Card payment security

Tips to keep your business and customers safe

What is card fraud?

  • Criminals use stolen cards and card details or stolen personal information to attempt fraudulent card transactions.
  • Card information can be captured from company data breaches, compromised cash machines, compromised webpages, and bogus texts and emails.
  • Another common ploy is fraudulent competitions and the ‘sale’ of discounted goods to entice people into sharing their card details for non-existent products which never materialise.

How to avoid it

  • Always shield your PIN in shops and at cash machines.
  • Don’t tell anyone what your PIN is, and don’t write it down.
  • If you notice anything unusual or suspicious about a cash machine, don’t use it. Report it to the bank or cash machine operator.
  • Pay with your debit or credit card. If a seller tells you they can’t accept a card payment and asks you to send them money directly, don’t do it, it could be a scam.
  • When using your card online, ensure that the website is secure. The web address should begin with 'https://'. The 's' stands for 'secure'; this only indicates that the link between you and the website owner is secure, and not that the site or company itself is authentic.
  • Be wary of using public Wi-Fi and be aware of the risks of unknown hotspots.
  • Contactless cards are embedded with multiple layers of security and transactions have the same protection as chip and PIN, making them safer than cash. For added protection you’ll also be asked to enter your PIN to verify your identity from time to time.
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Actions you can take

  • Ensure your bank has your up-to-date contact details.
  • Check your statements regularly. If you spot anything suspicious, report it to us straight away.
  • Fraudsters often use lost or stolen cards to make a purchase or withdraw money. Store the 24-hour emergency contact number for all your cards in your mobile phone or anywhere that’s easy to access.
  • If your address changes you should tell your bank or card issuer immediately and ask Royal Mail to redirect your business post.
  • Share this page with employees and colleagues, so they know what to look out for. Put training in place, so people in your business know how to spot and handle common threats. You can use our webinars and resources to help.
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Why have I received a replacement card?

Is your business taking card transactions?

This section explains about how to take card payments securely, what to look out for and some guidance on card security in general.

Card security guidance

Other useful links

Always think twice and make double checking second nature

Take Five logo

Take Five to stop fraud

Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Need to report a fraud or a scam?