PIN vs signature
PIN can have fraudulent transactions.
I know two different routes. But PIN reduces bank's liability to fraud. They just insist that you MUST have used the PIN.
(One route is to watch what pin is used or intercept it with doctored reader, easy to turn up at shop and claim you are upgrading. Other route is that madly, the terminal doesn't send a hash of pin to HQ. It asks card if PIN correct, so you add a chip that simply always replies "OK" to terminal for ANY pin. Massive design flaw! No encrypted clever handshake, it's like sending a POP3 password!)
"why are the banks trying so hard to get pay-by-bonk into the arena?"
a) I'm not convinced they are trying hard. The folks making card are pushing contactless cards which are less secure. Notice Lidl only allows small payments for contactless.
b) NFC tech was invented for warehouses. It's inherently stupid for retail products (nothing needs to be stored a barcode is fine) or payments (inherently insecure, security is a fudged after thought.
NFC should NOT be in payment cards (debit or credit) or retail products, door keys, travel cards or passports.
What crazy too is my post office is using insecure and easily duplicated or damaged mag stripe instead of chip & pin.
Cheques are practically dead in Ireland. Most places don't take them and I've not seen one for years.