According to PSD2, all face-to-face and online transactions need to be authenticated by Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) using two of the following authentication measures, unless they fall within an exemption.
- Knowledge (something only the customer knows) – like a password or PIN.
- Possession (something only the customer has) – like a mobile or card.
- Inherence (something unique to the customer) – like a fingerprint or their behavioural data.
Chip and PIN cards are compliant with PSD2 provisions. Instead of signing you can enter a secret four-digit PIN. Until all cards in Malta are chip and PIN, you would be able to pay for your goods or services either by signing to confirm payment (the process we are accustomed to) or entering the PIN at the trader’s terminal.
Some banks may only allow you to confirm payment by PIN, if your card is “chip & pin” enabled.
Where will the chip be and how can you know if your card has one?
Your card shall have a chip. The chip is buried inside the card but what you can see is the silver or gold coloured square on the front left-hand side of the card. There will be occasions when the person accepting your card for payment, whether in Malta or abroad will not be able to process a PIN transaction and you will be required to sign instead. Your card shall therefore retain its magnetic stripe and signature strip on the back. You might also be requested to present an identity card or passport to identify yourself to the vendor.
How does it work?
You will use your PIN card wherever you pay by card. The card shall be inserted in a PIN pad, and you just need to input your personal identification number for the transaction to go through. If you enter the PIN correctly, the system will confirm the transaction and you will be given a receipt.
Please remember that no one except you shall know your PIN. This includes retail or bank staff.
Some tips related to chip and pin cards:
Signature: Although your card has a chip, it is still advisable to sign on the card’s reverse, as the signature will continue to be used for verification in certain situations (e.g. travelling abroad to a country where chip and PIN is not used or where the retailer has not upgraded to chip and PIN).
The PIN: If you consider that you might have difficulties remembering the PIN defined by your bank, you can change to a number that is easier for you to remember. This change can be made at a cash point or by calling your bank. Your bank can also allow you to change the PIN at your ATM.
If even that way you have difficulties remembering your PIN, rather than learn it digit by digit, learn the pattern that you need to trace on the keypad with your fingers.