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credit card machines: uk take on this

updated sat 5 feb 05


Janet Kaiser on fri 4 feb 05

It is worth knowing, that manual swipe machines
are being phased out in the UK and may only to be
used by their approved Merchants in emergencies,
such as power cuts or telephone outage. It is
also next to impossible to save on the required
electronic equipment, because it is on hire for a
monthly fee from each Service Provider (for
example Barclays Merchant Service). Now Clients
are required to key in their PIN (Personal
Identity Number) at the POS (Point of Sale)
credit/debit cards are not even "swiped" in the
UK anymore!

I am not certain how long this new procedure will
continue, because confidentiality issues are
still unclear. Last week I was in a shop where
the salesperson passed the PIN gizmo up and over
the counter for me to key in my number. It was up
high at shoulder level with no more cord to
stretch further, so anyone standing behind me
could easily see which four digits I keyed into
the calculator-style keypad before hitting
"enter". It would have been clear enough to be
picked up by security cameras too... I can also
see it would have been easy for someone to
relieve me of my card, because I quickly shoved
that into a coat pocket, so I could receive the
package of goods from "on high"...

I know for a fact that people are now writing
their PIN down to carry about with them, whereas
before they just avoided using cash machines
(hole in the wall type). A credit/debit card with
handy PIN in the same purse/wallet? Well of
course that is silly... But just look how many
people keep their passwords stuck in their desk
drawer or even on the side of their screen!
Nothing bad is going to happen to them, right?


Janet Kaiser

>They don't need to be expensive at all. We have
a manual swipe
>provided free by the company (Retriever). We
take the card, do the
>appropriate paperwork, swipe, use our cell phone
to call for the
>approval, that's it. While all fees seem high,
Retriever isn't as bad
>as a lot of them.
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Contact: Janet Kaiser: The International Potters

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