New Zealander shoppers with Visa credit cards will soon have to enter a PIN to verify their transactions.

Visa will be phasing out signed receipts in place of mandatory personal identification numbers from October next year.

"The move to PIN is aimed at reducing lost and stolen card fraud," said Caroline Ada, Visa's New Zealand country manager.

The company believes the move will help tackle fraud because it is more difficult to replicate smart chips and PINs than magnetic strips and signatures.

Ada said more than 90 per cent of Visa transactions already used PIN and cardholders were being encouraged to move away from signing.


Visa, Mastercard and other credit card companies have been pushing to get a higher percentage of credit card sales verified by PIN in Australia.

Their view is that it is easy to forge signatures and sales staff do not always double-check signatures at the time of purchase.

The changes come at the same time as new technology is being introduced to make payments faster and easier.

Visa and Mastercard have both now issued cards which enable shoppers to buy nearly $80 worth of goods on a credit card without having to sign or use a Pin number.

Tony Arthur, head of retail at BNZ, said contactless payment technology was less than two-years old in New Zealand but was well established in other countries.

All the evidence was that the 'wave and go' cards were more secure than PIN or signature transactions, he said.

"We've not seen any increased risk overseas and certainly haven't seen any here. From out perspective, it offers better customer experience and we don't see any added risk."

Arthur said BNZ had systems in place to monitor any unusual activity on a cardholder's account.


"If we saw a sudden ramp up in the number of transactions, that would certainly raise internal flags."

If a customer was robbed of their card through no fault of their own, and the thief used it to make transactions, BNZ would reimburse the victim, he said.

There are now nearly 10,000 'wave and go' terminals nationwide including at BP, Countdown, Kmart, Farmers, Hallensteins, Glassons, Bunnings and The Warehouse.