Retail groups have insisted there will be no problems when chip and PIN becomes compulsory next month, despite evidence that many shoppers still don’t know their numbers.
From February 14, customers will no longer be able to sign for purchases when using cards.
A spokeswoman for the British Retail Consortium said that if customers did not know their PIN by that date, then it would be for a specific reason.
Only the disabled who cannot use the pad, foreigners and cardholders without chips will still be able to sign for their purchases after February 14.
A spokesman for the Chip and PIN Programme added that it was “quite unlikely” that shoppers would be turned away if they did not know their PIN, but urged customers to know their PIN to guarantee a sale.
However, Which? has claimed that consumers using credit cards would be less likely to know their PIN than those using debit cards.
Spokeswoman Naomi Newman said: “Consumers are less likely to know the PIN of their credit card. This is because consumers use their debit card at cash machines so are more likely to know their number.”
The Chip and PIN Programme this week said that by the end of last year, 99% of cardholders in the UK had at least one chip and PIN card and more than 80% of tills in the UK had been upgraded to the new system.
However, Waitrose is facing a race against time to get its system working. It has faced continual problems rolling out the system and last month suspended the programme.
A spokeswoman said the chain was still working with suppliers to resolve technical problems. “Trials across 13 branches are going well and we are confident that our interim system will be fully functional by PIN Day.”
Beth Brooks