Best practices: Using your bank cards safely.

Despite the shift towards new banking technologies, bank cards remain one of the most popular ways for Australians to pay for everything from their shopping to new cars. And it’s easy to see why! Credit and debit cards are compact and easy to use, affording all sorts of advantages in comparison to traditional cash payments.

Even so, there are some downsides to paying with plastic, and the most significant of these is the potential for a card to be lost or stolen, and subsequently used by a third party. Luckily, there are a few simple measures that consumers can use in order to ensure their bank cards are as secure as possible.

Using a bank card safely.

First things first, the most important form of protection on your credit or debit card is the pin code. It’s important to choose something that’s unique, difficult to guess, and not obvious to a malicious third party. Common codes like 1234, 1111 and 0000 are widely used, completely defeating the point of having a pin at all.

Similarly, using a number such as your date of birth may make the code easier to remember, but if a thief steals your entire wallet, they’ll be able to work out that number by looking at your driver’s licence.

Finally, make sure to use different pins for all of your cards. That way, if somebody does manage to guess a pin, they won’t have access to all of your accounts.

If you do happen to lose a credit or debit card, it is possible to take action before somebody else finds it. The easiest way to do this is by contacting your bank directly, where they’ll be able to remotely disable the card and prevent anybody from using it. This can be a lifesaver, as even if a thief doesn’t know your pin, they may still be able to spend your money by utilising the contactless functionality of modern cards.

A final tip that’s worth keeping in mind is to always keep a spare bank card somewhere safe. We’ve all been in situations where our wallet has been lost or stolen, and not having access to your accounts, as a result, can lead to all sorts of annoying and stressful situations. By keeping a spare card tucked away at home, you’ll always have a backup to tide you over until replacement cards arrive.

Going cardless.

If you really want to secure your bank accounts, one of the best options is to ditch physical cards completely and use a digital wallet such as *Apple, ^Google or 1Samsung Pay.

By paying with your mobile wallet you don’t need to share your card details. A one-time encryption is sent each time you make a payment so the merchant never receives your card details. Not only does this make your payments more secure, but these applications are also incredibly convenient.

If you’re tired of carrying a bulky wallet everywhere you go, the simplicity of combining everything you need into your phone can be a game changer. At the moment, the technology is still relatively new, but as it becomes more and more widespread, expect to see it become the norm. Who knows, digital wallets may replace plastic bank cards far sooner than any of us think!

Until then, understanding the importance of credit and debit card security is essential to keeping your bank accounts safe. If you have any questions at all or would like to know more about the security of your money, contact Beyond Bank today.

This information has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Beyond Bank Australia, a trading name of Community CPS Australia Ltd, 100 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, SA 5000 (ABN 15 087 651 143, AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237856)
*Apple Pay works with iPhone 6 and later in stores, apps and websites in Safari; with Apple Watch in stores and apps; with iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 and later in apps and websites; and with Mac in Safari with an Apple Pay enabled iPhone 6 or later or Apple Watch.^Google Pay is a trademark of Google Inc.
1Samsung Pay is a trademark or registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.