New Credit Card Legislation in Australia

I only bring this subject up here because on another travel site I found that Americans are totally unaware that from August 1st 2014 in Australian signatures will not be accepted by retailers for credit card purchases.

The problem for American tourists after August 1st will not be whether their CC is a chip or swipe but whether or not they have a 4 digit pin number. After August 1st no retailer in Australia will be able to accept a signature. This new law was put in place to try and eliminate credit card fraud not to pick on Americans. Most of Europe also now require pins and some retailers will not accept a signature.

The world is changing and to enjoy your next overseas holiday you too will have to change the way you use your credit card.


  • edited June 2014
    Hmmmm… interesting. I phoned Amex just this week to ask about this and they told me that since my card expires in November, that's when I'll be issued with a new one. I didn't even realise the amex card didn't have a chip. Must be one of the last ones in the cycle. Off to ring them again.

    Thanks for the reminder, Rod.



    Update: New card, new pin on the way before overseas travel. Interestingly, today's call was answered in Australia. The earlier call had switched through to Phoenix where they told me to do nothing, just wait for the card to be reissued. Without your tip-off, Rod, I would have been stuck overseas with no Amex card to pay the hotel bills. Charming. A very bad case of miss-information. Moral ….. check your CCs, people!
  • edited June 2014
    In the US, AMEX, upon request, has been providing pin and chip cards to holders of Platinum (and Reserve?) cards for a year or more, they just don't advertise that fact. When I checked with them last year they said they had no plan or had not developed a plan to convert their other tiers of cards to pin & chip. Only a few other card issuers in the US are providing these cards (upon request), lucking one is USAA, my insurance company, so I'm all set.

    From what I read, the big hold up, at least in the US is not the card technology or cost- it won't be cheap to make millions of cards, but it only costs a few cents more to make a chip card- it is the difficulty and cost replacing or upgrading the legacy card reader systems and communications at the POS.

    What is interesting about the EMV smart card technology (pin & chip system), is that it was developed by the major credit card companies- Europay, MasterCard, Visa. One bit of resistance is that when they first transitioned to P&C, the credit card companies shifted responsibility for fraud to users- a fraudulent use was deemed to be the user's fault because the user must have revealed his PIN. The new cards have helped reduce credit card fraud. According to Wiki, fraud has been reduced in France by 80%. Of course, pin & chip will do nothing for online credit card fraud.
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