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Is the PIN about to die?

Have you ever changed your PIN? Are you the only person who knows what your number is? The guilty truth for some of us is no to both of those questions. With new research suggesting some of us see the PIN as obsolete, is it time to look at alternatives?

Two thirds of us (67%) believe the PIN will soon be extinct, with the average response believing this will happen in just under five years, according to digital financial services organisation Intelligent Environments.

The research also showed basic PIN security is not being observed, as 32% of respondents admitted they had never changed their PIN and just 37% had kept their PIN secret.

Do you think the days of the PIN are over, or are you part of the 32% of us who believe it will never die out?

Whatever your feelings on your PIN, it is important to know how to keep it secure, and to consider the alternatives too.

Tips for banking safely

You should never store your PIN with your card, or give it to anyone else. If you do, and someone takes the card and uses it – the bank won’t pay you back what’s been stolen from you. They would if it wasn’t your fault.

It is also a good idea to change your PIN to something you’ll remember. You can do this at most cash machines. Pick something you can remember, but not something like your date of birth that others could guess.

If you are shopping online, you should only put your card details into sites that are secure – otherwise someone else could intercept them and use them for fraud.

A secure site should have a padlock symbol in the bottom right of the browser window, and the address in your address bar should begin https:// rather than http://. The S stands for secure.

 

PIN alternatives

Here are some alternatives to the traditional Chip and PIN transaction. Have you used any of them?

A contactless card lets you simply tap your debit or credit card on a reader. You don’t use a Pin for this, and payments are limited to £30. Look for the contactless symbol for compatibility.

If you are buying things online, you can also use a registered payment service linked to your account such as PayPal.

You can even use your phone number through Paym (pronounced pay-em). This is a partnership between many of the banks that lets you send money to someone with just their mobile phone number.

As long as you and the receiver are registered, you can use your phone banking apps to pay someone without the need for cash or account numbers and sort codes.  

What do you think?

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  • Emma Bates / 5 January 2016

    I'm not convinced by Contactless. I think it is a backwards step from a security point of view and also may make people even less likely to realise what they're spending with their plastic.

  • B Jones / 19 December 2015

    I feel you need to advise readers that, as I understand it, they need to be aware that any credit card purchases between £100 and £30000 where you use PayPal falls foul of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This only applies where there is a ‘direct relationship’ between a debt and the product. Typical examples include credit card purchases, specific car finance, store cards and credit from stores for products. You lose the 'protection' given by a credit card if you use it via PayPal as that is seen as an 'indirect' purchase.

  • ian / 13 December 2015

    that would be down to fraud wont it? if someone uses our card

  • Phil / 13 December 2015

    I worry about the use of finger or thumb prints. How long before criminals chop off digits so they can steal money? I refuse to have anything to do with it.

  • Alan Hay / 13 December 2015

    Very interesting about PIN ALTERNATIVES. BEING RETIRED AND HAVING HEALTHISUES AND POOR MEMORY I have left my debit card in the machine many times but fortunately the cashiers at TESCO know me and run after me to give me my cared back. I have seen this happen to many elderly people. When you go shopping due to ill patient younger shoppers you get harassed and that leads to forgetfulness.

    Limiting it to £30 is good security for an older reason too.

    Payment, How do I learn more please.

  • Alan Hay / 13 December 2015

    Very interesting about PIN ALTERNATIVES. BEING RETIRED AND HAVING HEALTHISUES AND POOR MEMORY I have left my debit card in the machine many times but fortunately the cashiers at TESCO know me and run after me to give me my cared back. I have seen this happen to many elderly people. When you go shopping due to ill patient younger shoppers you get harassed and that leads to forgetfulness.

    Limiting it to £30 is good security for an older reason too.

    Payment, How do I learn more please.

  • Moe / 13 December 2015

    I recently brought an Applie iPhone 6 Plus and was setting it up when it kept asking me to move my thumb over the button and at the same time, my thumb print appeared on the screen. I wasn't aware that it also put my card on the phone so when I buy anything it will only recognise my thumb print. I haven't tried it yet but what a way to go.

  • JULIE / 13 December 2015

    I THINK ITS ALL TO COMPLICATED

  • JULIE / 13 December 2015

    I THINK ITS ALL TO COMPLICATED

  • Paul Worrall / 13 December 2015

    The symbol indicating a secure web site depends on which browser you're using, for example:

    Firefox version 42.0: A padlock symbol to the left of the address bar
    Google Chrome version 47.0.2526.80: A padlock symbol to the left of the address bar
    Internet Explorer: A padlock symbol to the right of the address bar

  • Jesse / 13 December 2015

    I know after so many fraud situations from strangers using ways to gain the 4 digit number is hugely on the increase.
    I now believe that all cash /payment machines should have finger print recognition software. That would stop most of theses scumbags taking money out of cash machines, and also they'll go straight to the travel agents to then draw out huge amounts all in non UK cash, and then go straight abroad with it This country has got to act now.