Every year the number of debit card transactions is seen to increase. In 2009 debit cards were used for 5.8 billion purchases in the UK worth £264 billion and this is expected to nearly double by 2019. Are you getting your share?  I have noticed a significant increase in the number of our valuable tradesmen customers using their debit cards rather than cash over the past couple of years.

There is something about debit and credit card use that seriously concerns customers though and that is PIN security. Clearly the loss of security of such key information can be expensive and not just in cash. When we had our bank account  fraudulently emptied a few years ago it took hours on the phone to the bank and police to report the crime. We were able to prove that we could not have been over seen in using our PIN’s as we had not used the debit card other than at our own Post Office. Of course it took a while for our bank to put our account right. They charged the retailers who had accepted the fraudulent transactions for the funds.

Over the past few weeks I have been looking at how card users attempt to protect their PIN entries from prying eyes. Its amazing how many different ways there seem to be. From watching what people do I am not sure if there is a fool proof method that does not  totally obscure the users vision. Hum.

So what can retailers do to give comfort to their card using customers?

Looking around the Internet didn’t prove that helpful, most of the websites I found are focused on other types of fraud protection. Part of our recent business sale preparation was to get our Post Office counter safe serviced. This was done by Neil Rollerson of Arxcis and I asked him if he knew a solution as he has worked in the store security industry for many years.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but he told me about a new product that he is offering called Pin Protect  http://www.pinprotect.co.uk/page3.htm. As you can see the unit encases the card reader/pin pad allowing the customer to enter their code with the knowledge that only they can see which keys are being pressed.

I may have never seen anyone attempting to shoulder surf a customer using their debit card, but that’s not the point. It is clear that a great many people are very concerned about the threat whether it is real or perceived. The question is should retailers take this into account and give their customers the comfort that the transaction security is at the top of your agenda. You never know you may find that more customers use your shop because of it.

We have three of these PIN Protect units to give away, email us your contact details for a chance to win one of these units.