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PINWise: PIN at point of sale from 1 August 2014

The card industry is phasing out the use of signature for Point of Sale (POS) transactions for all debit and credit cards issued in Australia. This initiative called PINWise is being introduced to help reduce the risk of card fraud.

From 1 August 2014, PIN will become the main form of card payment authorisation in Australia when you process credit and debit card transactions through your EFTPOS terminal.

The industry wide move to expand PIN at POS and phase-out the signature as form of verification on Australian credit and debit cards will take place over a short transition period from 1 August 2014, as POS terminals migrate and take on these new changes.

In the lead up to 1 August 2014, you should encourage customers to use PIN instead of signing. Any cardholders without a PIN will need to contact their bank.

What is changing?

Customers using a credit or debit card at a Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal will no longer have the option to sign for purchases; a Personal Identification Number (PIN) will be required to be entered at a POS terminal in Australia, with only a few exceptions.  Changes will be made to your Commbank EFTPOS terminal to reflect a PIN-only option for authorising debit and credit card transactions.

When will the changes come into effect on my CommBank EFTPOS terminal?

Changes will be progressively rolled out to CommBank POS terminals to prompt for PIN instead of signature from 1 August and will be completed by 20 October 2014.

During this period, some merchants may not have all their terminals changed at the same time. If the changes haven’t been received by your POS terminal, transactions authorised using a signature will still be approved.

From 20 October 2014, card transactions performed at a POS terminal will be declined by the cardholder’s issuing bank when a PIN is not used for authorisation.


From 1 September to 20 October 2014, we will be disabling Deferred tipping on all terminals and migrating merchants who process tips using ‘Deferred Tipping’ to Pay-at-Table’ tipping.  This change will be applied to your EFTPOS terminal along with the change to reflect a PIN-only option for authorizing credit and debit card transactions.

From 20 October 2014, all transactions made at a POS terminal will require a PIN.  From this date onwards, all merchants will be required to use Pay-at-Table tipping to receive tips.

Deferred tipping is “tipping with signature”.

This is where a Merchant will take the customer’s card back to their counter and do a pre-authorisation transaction on their EFTPOS terminal for the amount of the bill. Then they print a receipt for their customer to sign (usually at their table) and handwrite a tip on. Next they take the receipt back to the counter and finalise the transaction by adding the tip amount on the EFTPOS terminal.

Pay-at-Table tipping is “tipping with PIN”. 

Once your terminal has been changed to Pay-at-Table tipping, the bill amount is entered into the terminal by the merchant, the tip is entered directly into the terminal by the customer and the customer then authorises the total payment consisting of the bill and tip with their PIN.  The total payment is then processed as a debit to the customer’s account.

If you currently have a fixed line terminal, Pay-at-Table tipping will require you to have the customer complete the payment where your EFTPOS terminal is physically located.  For more convenience, you may want to upgrade to one of our Mobile or Bluetooth portable terminals which will give you the ability to take the terminal to the customer (at their table).

How will I know when a PIN is required on an EFTPOS terminal I am using?

All you need to do is follow the prompts on the terminal which will guide you as to when a PIN is required.

Which transaction types require a PIN?

  • Any purchases, pre-authorisations and cash-out transactions using a domestically issued American Express, MasterCard® or Visa Chip enabled credit or debit card, where the card is inserted into the terminal.
  • Domestically issued signature preferred Chip enabled cards. These cards may be issued by certain financial institutions to accommodate special needs of individual cardholders and are subject to specific criteria.
  • Mail Order/Telephone Order (Moto) transactions.
  • Contactless transactions under $100 (Visa payWave, MasterCard® PayPass™ or American Express Contactless).
  • Refund transactions.
  • Pre-Authorisation completions (i.e. completing the purchase once the pre-authorisation has already taken plan).
  • Transactions using some international cards.
  • Manual/Magstripe transactions (i.e. where a merchant swipes the magnetic strip on non-chip cards). For example:  some pre-paid cards and gift cards.
  • Low Value Payments (only some merchants have this functionality turned on for low value transactions).
  • Transactions from some unattended terminals (e.g. some parking meters or vending machines).
  • Online (e-Commerce) Transactions.

