Card payments have taken over Zimbabwe due to the cash crisis but very little has been done by Zimbabwean banks to teach people about keeping their pins safe. Card payments are great because gone are the days when people had to move around with huge chunks of moneys but whilst in Macheke a month ago, I was exposed to shoppers who punched their card pins at till points in full view of the public!!
What was disappointing about this experience was that this was treated like a norm. Most shoppers and even the cashiers did not even have the audacity to look away when people punched in their pins. I had the privilege of passing through a bank in Marondera were many bank account applications were taking place and not once did I hear consultants inform the applicants on the importance of keeping bank cards safe and private!
None of the banks I passed through had banners or posters educating people on the importance of keeping their pins private. Whilst I understand that many people in urban settings are more informed about these things, more needs to be done to educate the rural folk.
This experience has prompted me to write this piece to raise awareness on the importance of keeping pin cards safe.
Fraud cases are investigated on an individual basis, but a refund is unlikely if the original PIN and card were used for the transaction.
In cases where the original card and its PIN have been used, the card owner would have usually shared their details. This is seen as customer authorisation for the transaction and will decrease the likelihood of a refund.
Counterfeit card fraud on the other hand is as a result of a series of compromises where the fraudsters skim and clone a card and then use the PIN, obtained through shoulder surfing or installed cameras, to access the customers’ funds. It is therefore critical that customers remain vigilant when entering their PINs at ATMs and point of sale (POS) devices, to avoid shoulder surfing.
There should however not be reason to steer away from card usage. In fact, due to the high levels of convenience and security, card usage continues to grow in popularity as the preferred and safest method of transacting, even online.
Treat your card as you would cash and never write your PIN down or reveal it to anyone.
When keying in your PIN at a POS device, make sure that you:
- Never let your card out of your sight
- Receive your card back after paying
- Always cover your hand when entering your PIN
- Keep the slip as proof of transaction details in the event that the cashier informs you that your transaction was declined
When transacting at an ATM, make sure that you:
- Never accept assistance from anyone
- Do not draw money if you feel unsafe
- Always place your hand over the keypad when keying in your PIN
- Cancel your card immediately if your card is swallowed or if you think you have been a victim of fraud
- Don’t try to draw money at an ATM with a blank screen
- Never force your card into an ATM slot