KUCHING: Retailers who have not switched to the new personal identification number (PIN)-based system for card transactions should do so now instead of waiting for the July 1 deadline.
Bank Negara payment systems policy department director Tan Nyat Chuan said signature verification would no longer be accepted for domestic transactions using locally-issued payment cards after July 1.
“Retailers stand to lose business if their payment counters are still unable to accept PIN-based payments after that.
In order to minimise disruption, they should get ready from now and start training their staff to facilitate PIN payments,” he told a media briefing at Bank Negara’s link and regional office here yesterday.
Tan said about 19% of merchants nationwide bypassed the PIN system for signature verification as of March 31, with the highest bypass rates in the hotel and food and beverage sectors.
However, he said there was a “healthy decline” in PIN bypass among retailers with the latest percentage believed to be single digit.
“We call on merchants in Kuching to do the same and switch to PIN so that the July 1 cutoff date will be a non-event here,” he said.
Tan said 99.6% of some 218,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals had been upgraded to the PIN system at the end of March, as well as all outdoor payment terminals at petrol stations.
He also said 91.6% of 24.5mil payment cards had been replaced with the new PIN-enabled cards as of end of March, leaving about two million yet to be replaced.
“We encourage these cardholders to change their cards as soon as possible. By July 1 the old cards will no longer be accepted for payments and by yearend they will not be accepted by ATMs,” he said.
He added that cardholders and merchants should start using the PIN system for transactions from now on so that any teething issues could be resolved before the deadline.
National Cards Group representative Winnie Khong said lack of awareness and training were among the reasons why merchants bypassed the PIN system.
“We are stepping up training and awareness at hotels and other merchants to encourage them to use PIN payments. For food and beverage merchants, a potential solution is to use wireless terminals that can be brought to customers’ tables,” she said.