Visa to Phase Out Signature Purchases, Enhance Online Payment Security in New Zealand

April 23, 2010

Visa announced last week, beginning in April 2010, all credit cards it issues in New Zealand will be chip and PIN cards. It added that debit cards will be upgraded to the technology in 2012. Visa cited the enhanced security of chip and PIN technology that most of the rest of the world is using as an impetus for making the switch, along with benefits to consumers. Sean Preston, country manager, New Zealand, Visa, said the move to chip and PIN was part of a comprehensive security agenda that also includes initiatives to enhance the security of online transactions. Cardholders will be enabled to use a Verified by Visa password when shopping over the Internet. Online retailers will be required to capture the three-digit cardholder verification number when processing transactions, while small and medium sized businesses will be required to enhance their levels of data security. “While card fraud in New Zealand remains low by world standards, overseas criminals are becoming increasingly active in seeking out new arenas. The time is right to take advantage of the new technologies available to work across the industry, with banks and merchants, to strengthen security across the board,” Preston said.