Saturday 4 February 2023

Use of PIN for card payments pushed to May

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4 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) – Central Bank, announced this Friday that the use of the PIN for card transactions greater than ¢30 thousand will be gradually introduced starting in May.

Earlier this week the Central Bank had announced a start date of February 1. See our report Consumers must enter PIN starting in February.

“100% of the dataphones located in the shops must be updated so that the client enters their PIN (password) when making a purchase; it was agreed that this obligation must be fulfilled between May 1, 2022, and February 1, 2023,” said Carlos Melegatti, director of the BCCR Payment System Division.

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This, as of May 1, businesses will be able to ask customers to enter their card’s PIN at the dataphone exclusively in those cases in which both the card used and the dataphone have the functionality to process the PIN.

Currently, for transactions greater than ¢30 thousand, customers are required to show their identification (cedula, DIMEX, passport or other) and sign the proof of payment (voucher).

The introduction of the PIN as validation for transactions for larger amounts will only initially affect a very small percentage of people and transactions:

  • In the first place, currently, transactions greater than ¢30 thousand represent barely 10% of all card payment transactions.
  • In addition, the change will only affect people who have cards with the functionality of processing the PIN. The cards will be replaced by the financial entities, gradually, upon expiration or in the event that the client requests their replacement. In order to speed up the replacement of cards and to protect their cardholders, some issuing financial institutions began this process several months ago, so that some customers already have debit or credit cards with the functionality of requesting the PIN at the point of sale (dataphone).
  • As of July 1, 2022, every new card that is issued will have the ability to request the PIN for purchases in stores.

Finally, the implementation of the PIN requires preparing the entire infrastructure of the payment card system.

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