Banks seek shop for new card payment scheme

The Association for Payment Clearing Services is looking for an advertising agency to promote the roll-out of a new scheme which will mean consumers will use PIN numbers to verify credit card sales instead of signatures.

APACS, the banking industry trade body backed by high-street banks including Lloyds TSB and Barclays, is talking to agencies through the AAR about the £1.1 billion scheme, which will require banks and retailers to replace both their back-office systems and their point-of-sale terminals.

APACS wants to develop a fully integrated campaign to support what it terms a "mass behavioural change". It intends to hire one agency to handle both above- and below-the-line creative work and will evaluate its media needs once it has appointed a creative agency.

Richard Tyson-Davies, the APACS director of public affairs, refused to comment on the spend but said it would be a long-burning campaign designed at educating consumers and training retailers to cope with the PIN number method. He said that television, press, poster, ambient, online and PR would form the mainstay of the campaign in a strategy aimed to get to every consumer in the UK.

"The change will effect every man, woman and child, and the campaign needs to reflect that. Consumers already use PIN numbers to access their bank accounts through cashpoints, but using them for credit cards requires a big communications push. There are millions of consumers and retailers who need to know what it all means,

he said.

APACS is rolling out a trial of the system, which is already in practice in Europe and Australia, in Northampton next year, and sees the UK converted in three years. The move comes on the back of increasing credit card fraud, which tops £411 million.

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