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 from:

Card Reader

  • 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.

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.

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.

How to use a card reader

Card Reader demo

Card reader

Play video - Card reader |

View how to use your card reader, logging in with a card reader and confirming your payments or transfers online.

The card reader buttons explained

Image of card reader button c

C button

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

Image of card reader button cl

CL button

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

Image of lock

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.

Image of menu button

Menu button

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

Image of card reader button OK

OK button

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

Image of arrows

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.

Image of tick

Sign button

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

Log in - step by step 

How to log in using a card reader

Once you've entered your customer number, the system will automatically recognise you have a card reader and display the card reader log in page on your screen.

If you then choose to log in with your card reader, we can then ensure it's you as it uses:

  • Something you have - your FlexAccount Visa debit card, and
  • Something only you know - Your PIN

We can still identify you if you 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 login screen

Step 1 - Enter your customer number

On the Log in screen, enter your customer number. If you've forgotten this, select 'I've forgotten my customer number'.

card reader select screen

Step 2 - Select your card

Select the card you wish to use from the drop down list on your screen.

Card reader login 2

Step 3 - Insert your card into the card reader 

Pop your card into your card reader (with the chip facing you and towards the bottom left).

Card reader login 3

Step 4 - Select the identify button

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

Card reader login 4

Step 5 - Enter your PIN

Enter your debit card PIN and press 'OK'.

Card reader login 5

Step 6 - Enter your passcode and Log in 

Your card reader will display a passcode. 

Card reader login

Enter your passcode in the passcode box on your screen and choose 'Log in'.

Authorise payments - step by step

How to authorise a payment with your card reader

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

Step 1 - Select your card

Insert the card being requested on the screen into your Card Reader, you can use the drop down list if you hold more than one debit card with us.

Step 2 - Select the sign button

Step 2 - Select the Sign button

Press the sign button when asked to Select Function (an image of the button will be displayed on your screen).

Step 3 -  Enter your PIN

Step 3 - Enter your PIN

Enter your card PIN when asked and press OK.

Step 4 - Enter the reference number

Step 4 - Enter your reference number

Enter the reference number given on the screen into your Card Reader (this should be an 8 digit figure please do not include a space) and press OK.

Step 5 - Enter the amount

Step 5 - Enter the amount

Enter the amount you wish to transfer and press OK. Please do not include a decimal point. For example, £132.00 should be entered like this: 13200.

Step 6 - enter passcode

Step 6 - Enter passcode

A passcode will then be generated on your card reader. Enter this passcode into the box on the screen (without any spaces) and choose authorise.

Close up of hand scrolling on tablet

Want to know how to make a payment online? 

You can make payments and transfers from your current account online.

View payments and transfers - Want to know how to make a payment online? 

Authorise changes to Log in details - step by step

How to authorise Internet and Mobile Banking Log in changes with your card reader

When making authorising a Log in change online using the Internet Bank, you may be asked to use your card reader. To do this, just follow the steps below:

Step 1 - Select your card

Step 1 - Select your card

Insert the card being requested on the screen into your Card Reader, you can use the drop down list if you hold more than one debit card with us.

Step 6 - enter passcode

Step 2 - Select the Respond button

Press the respond button when asked to Select Function (an image of the button will be displayed on your screen).

Step 3 -  Enter your PIN

Step 3 - Enter your PIN

Enter your card PIN when asked and press OK.

Step 4 - Enter the reference number

Step 4 - Enter your reference number

Enter the reference number given on the screen into your Card Reader (this should be an 8 digit figure please do not include a space) and press OK.

Step 6 - enter passcode

Step 2 - Select the Respond button

Press the respond button when asked to Select Function (an image of the button will be displayed on your screen).

Image for making online changes to your log in details

Want to know how to change your Internet and Mobile Banking Log in details online? 

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

Find out more - Want to know how to change your Internet and Mobile Banking Log in details online? 

All about your card reader

What's the benefit of card reader security? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Card readers are an additional level of security. When you use your card reader we are assured it's you logging in and that you have initiated any transactions. This helps prevent fraudsters:

  • attempting to log in as you and transferring your money.
  • installing Trojans (computer virus) which are capable of recording your personal details. Find out more about Trojans
  • intercepting your transactions and making changes to them.

These types of fraud are often used to fund criminal activity and we all have to bear the cost. Find out how you can keep safe online

Never use your card reader over the phone or in any context other than logging into or verifying transactions on the Internet Bank.

