Friday, October 05, 2007

Chip and pin the blame

Marketing comes in many forms. I listened to a talk about credit card fraud today. The presenter spouted the usual guides about being careful with the security of your actual card, about hiding your PIN, all the obvious stuff.

Throughout the presentation, the lady from the bank constantly emphasised that she was on our side, that the interests of the banks and its customers were completely aligned. While I agree that it is in both sides' interest to reduce fraud, she was nevertheless somewhat disingenuous.

Because we are not always on the same side. She works for the bank, we customers fund the bank. And when there is a query, when they claim that you conducted a particular transaction, when you claim that you did not, then it is not a win-win scenario - one party is right, one party is wrong, one party has to pay up.

Back in the old days, when there was a disputed credit card transaction, there was always a paper trail with your signature. It was relatively easy to provide evidence. In the new chip-and-pin world there is no audit record. Each transaction could have kept a signature too for added customer security. But they only chip and pin to reduce their costs, not to increase your protection.

If you dispute a transaction, it is now your word against the banks' allegation. Investigation costs money. And I know which side can afford the better lawyers.


Faisal said...

Forgers and banks know that a signature proves nothing.

RNB said...

Yes. The more of an audit trail that we leave, the more secure is our transaction, but the more it costs the bank to maintain.