Phone PIN reminder service for Irish credit card users

11 May 2006

Credit card giant MBNA has become the first major credit card issuer in Ireland to allow customers with chip and PIN credit cards access their personal identification number (PIN) over the phone.

The company says that the new service enables users who have forgotten their PIN to ring and obtain the PIN immediately rather than wait for it to be sent through the post. MBNA says it will continue to provide PINs to customers via post or online.

MBNA customers who call into MBNA’s call centre will be given the option to obtain their PIN in real-time through the phone banking service.

Chip and PIN cardholders in Ireland are currently able to bypass PIN verification and use a signature as an alternative. However, in the near future the industry is likely to switch off the ability to use a signature as an alternative method of authorisation for chip and PIN cardholders, which means that cardholders will have to use their PIN to be sure of being able to pay with their chip and PIN cards.

Brendan Jones, head of Smart Card Strategy at MBNA Europe, said: “The ability to obtain a PIN over a telephone represents a significant customer service development for MBNA cardholders. Customers can now request their PIN when they require it rather than having to wait for one to be sent through the post. This will be particularly beneficial when a customer finds himself or herself in a situation where they are unable to remember their PIN.

“It is likely that in the future Chip and PIN cardholders in Ireland will be required to use their PIN whenever they make a purchase and won’t be able to use a signature as an alternative, as now the case in the UK, so it is vitally important that customers remember their PIN at all times and avoid embarrassment at the point of sale,” Jones said.

By John Kennedy