What is it? Chip and PIN is a way of buying goods by debit or credit card whereby the card is slotted in a machine before an identification number is tapped in to confirm the person's identity. 'Chip' refers to the chip embedded within the card and 'PIN' refers to the number tapped in by the person. Where is it used? Chip and PIN is used in smart cards which are fast replacing the original magnetic strip equipment. In a shop at the check-out the card is placed into a swipe-card reader or a 'Point of Scale' terminal, in order to pay for various items. What does it do? Chip and PIN means that people can buy products without signing a slip. Once the card is placed in, the machine takes note of the chip within the card. Then a four digit personal identification number (or PIN for short) is supplied by the customer. If the number matches the number on the chip that it has been assigned to, then the product can then be brought. What has the impact of Chip and PIN been? Due to the popularity of Chip and PIN, use of signing a cheque and the traditional method of magnetic strip have decreased. This technology has also helped to reduce crime at tills as it is harder to fake.