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Bank card security

Tips for safe use of ATMs, cards and PINs.

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  • Always shield the keypad when putting in your PIN. As long as you’ve taken reasonable care when using the ATM, you shouldn’t be liable if your card is used fraudulently.
  • Check your money when it comes out – sometimes people haven’t received the requested amount. Also when making an ATM deposit, check the receipt has correctly recorded how much you put in.
  • Any problems using an ATM need to be taken up with your bank, even if you were using another bank’s ATM. Your bank will chase up the other bank. If your bank won’t play ball, contact the Banking Ombudsman and escalate the complaint.
  • Most ATM transactions cost about $1 at another bank’s ATM. Cash advances using your credit card cost even more. There are also charges for using the non-bank ATMs that some convenience stores now have.

Credit and debit cards

No-one likes that sinking feeling when you realise your credit, debit or EFTPOS card is missing. Banks generally cover any loss if you’ve taken reasonable care of your card and PIN and report its loss quickly.

  • Look after your cards like you look after your keys or wallet … or your phone. Don’t leave them unattended or in view either at home or when you’re out.
  • Don’t forget to take your card back when you’ve used it in a shop or ATM.
  • Contact your bank as soon as possible about a lost card on its dedicated phone number for reporting lost or stolen cards – take that number with you if you’re going overseas.


  • Choose a PIN that doesn’t use obvious number combinations or important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, phone numbers or addresses. You shouldn’t use the same PIN for different cards.
  • Never write down the PIN numbers for your bank cards or store them anywhere electronically – even disguised. You’ll be breaking the card issuer’s terms and conditions.
  • Don’t tell anyone your PIN – family, bank staff (especially people claiming to be bank staff) or the police! Banks will never ask you to reveal your PIN. Emails that ask you to update your PIN are scams.
  • If you think someone knows your PIN, contact your bank and arrange for a new one.

More information

Banking Ombudsman quick guides: www.bankomb.org.nz.