Chip and Pin cards set to ease buyers' credit fraud fears

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The Independent Online

More than half of all credit card users feel vulnerable when paying for goods with plastic at market stalls, restaurants and petrol stations. But they feel much safer doing so at cinemas, theatres, railway stations and electrical retailers.

More than half of all credit card users feel vulnerable when paying for goods with plastic at market stalls, restaurants and petrol stations. But they feel much safer doing so at cinemas, theatres, railway stations and electrical retailers.

These are the main findings of a new survey by MasterCard, the US-based international payments company. The main concerns are when the card disappears from view and people feel that there is a risk that their card might be stolen or skimmed. Nearly nine in ten cited the fact that their card disappears temporarily in restaurants, a problem worrying nearly seven in ten pub-goers and 57 per cent of hotel guests. But this was less of a problem at petrol stations or market stalls.

In all the top five most feared fraud hot spots, between 55 per cent and 63 per cent worried about their card being stolen or skimmed.

More than one in two said they lacked confidence in the integrity of market stallholders, a factor bothering a third of pub and petrol station customers. These locations also regularly gave rise to dislike of being overlooked when they are filling out or signing a card slip.

MasterCard is currently promoting the introduction of the Chip and Pin system, where instead of signing cardholders key in a four-digit Personal Identification Number (Pin). This eliminates the possibility of retailers accepting a counterfeit signature. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be more likely to use debit and credit cards to pay for meals under the new system, and slightly more said it would encourage them to use plastic to pay hotel bills.

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