from David Figg, IBM retail consultant, retail store solutions
Sir; Siân Harrington's article on the looming deadline for Chip and PIN technology ( Chips are down in fraud wars', The Grocer, November 30, p14) has underlined concerns that many retailers seem to be acting too slowly in the race for completion of the project which promises to protect them from the cost of instore fraud.
While smaller retailers may be able to complete the migration in less than one year, major retailers need to devote substantial time (up to 18 months) to defining, testing, piloting and rolling out new systems.
The article highlighted an overlooked, but critical point ­ although a 25-month deadline appears easy to meet, once one takes the Christmas retail hiatus into account, retailers who hesitate too long over the inevitable run the risk of missing the 2005 deadline.
IBM's advice to retailers, based on our work with Safeway, is to put an implementation plan in place as soon as possible to take advantage of the business benefits that migration to the Europay Mastercard Visa (EMV) standard will bring. EMV tackles the growing problems caused by card fraud and I believe that retailers have little choice but to implement the standard on time. EMV need not be an imposition and retailers really must move fast to explore the business opportunities that will be associated with implementation.
Otherwise they will find themselves alone at the starting blocks, still footing the bill for fraud.

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