Keeping you safe and secure

How to protect yourself

Card reader and security questions

Additional security with card readers and security questions

As an additional level of security, when you make certain transactions online, we may ask you to confirm them using your card reader or by providing the security questions you gave us when you registered for Internet Banking.

What is a card reader?

We introduced our card readers as an additional level of security when you bank online. They use your current account Visa debit card and your PIN to generate a unique eight-digit passcode which authorises log in and certain transactions.

Card readers help prevent fraudsters:

  • Attempting to log in as you and transferring your money
  • Installing Trojans (computer virus) which are capable of recording your personal details
  • Intercepting your transactions and making changes to them

By using them we are confident it's you logging in and that you have initiated any transactions.

If you have a Visa debit card, we'll automatically display the card reader log in page when you enter your customer number. You can still log in with your memorable data and passnumber but by using your card reader, you may reduce the number of times it's needed to confirm your online transactions.

Card reader

How do card readers work?

Card readers are powered by batteries and work independently of your computer. The batteries last normally between 2-3 years and you can either replace them (2 X CR2032) or request a replacement card reader. None of your personal information or passwords are held on a card reader. It just uses the chip on your card and your PIN to create a unique code, so you can log in or confirm transactions.

We assess all the transactions you make on our Internet Bank to determine if your card reader is needed as authorisation. If you haven't been asked to use your card reader, don't worry. Your transaction has still gone through the same assessment process and will be secure. We may not need authorisation if you've logged in with your card reader or if you've used it to confirm previous transactions.

All you will need when logging in or authorising a transaction with your card reader is your current account Visa debit card, and your PIN. this is the same PIN you would use in an ATM or shop, for the card you're using. The same rules apply when entering you PIN into your card reader as if you were using in a shop. If you enter your PIN incorrectly three times in a row your card will be locked to prevent anyone guessing you PIN. Find out how to unlock your PIN.

The card reader buttons explained

Identify button

Identify button

Used when logging in to the Internet Bank with your card reader. You will be prompted by the Internet Bank to press this after you have inserted your card into the card reader.

Respond button

Respond button

Used when viewing a PDF of your statement, changing your memorable data or passnumber, or setting up, changing or making payments to individuals or organisations.

Sign button

Sign button

Used when setting up, changing or making payments to individuals or organisations.

Menu button

Menu button

Adjusts the screen contrast. Use numbers 1 and 3 to adjust contrast.

C button

C button

Clears all the numbers displayed on the card reader if you make a mistake.

CL button

CL button

Clears the last number displayed on the card reader if you make a mistake.

OK button

OK button

You will be prompted by the Internet Bank to press this button after you have entered information requested into the card reader.

Card reader log in

How to log in using your card reader

If you have a card reader, you should use this to log in to the Internet Bank (although you can use your passnumber and memorable data if you wish). To log in with your card reader just follow the simple steps below:

Step 1 - Enter your customer number

On the log in screen, enter your customer number. If you have forgotten this, click the 'I've forgotten my customer number' option for help.

Step 2 - Insert your card into the card reader

Select the card you wish to use from the drop down list and pop the card into your card reader (with the chip facing you and towards the bottom left).

Identify button

Step 3 - Select the identify button

When asked to 'Select function' press the 'Identify' button.

Step 4 - Enter your PIN

Enter your debit card PIN and press 'OK'.

Step 5 - Enter the passcode

Your card reader will display a passcode. Enter this in the passcode box online and click 'Log in'.

Authorise a payment with your card reader

How to authorise a card reader payment

When making a payment online using the Internet Bank, you may be asked to use your card reader to authorise the transaction. To do this, just follow the steps below:

Step 1 - Select your card

Select the card you wish to use from the drop down list and pop the card into your card reader (with the chip facing you and towards the bottom left).

Step 2 - Select the Sign button

When asked to 'Select Function', press the 'Sign' button.'

Step 3 - Enter your PIN

Enter your debit card PIN and press 'OK'.

Step 4 - Enter your reference number

Enter the reference number detailed on screen and press 'OK'.

Step 5 - Enter the amount

Enter the amount detailed on screen and press 'OK'.

Step 6 - Enter the passcode

On the log in screen, enter your customer number. If you have forgotten this, click the ‘I’ve forgotten my customer number’ option for help.