PINwise ‘Get Ready’ printable materials now available

A range of printable materials are now available for you to download and print for your business by clicking on the links below.
You can also register via the PINwise website to receive further information on how to participate in their Merchant Program and receive a PINwise POS support kit.


These changes are for Australian issued cards only.  Your terminal will continue to process all other transactions as normal.

This is a Card Industry driven initiative. Transactions processed using a PIN are much safer than signing, reducing the number of disputed and fraudulent transactions you may experience.

PIN transactions are also faster to process, thereby reducing the time your customers are standing in line.

The changes are going to be progressively rolled out to CommBank POS terminals from 1 August and will be completed by the 20 October 2014. During this period, if the changes haven’t been received by your POS terminal, transactions authorised using a signature will still be approved. 

From 20 October 2014, card transactions performed at a POS terminal will be declined by the cardholder’s bank when a PIN is not used for authorisation.

You should direct your customers to use a PIN from 1 August 2014.

All Australian issued credit and debit cards including MasterCard®, Visa, American Express and Diners Club Cards will require a PIN as authorisation.

Always ask your customers if they would like to PIN.

If you have a CommBank terminal, you don’t need to do anything.  We will apply the necessary changes to your terminal automatically.

If you do not use a CommBank terminal, you need to contact your terminal provider to ensure they are making the relevant changes and they will be completed in time.

No, changes relate to transactions where the card and cardholder is present. Telephone or mail order transactions are not impacted as cardholders should not disclose their PIN to anyone.

Note: Always take steps to verify that the cardholder is who they say they are when processing MOTO transactions.

Cardholders need to ensure that they have a PIN that they can remember. If they don’t have a PIN, or can’t remember it, they need to contact their bank.

If you have a CommBank personal card visit to find out how to set or change your PIN.

If you have a CommBank Corporate card visit

If a cardholder does not have a PIN, you will need to advise them to contact their bank.  Until the change is in effect on your terminal and prior to October 18th 2014, you will still be able to process the transaction with the cardholder signing. 

Once the update has been applied to your terminal, you will need to accept another form of payment and advise the cardholder to contact their bank and get a PIN.

If you have a CommBank terminal which does not accept chip cards, contact the Merchant HelpDesk on 1800 230 177 and we will arrange for your terminal to be upgraded.

If you own your own terminal, you will need to contact your terminal provider to arrange for your terminal to be upgraded.

Deferred tipping or “tipping with signature” won’t work because it uses a signature rather than a PIN as the card authorisation method. The transaction will therefore be declined. From August 2014, the customer will always need to be able to enter their PIN directly into the EFTPOS terminal at the time the transaction is processed.

The advantage of pay-at-table tipping (“tipping with PIN”) is that only one transaction is required on the EFTPOS terminal, saving you time. Merchants also have the choice to take the terminal to their customer (at their table) or to ask their customers to pay at a counter.

The advantage for cardholders is that the tip is processed at the same time as the bill, so they know exactly how much they’ve been charged. They’ll see the total of the bill and tip as just one transaction in their bank account. 

This is an Australia wide mandate by the Card Industry which all Financial Institutions need to adhere to. This means no-one will be able to offer deferred tipping once the mandate is in place.  

Best practise for the bar and hospitality industry is to seek payment from the cardholder via contactless methods. This discreet method of payment is easy, quick and will ensure that drinks are paid for as served, ensuring no surprises at the end of the night.

All CommBank terminals have contactless functionality, ensuring that you can focus on serving your customers and not worrying about other issues. 

You can refer to the Industry PINwise website.


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Important information

As this advice has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Merchant Agreement, Financial Services Guide and Operator and User Guides at our Merchant Support Centre.