Halifax's chip-and-pin dispute case concludes

A one-day trial that raises questions about the security of cash cards used in the UK and Europe concluded Thursday, with a decision expected in about a month.

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A one-day trial that raises questions about the security of cash cards used in the UK and Europe concluded Thursday, with a decision expected in about a month.

Alain Job is suing Halifax over eight withdrawals made from his account in February 2006.

Job maintains he did not withdraw a cumulative £2,100 (US$3,100). He also maintains he did not authorise anyone else to withdraw the money, believes it is possible that his card was cloned.

Job decided to sue after the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which mediates disputes between banks and customers, sided with Halifax.

The case is the first of its kind in the UK, and raises questions about the security of the chip-and-pin technology used in bank and credit cards, if it is proved that Job's card has been cloned or hacked.

But Halifax maintains that it was his exact card that was used to perform the withdrawals and that either Jobs is knowingly trying to defraud the banks or was grossly negligent in handling his card and PIN (personal identification number).

Job admitted at one point during testimony to putting his cash card in his garden outside one night for some inexplicable reason, according to Alistair Kelman, an attorney who watched the proceedings in Nottingham County Court.

Job is represented pro bono by Stephen Mason, an attorney who specialises in the collection of digital evidence and has written about case law involving disputed cash-machine transactions.

Mason said late Thursday he could not discuss specific details of the case due to court rules. A Halifax spokesman also said the bank had no comment. An expert witness for Jobs said he also could not speak about the case yet.

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