Bank Negara Malaysia Wants You To Stop Signing When Paying With Your Card. Here's Why

Don't wait until the 1 July 2017 deadline.

Cover image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images (Edited)

You've probably noticed for quite a while now that when we pay using our debit or credit card, most cashiers don't take the time to verify our signature

Image via Reddit

Which oftentimes leaves us wondering what would happen if our cards fell into the wrong hands...

Image via Amino Apps

The fact that it isn't common practice by cashiers to crosscheck the signature on the card and on the bill means that it would be ridiculously easy for fraudulent charges to be made to your cards.

Additionally, some merchants swipe the card's magnetic stripe to capture the customer's details during the payment process, but this brings into question a host of privacy-related issues as the cardholder's details are exposed to the merchant.

As a way to add that much-needed security boost to payments via card, Bank Negara Malaysia is requiring retailers in Malaysia to move towards offering a PIN-enabled payment option

Look out for this sign to know whether a payment terminal is equipped to process PIN-enabled payments.

Image via The Association of Banks in Malaysia

With this, cardholders can authorise payment by entering a 6-digit PIN, instead of signing. The change is aimed at improved security for cardholders and keeps Malaysia aligned with global best practices.

Another advantage of PIN & PAY is that the card never leaves the cardholder’s hands. This would mitigate the risk of the retailer mishandling or swiping the card for card details.

Effective 1 July 2017, payment terminals across Malaysia will only accept PIN-enabled transactions. However, there's no reason to wait until then to stop using the signature option.

After 1 July 2017, signatures will no longer be accepted as a form of payment authorisation. Given the higher security level that comes with the PIN option, you can already stop using the signature method starting now and switch to the PIN method instead.

If you are a merchant, start training your customers to use their PIN to avoid losing business come July

Customers will not be able to make card purchases if they have not activated their PIN-enabled cards by 1 July 2017. Hence, merchants play a key role to ease the transition by training customers to use their PIN to authorise every card transaction.

For increased security and to benefit from zero liability protection**, take note of these tips when making a payment using your PIN-enabled cards:

Protect your card:
- Never leave your card unattended or allow another person to handle your card.
- Always insert the card into the terminal yourself.
- When given the option between authorising via signature or via PIN, always opt for PIN.
- In the event that the cashier offers you the option to bypass keying in the PIN, insist on completing the payment using the PIN method.

Protect your PIN:
- Don't share your PIN information with another person.
- Always cover the keypad when entering your PIN.
- Don't keep your PIN information on your payment card (or on anything that could be lost or stolen with the payment card).

Report immediately:
- Notify your bank immediately if your payment card is lost or stolen, or an unauthorised transaction has occurred.

** Note: If you practice the above safety tips and have not acted fraudulently, you will not be made liable for any unauthorised transactions

By now, most banks in Malaysia have issued new PIN-enabled cards to users

Image via Imgur

Have yet to receive yours? Get in touch with your bank immediately to get your new card and activate your PIN!

Need more information on the new PIN & PAY feature? Click here.

Image via PIN & PAY

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