Thursday, October 6, 2016

Teach Kids A Simple Secure PIN Strategy

Colby The Dachshund Rocks PIN Code

Remember this phrase: Colby the dachshund rocks!

Now, read on...

With everything going cashless, it won’t be long before your kids are using PIN-based payment methods like reloadable prepaid cards or bank debit cards.

Using a card responsibly includes learning how to pick a secure but memorable PIN.

Parents definitely need to step up the education here. How do I know? Because in the last 30 days, the third and fourth most common reasons for declines on kids’ FamZoo prepaid cards are PIN related: incorrect PIN entries and security holds due to too many failed PIN attempts. Together, the PIN issues make up 13% of all declines.

Here’s a simple, secure PIN recipe you can teach your kids to follow:

  1. Pick a memorable four word phrase. Maybe a song title, part of a favorite lyric, a statement about your beloved pet, whatever. Just make sure it isn’t something anyone else can easily guess.
  2. Map the first letter of each word to a number using a phone keypad. Bring up the dial pad on a cell phone, and look up the number for each letter. For example, 2 corresponds to A, B, or C. So, the phrase “My Dog Has Fleas’ maps to 6 3 4 3. You’ll notice that 1 and 0 don’t have any corresponding letters, so you can make up your own mapping there. Maybe 1 could be an exclamation point capping off a three word phrase.
  3. Repeat until secure. If your phrase maps to something too obvious, like too many repeated or consecutive numbers, try a different one.
  4. Keep a keypad cheat sheet. Print out a keypad image and keep it in your wallet or purse in case you don’t have a cell phone handy.

So, what’s my secure dachshund PIN?

P.S. Not to worry, I don’t use that PIN any more, but Colby still rocks!

P.P.S. In case you’re curious, the number one decline reason at a whopping 57% is insufficient funds. That’s a different problem for parents to tackle. Here’s one solution.

Want to turn these tips into action? Check out

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