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Millions battling debit card PIN overload

Too many people are writing them down


Withdrawing cash from a cashpoint

Millions are suffering from PIN overload as they struggle to remember increasing numbers of the four-digit codes for credit or debit cards, a survey showed today.

The average person has memorised at least two PINs, while an estimated six million consumers have learnt three different numbers and three million people have learnt four.

A further two million people say they are trying to remember at least five different numbers, according to high street bank Abbey.

Unsurprisingly, 55 per cent of people say they have recently forgotten one of their PINs, and 39 per cent admit they have had to write down their numbers so that they do not forget them.

Disguising numbers

But while 23 per cent of people say they have disguised their PIN, for example writing it down as if it was a phone number, 4 per cent say they have taken no steps to conceal what it is.

A further 6 per cent of people even admitted they kept a record of their pins in their wallet with their cards.

Around 14 per cent of people said they had avoided the problem of having to remember multiple PINs by having the same number for all their cards, despite the fact that this would make them vulnerable to fraud if their wallet was stolen.

Fraud warning

Steve Shore, head of banking at Abbey, said: ‘With many of us holding more and more pieces of plastic in our wallets the challenge of remembering all those PINs is getting greater.

‘But we really do urge you to try to commit them to memory rather than write them down. Otherwise it’s like signing a blank cheque for fraudsters.’

* ICM questioned 1,000 people during June.

The Press Association, All Rights Reserved.

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