Card reader scams to be aware of - This link is used to show and hide related content.

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.

Does the card reader replace the security questions? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Yes, security questions are an additional level of security for customers who don't have a FlexAccount Visa debit card. If we have written to you enclosing your card reader, you'll need to start using it when prompted on the Internet Bank. You will no longer need your security questions to confirm transactions on the Internet Bank, but you will need your card reader.

When will I need to use my card reader? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

You should be prepared to use your card reader at any time during your online banking session. However, here are the most common types of requests:

  • When you log in - you can choose to log in with your card reader. This may help to reduce the number of times the card reader is requested to authorise transactions
  • Authorising certain transactions - like: making or setting up payments, changing your name, address and other personal details.

You will not need your card reader for online purchases made with your Visa debit or credit card, these are protected by Verified by Visa.

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 instructed over the telephone to use your card reader, either to hand over authorisation codes or transfer money, do not comply with the request.

Does my card reader hold personal information? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

No, your card reader doesn't contain any personal information. It just reads the chip on your card and no one can access your accounts if it is lost or stolen.

Can I have more than one card reader? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Yes you can. Order a new card reader here, but we reserve the right to make a charge for this in the future.

Popular queries about using a card reader

Accessibility - This link is used to show and hide related content.

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.

Can I use any card reader for Nationwide Internet Banking? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Yes. Nationwide’s card readers can be used for online banking with other providers, and you can also use card readers from other providers for Internet Banking with Nationwide.

Never use your card reader over the phone or in any context other than logging into or verifying transactions on the Internet Bank.

Can I use my cash card+ and savings cards in my card reader? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

No. You cannot use your cash card+ in your card reader.

Does the card reader need activating or connecting to a computer? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

No. Your card reader doesn't need activating and it doesn't need connecting to a computer.,

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. The battery life is between 2-3 years, view our card reader demo.

Do I need my PIN? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

No. Your card reader doesn't need activating and it doesn't need connecting to a computer.,

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. The battery life is between 2-3 years, view our card reader demo.

How do I enter numbers into my card reader? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Yes. Card readers work by using:

  • Something you have - your FlexAccount Visa debit card, and
  • Something only you know - Your PIN.

Please use the same PIN as you would use in an ATM or shop, for the card you're using.

If a transaction isn't confirmed by a card reader, is it still secure? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

All transactions are assessed to determine whether or not your card reader should be used. If you haven't been asked to use your card reader, your transaction has still gone through the same assessment process and will be secure. You may not have been asked to use your card reader because you've already used it to log in, or confirm a previous transaction.

I'm having difficulty using the buttons or reading the card reader display? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

If you're having difficulty using the buttons or reading the display on our standard card reader, you can order an accessibility card reader here. When you select why you need to replace your card reader, please choose the accessibility option.

Is the number of PIN tries restricted? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Yes. If you enter your PIN incorrectly three times in a row your card will be locked to prevent anyone guessing your PIN. Learn how to unlock your PIN.

Which Nationwide cards can I use in my card reader? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

If you have more than one FlexAccount Visa debit card, all your card numbers will be displayed in a drop down menu on your screen. You can select any of the cards from the list to authorise your transaction, but please ensure that you use the same card in your card reader.

If you need help, you can view a demo of how to log in using your card reader.

Who can log in using a card reader? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Customers who have a FlexAccount Visa debit card (excluding cash card+) who:

  • have been issued with a card reader, and
  • are online bankers.

Once you've entered your customer number, our Internet Bank will recognise you as a card reader user and will automatically provide you with the additional log in screen.

What should I do if I’m asked to use my card reader over the phone? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Say no. Never use your card reader in any context other than logging into or verifying transactions on the Internet Bank. If you are instructed over the telephone to use your card reader, either to hand over authorisation codes or transfer money, do not comply with the request.

Can any card reader be used for Nationwide Internet Banking? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Yes. Nationwide’s card readers can be used for online banking with other providers, and you can also use card readers from other providers for Internet Banking with Nationwide.

How can I upgrade to a FlexAccount with a Visa debit card? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

You can upgrade your FlexAccount by completing an online application or visiting a branch.

You will then have access to a range of exclusive offers along with a card reader and Internet Banking. Take a look at our FlexAccount benefits & offers and how you can apply online.

