The full form of PIN in the digital payment world is Personal Identification Number. It is often spoken as PIN Number, which is incorrect.
The PIN is numeric password which is shared between a user and a system. This PIN authenticates the user on the system.
Normally, apart from the PIN which is not physically visible, a physical token or a User Id are used together to let the User access the system.
The system looks up the PIN based upon the user ID and compares the looked-up PIN with the received PIN. The user is granted access only when the number entered matches with the number stored in the system.
Hence, the User ID/Physical Token should be kept separately.
In India, with effect from today PIN is mandatory for Debit Card/PrePaid Cards on POS terminals.
Remember the same PIN can be used to withdraw Cash from an ATM and also complete your shopping at POS Terminals. Hence, it becomes more important to safeguard your PIN. 11 golden rules to safeguard your bank account:-
01) Beware of “Shoulder Surfing” i.e. shield your PIN from onlookers by using your body.
02)Use your hand or body to shield your Personal Identification Number (PIN) when you are conducting transactions at the Automated Banking Machine (ABM) or at the point of sale.
03)Never let your Debit Card/Prepaid Card out of your sight when conducting a transaction.
04)Never ever shout your PIN across shopping counters.
05)Only allow your card to be swiped once and always remember to take your Debit /Prepaid Card and transaction record with you once your transaction is completed.
06)If you feel you need to keep a copy of your PIN written down somewhere (not recommended), keep it in a place separate from your Debit/Prepaid Card. Never keep them together.
07)It is advisable that you know your available balance before you make any POS purchase.
08)Double check the amount entered by the cashier before you key-in your PIN to authorize payment of your purchase.
09)Your PIN should not:
• Be easily associated with other personal information such as phone number, birthday or part of Aadhaar Number.
• Be part of your card or account number
• Be the same digits or a sequence of running digits
• Be the same as a previously used/selected PIN of this Debit/Prepaid Card or any other Debit/Prepaid card.
10) In addition, if you have multiple Debit/Prepaid Cards, should never assign the same PIN to all PINned cards – if someone steals your wallet and discovers your PIN, you may rest assured they will test that PIN against all cards in your wallet.
11) In case you feel it is difficult to memorize all of the PINs for your cards and must carry a written record, it is very important that any PINs be thoroughly disguised. For example, the PIN may be embedded in a list of phone numbers and, desirably, amended through some formula only you would know. Yes, the formula should not be remembered.
12) Also, this list should never be carried closely adjacent to the card. For example, both should not be together in your wallet.