Paying with your debit card is easy and fast: all you need is your debit card plus PIN. In 2009 almost 2 billion payments were made via POS terminals.
What the bank does
For you, paying with your debit card and pin is very simple. But it involves a complicated security process. When you swipe your card and key in your pin, the POS terminal contacts your bank by entering into a dialogue with a network via a fixed telephone line or data network. Your pin is made unrecognisable via encryption, a technique for coding data using a secret key. These keys are regularly replaced. As soon as contact has been established, the bank checks your balance, your daily limit and whether the card has been stolen. If everything is in order, your bank communicates an authorisation to the POS terminal and you see the text ‘Payment accepted. Thank you. Good bye.’ If anything is wrong, you will see ‘Please use a different payment option’.
- The amount that you can pay or withdraw with your debit card is subject to a daily or weekly maximum. Each bank sets its own maximum, so ask your bank what your daily or weekly limit is.
- Your debit card is issued with a pin. These codes are allocated and printed without human intervention. pins are not registered at the bank either. So only you know your pin.
- For additional security, most debit cards and all credit cards have now been replaced with EMV chip cards. Read more about this on: hetnieuwepinnen.nl (Dutch).
What you can do
- Your pin is your personal key to your bank account. So immediately destroy the form containing your PIN after you have received and memorised it.
- Do not write down your PIN, not even in a coded form (e.g. as a telephone number). Try to memorise it immediately. And never use your PIN for other purposes (e.g. as an access code to your computer, mobile telephone or company petrol card). Also do not use online ‘memory aids’ to remember your PIN if these involve filling in your PIN on a website.
- Do you think it is not safe to use your PIN? Then use a different payment option.
- If you see an unsafe situation at an ATM, call the national hotline on (030) 283 65 55, Mondays to Saturdays from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Always keep your PIN secret and never give it to anyone else. Not even to your bank. Your bank will never ask you for confidential information such as your PIN, account numbers and credit card details.
- Make sure nobody can see your PIN when entering it.
- Check that the payable amount on the display is correct.
- Do not let yourself be distracted when using the PIN.
- Never lend your debit card to anyone.
- Never leave your PIN receipt behind at the ATM or store; take it with you.
- Keep track of withdrawals and payments from your account by checking your paper or online bank statements. If an ATM withdrawal or payment has been made at a location or time that you cannot remember, call your bank immediately.
- Immediately report the loss or theft of your debit or credit card. Look under Numbers to Call.