EMV cards could transform PoS

Retailers are ignoring the potential of the new EMV-standard chip and PIN cards to revolutionise existing point-of-sale operations, according to a leading authority on smartcard operations.

Hyperion Consultants managing director David Birch said: 'People are simply looking on chip and PIN as a replacement swipe card and configuring systems as they have always been.

'But PIN gives an opportunity to rework the way EPoS systems work and enable a lot more unattended sales opportunities that will not suffer from 'cardholder not present' fraud risks.'

Birch argues that self-checkout operations could be simpler and more secure with PIN-based payments and predicts a major expansion of this type of operation.

He also cites the Britney Spears fan club in the US as another example of what could be achieved by lateral thinking: He says: 'Members are given a smartcard and reader to plug into their home computers. This gives them immediate access to a membership-only section of the fan club site.

'Chip and PIN cards could be used in very similar ways for Internet banking and home shopping, simplifying access to Web sites and improving users' perception of security.'