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Benefits Of Using Your PIN At Point Of Sale

Using your credit or debit card to purchase and pay for apparel, services, fuel or even dining is common nowadays. This growing popularity of plastic money can be attributed to factors like the convenience as well as the ease of making high value purchases without the hassle of carrying excessive cash. And to make POS (Point of sale) transactions more secure, the Reserve Bank of India has now made it mandatory for the card user to punch in the PIN to complete a card transaction.

Although this rule had been conveyed by the RBI to both public and private sector banks in June 2013, it extended the deadline to November 30th and it has only come into effective practice from December 1st, 2013 onwards. This delay has been due to the time needed by the banks to upgrade their back-end infrastructure like (card swipe machines) which comply with PIN-based card transactions.

Why is it beneficial?

This popularity of credit and debit cards also means that the chances of frauds like card skimming or card thefts leading to misuse of the card are also high. If your credit or debit card gets stolen or lost, there is a possibility that it can be swiped a number of times before you get the card disabled by contacting your bank.

Entering your debit card PIN, which is essentially your ATM PIN, to complete the transaction means that the possibilities of misuse are now greatly reduced. Another benefit of this mandated rule is that since the card PIN will now be needed for the dual purpose of both POS payments and ATM withdrawals, you will be more conscious about changing your PIN at regular intervals.

However, do keep few things in mind: –

  • Never share your PIN with anyone. Punch in the PIN yourself rather than telling it to the shopkeeper or the attendant at the fuel station.
  • Always cover the card machine with your free hand while entering your PIN.
  • If any POS terminal is not PIN-enabled, then that is incorrect as per the law so be very careful when swiping at such POS terminals. The smart way to do that is to proactively check with the person available about it.
  • Opt for chip and PIN enabled cards as the data security on them is much higher in comparison to magnetic stripe based debit and credit cards.

If your card does not ask for PIN

While the new CHIP and PIN cards are designed to ask for the PIN as soon as they are swiped, the older cards might work just with a swipe. If that is the case, you should always check with the customer care and request the bank for a CHIP and PIN enabled debit/credit card for the safety of your transactions.

However, there will still be times where the card does not ask for PIN. In scenarios, you must check with the shopkeeper at the POS as to why the card machine didn’t ask for the PIN. Subsequently, you should also speak with your card provider to check the authenticity of the transaction and protect yourself from malpractices like card frauds.


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