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Sun 12 Jul 2009 07:17 AM

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Chip and PIN to cut fraud cases in Bahrain - banker

Senior banking official says move will give consumers more protection.

Cases of card fraud are set to drop in Bahrain following the rollout of chip and PIN technology, it was reported on Sunday.

Following an order from the Central Bank of Bahrain, all new credit and debit cards issued from July by banks must come equipped with a microchip, which stores all of the cardholder's data.

The Central Bank of Bahrain ordered all banking institutions to adopt the technology from June 30 or risk penalties.

"The new cards are much better than the old system because of the cryptography used in the chip itself," Bahrain Society of Bankers chief executive officer Robert Ainey said in comments published by Gulf Daily News.

"Although it can be broken under extreme laboratory conditions, this is the sort of technology that the common counterfeiter doesn't have."

Ainey told the paper that although the vulnerability of the magnetic strip would still be present in the new generation of cards, consumers in Bahrain would be better protected if their cards were used fraudulently.

"The slight downside to the current implementation of chip and PIN is for those retailers who are not enabled. They can still fall back to the magnetic strip," he said.

"So if someone got your card, they could still copy the strip and a fraud could occur.

"But in this case, the issuing bank would have the absolute right to charge-back the fraudulent transaction from the merchant's bank."

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