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If you represent disabled people - FAQs - Terminals and keypads

Top ten queries

Terminals and keypads

How can PIN terminals differ?

You are likely to have come into contact with a variety of PIN terminals in different types of shops. Some have a separate PIN pad that is attached to the till via a wire. Some may combine the card reader with the PIN pad in one unit. Others may have the PIN pad built into the shop counter. The terminals used in restaurants may be wireless so that you can pay whilst sitting at the table without letting your card go out of sight. All PIN terminals will have the same layout of keys and you will be required to enter the same PIN regardless of the design.

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When I am at the point-of-sale, should I insert my card into the terminal or will the cashier do it?

This will vary from store to store. In many stores the cashier will handle the card during the transaction, but others will ask you to insert the card yourself.

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Won't people be able to easily see me enter my PIN?

PIN pads will be designed and sited in such a way as to minimise this risk. However, you should take care when entering your PIN just as you do now at cash machines: shield it from the view of others whenever possible and do not enter your PIN if you feel that you are being observed.

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Are any of my card issuer details (account balance, address etc) available to the retailer?


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Are all PIN pads be laid out the same way, so that people can use the pattern of keys pressed rather than reading the numbers?

All PIN pads need to follow the international standards for terminal design. The vast majority will have tactile features including a raised dot on the 5 button. This layout will be familiar to most blind or partially sighted people and should therefore make it easier to use.

In addition, there are two accepted formats for the primary 'function' keys - the 'cancel', 'clear' and 'enter' keys which will be located either vertically to the right of or horizontally below the numeric keys. Where coloured, the 'cancel' key is red, the 'clear' key is yellow and the 'enter' key is green. Some PIN pads may have supplementary 'function' keys above the numeric keys, but these are not normally for cardholder use.

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Will the PIN machine "swallow" my card if I get the number wrong three times, like at a cash machine?

No. If you type in the wrong PIN three times consecutively, your PIN will be locked. The retailer will let you keep the card unless the card issuer advises otherwise e.g. because the card has been reported lost or stolen. You will be able to unlock the card at most UK cash machines after contacting your card issuer.

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Can I identify a transaction authorised by chip and PIN on my receipts and statements?

Receipts should indicate that the transaction was "Verified by PIN".

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Is my PIN printed on the transaction receipt?

Receipts will only indicate that the transaction was ‘Verified by PIN’.

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Why was my PIN printed on the transaction receipt?

The PIN is not printed on the receipt. If a number is printed on the receipt that is the same as your PIN, it will purely be a result of chance. If you raised your concern with the merchant, thus indicating what your PIN is, you should change your PIN at an ATM.

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