Cashpoints face Chip & PIN woe

With the January Chip & PIN deadline approaching, only a fraction of bank cashpoint machines have been converted to cope with the technology.

While a national advertising campaign encourages cardholders to change their PIN to something more memorable, customers are being warned that many ATMs will not be ready for changing PINs.

When one Capital One customer had his card swallowed by a Nationwide ATM, he was told next time only to change the PIN at Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB or NatWest. Nationwide said there had been limited problems, but hoped they would be resolved by January.

According to Visa Europe vice-president and head of payment and market services Greg Twitcher, 13,000 of the 34,000 cashpoints monitored by Visa have been converted to Chip and PIN.

Visa's goal is to make sure that 75 per cent are converted by the January 1 deadline.

MasterCard associate vice -president for Northern Europe Tim Stuart said most of the Link network, which accounts for 51,682 ATMs, is not yet converted for MasterCard.

'It is up to the acquiring banks when they want to convert. We have put in place the incentives, such as liability shift and interchange differential, but we do not mandate the migration,' he said.

Link has demanded that all ATM acquirers in its network are certified for Chip and PIN by the end of the year.

A spokesman said a number of ATM acquirers had been certified as compliant for its ATM estate, but said this does not necessarily mean all of its ATMs will have been switched on to cope with Chip and PIN.