmerman explained.

“While the financial institutions will be communicating the change to their customers, those businesses that may require new technology should proactively speak to their terminal provider about upgrading their equipment to ensure that they’re ready for increased PIN use by August,” he said.

Retailers in Australia can access a gallery of artwork and promotional material designed to promote the change. Mr Zimmerman recommends business owners take the time to select a few images and display them in their own stores.

“This collateral aims to inform customers of the need to get ready for the switch to PIN, and to take action before August 1,” he explained.

These promotional documents can be accessed on the official PINwise website.

“The ARA encourages the retail industry to embrace this change as reducing fraud saves both time and money, allowing retailers to get on with the job of doing business,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.