05 September 2002 | David Arminas
Retailers in Northampton involved in a pilot project to cut credit card fraud have started to look at purchasing the IT hardware needed to run a new microchip payment process.
The Chip and Pin project, which is being set up by a group representing retailers and banks, is based on technology from Visa and Europay/Mastercard. A cardholder's details are held on a microchip instead of a magnetic strip and the user enters a personal identification number rather than a signature to complete the transaction.
Apacs, the bank payment association, estimates that credit card losses last year rose by 30 per cent last year to £141 million, and claims the project could cut this by half.
Retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Dixons and the Association of Train Operating Companies are working closely to ensure the start-up runs smoothly next year.
But although the British Retail Consortium, the retail trade body, is helping with the project, a spokesman said the heavy investment in card-swiping systems was a concern for all but the big stores.