[Dave Birch] There are some strange things going on in the world of chip and PIN. First of all, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) Retail Crime Survey for 2006 shows that card fraud in Scotland’s convenience stores has gone up by 54% since the introduction of chip and PIN, an increase for which they can provide no explanation, which is even more odd considering that card fraud is continuing to fall at other kinds of retailers. I’m really, really curious to know if anyone has any theories. Second of all, the issuer of one of my UK credit cards called…

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I know it was them, because I wasn’t in and they left a message on my answering machine: this is the security department of bank X, we’d just like to confirm a couple of transactions as a standard anti-fraud check, or words to that effect. I called back using a number I know to be them (because I got it from my last statement). So it wasn’t phishing. One of the transactions was a Paypal payment earlier today. Yes, that was me. I use Paypal several times every week, so it wasn’t obvious why this particular twenty pound transaction should attract attention, but OK, I know they’re just looking out for me and I don’t mind at all (in fact, it’s reassuring). But the second transaction was a chip and PIN payment at my local supermarket last Sunday morning.

Now there was nothing wrong with the transaction, as I was happy to reassure them. But after I hung up the phone, I started to wonder: why would the artificial intelligence neural network database driven heuristic anti-fraud software flag up a chip and PIN transaction where the correct PIN had been entered? Unless the said system either a) doesn’t know which transactions are chip and PIN and which transactions are stripe or b) knows which transactions are chip and PIN but is concerned about chip and PIN clones. Being a payments nerd, I’m curious: has anyone else had a similar call recently?

My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public. [posted with ecto]

1 comment

  1. When I was still in England the staff at my local Spar shop admitted they memorised all the pin numbers of their older customers and those customers relied on the staff to remind them of their numbers

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