Card reader troubleshooting

Card reader error messages - This link is used to show and hide related content.

See below for a list of common error messages and what they mean.

LAST PIN TRY
You have one last attempt to enter your PIN correctly before it will be locked. You will not be able to make purchases in retail shops or on the internet bank, if your PIN has been locked.

PIN LOCKED CALL ISSUER
Your PIN has been locked for shop purchases and internet banking. Use this link to learn how to unlock your PIN.

CHECK CARD
Is your card the wrong way up? Insert your card into the card reader with the cards chip downwards and facing you.

WRONG CARD
If you have more than one FlexAccount Visa debit card, all your card numbers will be displayed in a drop down menu on your screen. You can select any of the cards from the list to authorise your transaction, but please ensure that you use the same card in your card reader.

If you need help, you can view a demo of how to log in using your card reader.

CARD ERROR 1, 2 or 3
There's a problem with the chip on your card. Please call us to report your card as damaged and we'll order you a new one. You can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:

  • 08457 30 20 10 (UK)
  • +441793 656789 (Abroad)

NO POWER / BATTERY LOW
You can then either replace the batteries (2 X CR2032) or request a replacement card reader on the Internet Bank. To replace the batteries, remove the battery drawer using a pen and insert the new batteries as detailed below:

Replacing the batteries on your card reader

Instructions for replacing the batteries in a card reader

How do I order a replacement card reader? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

You can order a new card reader here.

Please don't throw your old reader in the bin, it needs to be disposed of separately to normal household waste. Please hand it in to one of our branches and we will make sure it's recycled.

I don't have my card reader with me / My card reader is lost or broken - This link is used to show and hide related content.

You still have the option to log in using your memorable data but certain transactions will require your card and card reader.

You can order a new card reader here.

What you can do in the meantime:

  • Visit a branch - Many of our branches have card readers available, ask at a branch for more information
  • Do you have access to another card reader? - You can use another Nationwide card reader or a card reader from any other trusted source like UK Banks or Building Societies.

I need to make an urgent payment and don't have my card or card reader - This link is used to show and hide related content.

If you don't have your Visa debit card or card reader, you will not be able to carry out certain transactions online, like:

  • making or setting up payments, and
  • changing or viewing your name, address and telephone numbers.

Do you have your Visa debit card but not your card reader? Many of our branches have card readers available, ask at a branch for more information.

Do you have access to another card reader? You can use another Nationwide card reader or a card reader from any other trusted source like UK Banks or Building Societies.

My card reader doesn't work? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

You can order a new card reader here.

Please don't throw your old reader in the bin, it needs to be disposed of separately to normal household waste. Please hand it in to one of our branches and we will make sure it's recycled.

My card reader keeps switching off - This link is used to show and hide related content.

All card readers automatically switch off after 40 seconds of inactivity. Don't worry, this won't affect your transaction. Simply re-insert your card and start again.

The battery on my card reader is flat - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Card reader batteries normally last 2-3 years. You then have the option to either replace them (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:

Replacing the batteries on your card reader

Instructions for replacing the batteries in a card reader

The card I am using is different from the card shown on my screen - This link is used to show and hide related content.

If you have more than one FlexAccount Visa debit card, your Internet Banking screen will display a drop down menu showing all your card numbers. You can choose any card to authorise your transaction, as long as it matches the card you're using in your card reader. The card used doesn't determine the account the money is debited from. Follow this link for our demos.

If none of the numbers displayed on the online banking screen match your card, it could be because:

  • You're using an old card
  • We've issued you with a replacement card which you haven't received yet
  • You have reported your card lost or stolen

What do I do if I've forgotten my PIN? - This link is used to show and hide related content.

Please note: You will not be able to make payments to other organisations using our Internet Banking service, until you have received either a new PIN or PIN reminder.

You can order a PIN reminder online, please log in to the Internet Bank and:

1. Select your account- from the account list, please ensure you select the account you want to order a new PIN for
2. Select Other Account Services - from the menu on the left side of the page
3. Select PIN reminder
4. Follow the on screen instructions

I've entered my PIN incorrectly - This link is used to show and hide related content.

If you've entered your PIN incorrectly three times in a row your card will be locked to prevent anyone guessing your PIN. Use this link to learn how to unlock your PIN.

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.

Upgrade your current account

Our current accounts come with access to different features and benefits, so you can choose an account that's right for you.

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