One card-reader fits all for online banking

By Nic Price on 9 May 2008 — 1 min read

Good news if you do online banking with several different banks.

You only need one card-reader.

The card-readers are all the same bar the branding.

So if you bank with Barclays, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS and no doubt others too, you can get away with only carrying one card-reader around with you.

I’ve tried it with a couple of the major banks and building societies and I can confirm that all cards and card readers are compatible.

They’re using the APAC – UK payments association – standard. There’s some background on this slightly out of date page on the APACs website

It’s still a pain to have to carry one around though. Puts a terrible bulge in the pocket!

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  • Hi Euan – the card-readers have been introduced by some of the banks and building societies as an extra layer of security between us and our money!

    To access your online bank account, you have to put the card in the reader and enter your PIN to generate a code which you then enter in to the bank’s website.

    Some banks only make you use the reader if you’re transferring money to other people’s accounts.

  • Bit of a pain really.

    Given they’re all the same bar the branding it’s a shame the banks didn’t all get together and agree on one company making generically branded readers for all of them, and working with customers to explain we only need one each.

    Now that would be corporate social responsibility!

  • Well, the burden of carrying a card reader is a necessity that ensures more security for your hard earned money. Thank heavens that the manufacturers follow the APAC – UK payments association – standard, if not the problem of carrying several readers would have been taken care of by guys making do with just one online account.

    Identity and card theft is what the card reading requirement is all about; never mind that the banks are too independent to even think of cooperating in the card reader issue as it concerns the convenience of their consumers.

    It quite good of you to post on this card reader issue, a lot of folks are not aware and so carry more than one reader some times.

    • Rhian hi – to the best of my knowledge the card reader doesn’t affect the time it takes, it’s simply an extra layer of security.

      The answer will depend on however long your bank takes to transfer to other banks.

  • Am I the only one who thinks this totally undermines the point of online banking? And how can it be extra secruity if I have to keep the card and the reader with me at all times? Seems more like a recipe for extra fraud, extra inconvenience.
    I’m looking for a bank that does not insist on using them – any suggestions?

  • Steven, it looks like there’s no escape from these things.

    I’m still disappointed they all had to have their own branding and manufacturing, when one central company could have done it, which would have been a lot more ecofriendly.

  • hey really need a card reader, can any one sell me one as now living in germany, kind regards

  • Can I use a Card Reader which is not one of the big UK banks? I’ve seen them around but need an answer before buying . My friend is in India for several more months and forgot to take his Nationwide Reader. None of his friends there have a Reader and a new one from Nationwide will take too long to get there by post. Therefore, he have to buy one.

  • Card readers are free from your Bank! If you require one to make transactions through your Bank then it will normally be supplied free in UK. In Irish Republic the first card is free and if you need to renew they rob you of 6 Euro or so. They insist on having it and charge you for having it. Make what you want of that. As said here all card readers are the same and use the same tech. Theoretically speaking they should be the same around the world. However I do not know how they communicate with the Bank? Anyone know?

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