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What You Can Expect from PIN & Pay Cards

BY Team Loanstreet

Updated 13 Nov 2019

You may have already heard that your swipe-and-sign credit, debit and prepaid cards will be switched out by January 2017.

In its place, banks across Malaysia are rolling out chip-based, PIN & Pay cards that require cardholders to enter a PIN (Personal Identification Number) when making a purchase.

The move is in line with global standards (as well as a Bank Negara mandate) to improve payment security by utilising PIN-enabled cards. 

But how will the changes affect you?  Read on to learn more about the system, its usage and how it can benefit you.

What's covered in this article?

Advantages of the New Card Programme

The most significant benefit of the PIN-enabled card is that it offers greater levels of security. If your credit or debit cards are lost or stolen, it may not be utilised by another party unless they are aware of your PIN. So in order to maintain its security, be sure to NEVER reveal your sensitive card details and PIN to anyone.

In the case of debit cards, which do not on average enjoy the same levels of protections that credit cards do, the introduction of the new card programme is highly necessary. It is expected to curb instances of fraud and unauthorised transactions with debit cards more effectively.

An interesting addition to PIN-enabled cards are the contactless payment feature, whereby all you have to do to make payment is wave or tap your card on the reader. It’s a convenient and quick way to pay; reducing the need to make ATM cash withdrawals.

Cost to Consumers

At present, banks are replacing existing credit and debit cards for free, so you won’t be forking out any money for the exchange.  Even for new PIN-enabled card applications, there are no additional fees listed at present. 

Note that if you need your cards replaced urgently (e.g. for travel, etc.), some banks may be able to accommodate your request, so do contact yours to clarify.

Convenience of PIN & Pay Cards

The process of granting authorisation for a transaction is uncomplicated and quick, in fact, the only difference is that you will not need to sign on a slip but instead enter a six-digit PIN.

Furthermore, for contactless payment methods like Visa payWave, MyDebit and MasterCard Contactless, you aren’t required to enter a PIN. However, with higher value purchases of above RM250, you will still be asked to key in your PIN to make payment. 

Quick Tip: When deciding on your PIN, avoid using birthday combinations, your phone number, identity card number and, a common series of digits (e.g. 123456 or 987654).

Not for Online Use

PIN entries essentially apply to purchases made at Point of Sale (POS) terminals, for example; when paying for groceries at the supermarket or for petrol at self-service pumps. You don’t have to use it to make online purchases. If a merchant requests your PIN for online payments, do not give it out and promptly report the issue to your bank.

Your new cards should also come with a new expiry date, so be sure to update this information for recurring online payments you have set up with your existing card.

How PIN-enabled Cards Affect Overseas Payments

Where payment terminals have yet to be upgraded (both domestically and abroad), you may still swipe and sign to pay; this is to continue till 30 June 2017.

If you are planning to use your credit card when traveling overseas, be sure to have your PIN ready before you leave as many countries have already started with the PIN system.  

Some merchants in overseas countries may not accept foreign issued cards that aren’t PIN-enabled, but as VISA explains, “merchant terminals are designed to recognize and prompt appropriately, and you should still be able to sign a transaction receipt.”

To make things easier, do consult your bank on the likelihood of payment issues for your specific travel destination and find out how to address them beforehand.



So while you may have to endure a small bit of hassle with the exchange of your cards, it appears that the majority of banks are attempting to make the transition as seamless (and painless) as possible.

With the added security of using a PIN and the convenience that comes with its contactless feature, this new card programme should certainly be welcomed. 


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About the Author

Team Loanstreet

Run by a professional human-sized team, get resourceful tips & guides from our very own library of financial articles that can help improve your financial lifestyle & make a well-informed money decision. We strive to provide you with the best service in helping you to get the most out of that DUIT!


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