Change your Internet Bank log in details

How to change your Internet and Mobile Banking log in details

You can change your Internet or Mobile Banking log in details using our Internet Banking service.

To change your memorable data or passnumber:

1. Log in to the Internet Bank
2. Select 'Manage' - tab at the top of the page
3. Find 'My security'
4. Select 'View' or 'Change my security settings'
5. Find 'My passnumber/memorable data'
6. Select the 'Change' link
7. Update your details
8. Select the 'Confirm' button
9. Select the respond sign (see card reader buttons explained)

You will then be required to authorise this. Please follow the same process as authorising a transaction but select the 'Respond' button instead of 'Sign'.

Tips if you're using your card reader for the first time

  • The very first time you use your card reader you will need to pull out the plastic battery insulation tab. This is positioned within the battery compartment located at the back of the card reader.
  • You won't need to activate or connect your card reader to a computer.
  • Customers with more than one Visa debit card need to select their card on screen, using the drop down menu, and use the same card in their card reader.
  • When you're confirming your transfer amount, you don't need a decimal point. e.g. £132.00 is entered as 13200 into the card reader.
  • You can't  use a cash card+ or savings account card in your card reader.
  • Any Nationwide card reader can be used for Internet Banking with other providers, and vice versa. 

Card reader error messages

Last PIN try - You have one last attempt to enter your PIN correctly before it locks.
PIN Locked call issuer - Your PIN has been locked for shop purchases and internet banking. Find out how to unlock your PIN.
Check card - Is your card the wrong way up? Card should be inserted with chip downwards and facing you.
Wrong card - All your current account Visa debit cards will show on screen. You can select any card but ensure you use the same card in your card reader.
Card error 1, 2 or 3 - There's a problem with the chip on your card and you will need to order a new one. Contact us 24/7 on 08457 30 20 10 (UK) or +441793 656789 (Abroad)
No power / battery low - You can either replace the batteries (2 X CR2032) or order a new card reader. To replace the batteries, remove the battery drawer using a pen and insert the new batteries as detailed below:

Card reader demo

Our card readers are designed to make sure only you can access your personal details online. View our card reader demo

Accessibility

If you're having difficulty using the buttons or reading the display on our standard card reader, we can offer you an accessibility card reader. You need to order a new card reader here and when you're asked why you need to replace your card reader, please choose the accessibility option.

Card reader scams to be aware of

Never use your card reader over the phone or in any context other than logging into or verifying transactions on the internet Bank. If you are asked for card reader authorisation codes or to transfer money over the phone using your card reader, do not carry out the request.

Nationwide will never ask you to re-sync your card reader. If you're asked to do this while using our internet Bank, your PC has been infected by a Trojan.

What you can do

  • Run an anti-virus scan that is different from normal anti-virus software to ensure the Trojan is found.
  • Once you have removed the Trojan, log in to the Internet Bank and change all three items of memorable data and your six digit passnumber.

Nationwide are using industry standard card readers that comply with guidelines issued by the payment association, UK Payments Administration Limited. So you'll find that if you're using an industry standard card reader from another organisation, the buttons will be similar.

What are security questions

Security questions are an additional level of security for customers who don't have a current account Visa debit card. They are required to use our Internet Banking service and must be enrolled for. Because only you know the answers to your security questions, they offer peace of mind when you carry out transactions on our Internet Bank

If you haven't been asked to enter a security question, don't worry. You will only be asked to answer a question if you're carrying out an activity you wouldn't normally do, so it could be some time before you have to do this.

Please remember that Nationwide will NEVER ask you for your security questions or answers over the phone or by email.

Security question tips

  • Questions should not be taken too literally, if you feel you're unable to answer a question, either choose a different one, or provide an answer you will remember.
  • Your answer must be at least one character long (a number or a letter), up to a maximum of 100 characters (numbers, letters or a combination of the two).
  • You can't use symbols. The answers must be either letters or numbers or a combination of the two. No punctuation or symbols can be used. Answers are not case sensitive.
  • If you've forgotten or you think that someone else knows the answer to your questions contact us on 08457 30 20 10.
  • You can't change the answers to your security questions once you have enrolled. They are encrypted, which means no-one will have access to the answers, and they are not retrievable by anyone.

FAQs