The majority of retailers have not had Chip and PIN installations accredited by their acquiring bank, with only four months to go until the deadline.
'The latest update I have is that more than 30 UK retailers are accredited. Many more are undergoing accreditation,' said MasterCard associate vice-president for Northern Europe Tim Stuart.
As retailers freeze IT upgrades over Christmas, demand for certification could be heavy over the next couple of months.
At Woolworths, which completed accreditation of its fixed tills on Monday, director of MIS Tony Godwin warned that the certification process took longer than expected. He said: 'Our accreditors are more than a little stretched right now, and its essential to book them for the accreditation process as quickly as possible.'