When you open a new credit or debit account you will get an automated teller machine (ATM) card that you can use to buy goods in stores and online and to withdraw cash at ATMs. The main security on this card is a four- to 12-digit numerical personal identification number (PIN). When you first receive your card, you will also receive a randomly generated PIN from the bank -- it is good practice to change this to something you will remember. You can achieve this in a number of ways once you have proved your identity to the bank through documentation or by answering security questions.
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Things you need
- Two forms of identification
Go into the branch of your bank and tell the teller that you want to set a new PIN on your ATM card.
Take two different forms of identification with you, such as your birth certificate and passport, as this will help you prove your identity.
Change your PIN using a swipe card machine with the assistance of a designated member of staff (not the teller).
Swipe your card and enter your new PIN. Enter it a second time to ensure the two match.
Call your bank's customer service number and follow the automated steps or tell an operator that you want to change your PIN. Different banks have different processes, but most operate an automated service.
Enter the security details asked for, such as the ATM card's main number (the long one across the front), your date of birth and your previous PIN -- this is a security measure to ensure that the card's rightful owner is changing the number.
Complete this process and enter your new PIN.
Re-enter this number to ensure the two match.
Write a letter and send it to your bank's customer services department requesting a new PIN. Unlike other methods, this can take up to a week to complete. The bank will send the PIN only to the name and address of whoever is registered on the account.
Receive the package from your bank with your new PIN enclosed. Open the mail and memorise your new PIN.
Dispose of the letter, making sure you eliminate any possibility of another person accessing your new PIN by shredding or tearing up the letter.
Visit an ATM with the card you wish to set a new PIN for.
Insert the card in the machine and select "More options" on the menu screen.
Select "PIN change" and enter your previous PIN before entering a new four- to 12-digit PIN.
Enter this new number for a second time to ensure the two match. Finish this process and stow your ATM card away in a safe place.
Tips and warnings
- One of the main forms of security used when changing your PIN is entering your original PIN before entering a new one. If you have forgotten your old PIN, ask the bank to generate a new one and send it to you before you change it to something you can remember.
- Do not attempt to change your PIN if you lose your card. Always contact your bank immediately once you discover you have lost your card and request that they bar the account so no one -- yourself included -- can use the card.
- Make sure your new PIN is not an obvious sequence of numbers (such as 1111 or 9999) as this poses a security risk if your card is lost or stolen.
- Be aware that it may be very difficult to change your PIN from abroad. For example, you cannot change your PIN using an ATM machine when you are abroad.
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