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PIN it down for Valentine's Day.

RETAILERS will be able to decline payments by credit and debit cards from Valentine's Day next year if holders do not know their four-digit PIN number, it was announced today. From February 14, 2006, consumers with the new-style chip and PIN cards will have to use their PIN to verify a purchase - and may not be given the option of signing a receipt instead.

The Chip and PIN Programme said the introduction of the new cards had helped to reduce fraud on lost stolen and counterfeit cards by nearly a third during the first six months of this year to pounds 89.9million.

Spokeswoman Sandra Quinn said: "This is the final phase of the successful chip and PIN roll out.

"More than nine out of ten people have a chip and PIN card and there are a hundred successful chip and PIN transactions per second.

"Using chip and PIN has already cut fraud. Now we want to close off even more opportunities for the fraudster."

She said 97 per cent of transactions on chip and PIN debit cards and 89 per cent on chip and PIN credit cards were currently verified using a four digit number.

The announcement today was aimed at customers who were not yet using their PINs.

The Chip and PIN Programme is launching an advertising campaign to alert consumers to the February 14 date and encouraging them to find out what their PIN is and use it, as well as offering hints on how to remember the number.

The campaign will run for four months and include online information, a customer leaflet, a PR campaign and the distribution of material for shop staff.

Once the February deadline has passed people with old-style cards that have not yet been upgraded will still be able to sign to verify a purchase, and people with the new cards may still have to sign at outlets where the technology has not yet been installed or if they are using their cards abroad.

Disabled or elderly customers with a chip and signature card will also continue to sign rather than verify purchases with a PIN

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HISTORY: Signing receipts is on the way out
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 11, 2005
Words:364
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