Almost everyone nowadays owns a debit or a credit card. 90% of the people using such cards use them while the other 10% do not use them assuming that it can be risky to use such cards. I have seen smart and educated people doing blunders while using a debit or credit card and hence this post. This post will help you ensure that your debit or credit card is safe.
When you receive your debit or credit card, you also receive something called as a PIN or a password. This is usually a 4 digit number which is used to withdraw cash from the ATM. Not sure about India, but this password is also used while shopping in stores abroad. The PIN is very important and anyone can withdraw money from your account if they get access to your card and the PIN. Hence, it is always important to keep your PIN in a safe place (safest place is your head) all the time. Here are some precautions to be taken:
- Never write your PIN on back of the card – This may sound a bit weird, but I have seen people write their PIN on the card. This enables anyone to withdraw money from your account once they have your card.
- Do not keep your PIN inside your wallet – I have seen people write their PIN on piece of paper and keep it inside their wallet or purse. Everyone usually keeps their debit or credit card inside the wallet and losing the wallet means losing the card along with the PIN. This way, the person who has your wallet can use your card and PIN to withdraw money from your account.
- Your PIN has to be a secret – Almost 50% of card holders have their birth date as their PIN. Don’t do it. Someone who knows you can easily guess it and withdraw money from your account. Keep your PIN as something that cannot be guessed by anyone.
The most common thing that happens with cards is that we lose them. Many times we never know that we have lost a card. I have forgotten my debit card in an ATM machine two times and only discovered it after a few days. This can happen with everyone and hence precautions should be taken.
SMS/Email Alerts – Always add SMS and Email alerts to your banking account. This means that an email and SMS is sent to you whenever your card is being used. Lot of people might ignore this but setting such alerts is very important. These alerts have helped me from losing some money in the past. You can set these alerts using Net banking or visit your bank and fill up a form. Many times, shop owners swipe your card twice assuming it has not worked for the first time. Instant SMS sent to your mobile phone can inform you about this and you can take care of it immediately.
Informing Your Bank – You should inform you bank immediately once you know that your card is misplaced. Contacting your bank is the first thing you should do in such a scenario. You should call your bank immediately and ask them to block your card. The bank will send you a new card and might charge you a small fee for a replacement card.
Always Take Transaction Slips – While doing a transaction in a shop or ATM, you are provided with a transaction slip. Always take this slip and keep it with you. This slip is a proof that you have withdrawn or paid an amount and can help you in case there is any problem.
Taking care as mentioned above will help you from losing money from your bank account. Always play safe rather than being sorry later.