GoCreditGo! wrote:Why would someone do Chip+Signature, when Chip+Pin is available? Is there a big difference in the backend?
Why would you use a card that makes you press in a pin, when you can use one that just lets you sign? There's zero benefit to the card user. Remember, most places with chip and pin, if you're the victim of fraud, you're out the money, unless you can prove it's fraud. Good luck with that... In the US, the card holder is not, by federal law, liable for fraud. Some people claim that pin is faster, but watching people at the grocery store use debit cards or credit cards, sign is way faster.
The liability shift, remember, only applies to merchants -- they're on the hook for some classes of transaction they're not already on the hook for.
There's some difference in the back end, but most of the difference is in the card. C&P cards cost more than C&S. (a couple bucks a card, which adds up. Especially since a plastic card w/ magstripe costs less than a buck.) EMV cards and terminals negotiate the authentication method required. A card or terminal can support C&P, C&S, or both, and can prefer one or the other, or require one. That requirement can be all the time, or based on all sorts of rules. (Value of transaction, number of transactions since pin entry, day of the week, phase of the moon...)