Safety tips for your cards and your PIN
Member Card (debit card), MasterCard Credit Cards, MasterCard Global Payment Card
Wainwright Credit Union card security is based on two factors:
- the actual construction of the card, with its magnetic strip or embedded computer chip, number and security code;
- a personal identification number (PIN).
Our manufacturer takes care of the physical security features of the card. You take care of the PIN. Card transactions require the use of both.
All information applies to each of the three card types, except where indicated otherwise.
What letters and numbers can I use for my PIN?
4 digits, no letters.
Does the PIN have to make sense?
Only to you. When you choose your PIN, avoid obvious numbers such as your date of birth, part of your phone number, address, simple sequences, etc. which would be easy for a thief to guess.
When and how do I get my PIN?
If you get your first card from a staff member at Wainwright Credit Union (your name will not be on it), you will choose your PIN right away. If you get your first card from our provider CUETS (your name will be on it), your PIN will come in the mail.
MasterCard credit card and MasterCard Global Payment Card:
Once you have been approved for a MasterCard credit card or a MasterCard Global Payment card, you will be sent a PIN in the mail.
Three days after receiving your PIN in the mail, your card will arrive in the mail. You may keep that PIN, or change it, as you wish.
When it is time for a renewal card, you will automatically receive a PIN from our provider, CUETS, in the mail. Three days later, your card will come in the mail. You may keep that PIN, or change it, as you wish.
Who should know my PIN?
Just you. No-one else, not even a trusted family member. Sadly, fraud, inadvertent PIN disclosure and misuse can happen to anyone. In fact, the card agreement you signed specifies that you will give your PIN to no-one.
How can I remember my PIN?
- Memorizing it is best.
- If you are afraid you will forget, write it down, perhaps in your address book. You could make it part of a fictitious person’s phone number or address. The more plausible you make that address, the less likely someone could connect any of that information to your PIN… only you will know what portion of that address and or phone number is your PIN.
- DO NOT WRITE YOUR PIN ON YOUR CARD. Please don’t laugh…you’d be surprised at how many people do.
How often should I change my PIN?
We recommend changing your PIN often on a frequency that works for you. You may choose to change it monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or other. We suggest changing it no less than twice a year as the more often you change it, the more secure you keep your PIN.
Where can I change my PIN?
- at any branch of Wainwright Credit Union during business hours. Bring valid ID. Check the locations page on our website: www.wainwright-cu.com;
- at any Alberta credit union during business hours. (You don’t have to remember your current PIN). Bring valid ID. For a listing of Alberta credit unions, and their business hours, visit www.albertacreditunions.com.
- at any Wainwright Credit Union ATM, 24/7. You need to know your current PIN. Locations are: Wainwright branch lobby and drive-thru; Hardisty branch, and Edgerton branch. Select “other” from the list of possible transactions and follow the prompts;
- at any Canadian credit union ATM displaying the ACCU-Link logo and which is chip compliant. For a listing of Canadian credit unions, visit www.albertacreditunions.com. You can use the ATM 24/7. When you begin, select “other” from the list of possible transactions and follow the prompts.
When do I need to use my PIN?
- when you use one of the hundreds of thousands of ATMs all over the world, whether credit union or not. Check the back of your card for symbols of compatible network ATMs;
- when you pay for your purchases at any of the hundreds of thousands of Canadian points of sale. It may also be accepted at some foreign points of sale.
How can I keep my PIN safe when I am using it?
- check over your shoulder at an ATM to make sure the next person in line cannot see you entering your PIN;
- check for extra devices around an ATM PINpad or at a point of sale which seem unnecessary. Such unauthorized devices could have been placed there to record your PIN;
- shield the PINpad with your hand so other people or a possible pinhole camera cannot see your PIN as you enter it.
Do I still have to use my PIN if I have a chip card, or not?
Member Card and Master Card credit card:
Yes, you do. Both chip and magnetic strip technologies require the use of your PIN. Some points of sale merchant terminals are not yet chip-enabled, your debit card will be swiped, and you will enter your PIN when prompted.
What happens if I lose my card?
Your PIN is needed for all ATM cash withdrawals and all point of sale purchases, so there is little risk of your card being used. When you report your card lost or stolen, your card will be cancelled, and you will be issued a new card with a new PIN. You may keep the PIN, or change it, as you wish.