, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 7 – The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) is encouraging Kenyans to use their debit and credit cards more at points of sale to reduce the inconvenience caused when carrying huge amounts of cash.
Speaking to Capital FM News, the Association’s Chief Executive Officer Habil Olaka explained that the current cards are fitted with Chip and PIN which is not prone to fraud.
“We are encouraging consumers to use their ATM cards more frequently. They have to collect them first from the banks because a number of them are lying at the banks uncollected and once collected, try to use them in as many of the outlets as is practically possible. A number of outlets are now accepting cards, the merchants are accepting cards, the supermarkets, the various retail outlets, the shopping centres and petrol stations,” he stated.
He stated that the market scene has changed drastically in recent time and many outlets are accepting use of the cards.
“The advantages are numerous which include avoiding the inconvenience of having to carry cash which is not only risky but to an extent even unhealthy. When you have got the card, it is designed in such a way that you can fit it in your wallet and you can use it in various outlets to make payments,” he said.
Olaka however pointed out the need for cards users to observe the safety requirements that is involved in the use of the cards so as to prevent any kind of identity theft.
“Using the card at an outlet requires the consumer to observe some basic safety measures especially in terms of safeguarding the pin which is critical because thugs tend to use identity theft as a means of accessing your account online and transacting on it as if you were the one doing so.”
The new ATM cards, commonly referred to as EMV compliant, have been implanted with a memory chip to hold the user’s information instead of the more fraud-prone magnetic strip.
The Chip and PIN cards also require their owners to enter a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) instead using a signature when conducting a transaction.
Information on the magnetic stripes has been easily copied by fraudsters in recent years giving them illegal access to customers’ account details.