Bank customers in India are becoming security conscious with their ATM (automated teller machines) transactions. Instances of change in PIN (personal identification number) numbers by bank customers has risen by more than 100% in the last one year.
The total number of PIN changes by customers surged to over 2.85 lakhs at the end of March 2013 from about 1.3 lakhs at the end of April 2012 according to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) data.
"Customers are now more aware about their financial transactions and one of the main reasons behind rise in awareness is customer awareness drive carried out by banks," said S Das Gupta, general manager, Central Bank of India.
A debit card PIN is a four digit secret number given to the customer at the time of issuing a debit card without which the card is useless. NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating all the retail payment and settlement systems in India.
"Customers can now change their debit card PIN from any banks' ATM which is also leading to the rapid rise in PIN changes," said Lalit Sinha, general manager, Union Bank of India.
PIN change facility earlier was offered by the card issuing banks to their customers only at their own ATMs but now customers can change it from any bank's ATM, courtesy the NCPI which introduced the mechanism in August 2010.
"The rise in number of PIN changes is also on account of new accounts opened by banks," said Das Gupta.
Banks are aggressively opening new customer accounts and each account holder is given a debit card which has a default PIN number. Many customers do not retain their default PINs and change them in due course of time to make transactions more secure.