Your card keeps you safe during this time


During this unprecedented time of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to know how to use your payment tools to shop safely. Social distancing is an important practice to stay safe during this time, and your bank card helps you to do this.

1. Use Contactless to pay

Contactless icon

If your card has the Contactless icon on it, it can be used to simply tap the point of sale device at the store you are buying goods and services from. The benefits of Contactless or Tap and Pay/Tap and Go payments are that your card stays clean from not being passed to anyone to process the transaction; the card doesn’t have to make contact with the point of sale device; and, if the transaction is for a low value payment, you don’t have to touch the point of sale device to enter your pin.

2. Shop online

A reality of the Covid-19 virus is that every person who has it has the ability to infect other people, and they can do the same, and so forth. We really should only be shopping for essential goods, and doing the rest online to limit our risk of infection. Your credit card allows you the ability to shop online and many banks have set up 3D secure services for their customers. 3D secure allows the merchant you are using to communicate your request to purchase a service with your bank. Your bank then sends you back a one time pin (OTP) which you enter to verify that it is you making the purchase, and not a fraudster.

It is crucial for you to never share your password with anyone, and you should know that your bank will never call you to have your OTP read back to them for any reason. We encourage you to shop online during this period to stay safe and to be aware of the safety controls you have on your card when shopping online, to keep your card — and purchase — secure.

3. Be aware of fraudsters

Banks have noted an increase in fraudulent activities during this time, with fraudsters sending messages to consumers that look like they are from a bank. Pay attention to the messages your bank sends you about staying safe and do not share your PIN or OTP with anyone, and do not click on any links that you are sent via email or SMS supposedly from your bank.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

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