Bank Cards: Signature to PIN

17 July, 2014

From 1 August 2014, all financial institutions and bank cards will be expanding the use of PIN at point of sale (POS) and phase-out the signature as a form of verification on all Australian credit and debit cards. This move is called the PINWise initiative.

Many consumers have expressed concerns regarding the move to the mandatory use of PIN as it can create barriers to people living with dementia in going about daily activities such as shopping and banking.

Alzheimer’s Australia has been in contact with the major banks over the last few months in order to ascertain whether they will be offering alternative arrangements for those people with special needs including those with cognitive impairment. We are pleased that a number of the large banks, including ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac are planning to provide a sign only card to those customers with special needs.

It should be noted that the eligibility criteria as well as some differences in how the sign only cards can be used will differ between the banks.

It will therefore be necessary for consumers seeking a sign only card to contact their financial institution via telephone or visit their local branch as soon as possible in order to obtain more information about sign only cards.

For consumers seeking a sign only card, it may be beneficial to ask your financial institution the following questions:

• Do you provide a sign only card option? 
• How can I apply for a sign only card? 
• Can my sign only card be used at an ATM? 
• How long after arranging for a sign only card will I receive my new card? 
• Will I need to update my recurring payments from my previous card? 
• Is a PIN more secure than signature?

Further information about the move to PIN@POS can be obtained from:

PINWise -

ANZ – Further information can be obtained by ringing 13 13 14 or visiting a branch.

Commonwealth Bank – Further information can be obtained by ringing 13 2221 or visiting a branch.

NAB – Further information can be obtained by ringing 13 37 68 or visiting a branch.

Westpac – Further information can be obtained by ringing 1300 651 089 or visiting a branch.