Happy birthday Chip-and-Pin, one year old today

Chip-and-Pin, the credit and debit card technology touted as a means of better security for transactions, is one year old today. But experts said that fraudsters have moved to other means to defraud card account holders.

Latest figures from payment association APACS show that the UK's banks and card companies have now issued 138m Chip-and-Pin cards - 97 per cent of the UK's 142m payment cards. This is 8m more than were in circulation six months ago and over 30m more than eighteen months ago. The organisation said that remaining cards will be upgraded this year.

According to Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, the roll out of Chip-and-Pin has been "a tremendous success".

"It is now safer than ever to use your card when shopping, and far more difficult for fraudsters to get access to your money," she said.

Quinn added that the UK is leading the way in identifying and developing technology to counter card-related fraud. "We are fully committed to tackling card fraud in all its guises and will continue our work to enhance security across all types of payments," she said.

But experts said that companies need to be as vigilant as ever as the success of Chip-and-Pin means the threat landscape has changed, with hackers looking to use more sophisticated ways to steal information.

According to Steven Cox, principal consultant of security at software company CA, hackers are now targeting back-end systems as an easier way of stealing financial information.

"The danger with Chip-and-Pin is that the industry is breathing a sigh of relief but still has a lot to do to combat card-not-present (CNP) and other fraud," said Cox.

He urged merchants to download a copy of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards to enhance their security posture. He warned that following the guidelines of the standards was not a "tick the boxes" exercise as this would end up with companies spending more money than necessary on securing transactions.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.