Looking for answers
Ask a question

What is a card-reader and how do I use one?

Image of Card-Reader and Card

A card-reader is a security device which looks a lot like a small calculator. It provides you with an extra level of security when using Digital Banking. It's battery-powered and you don't need to attach it to your computer.

If you've not yet ordered a card-reader see How do I order a card-reader?

If you're having issues with your existing card-reader see Need help with your card-reader?

You can make payments of up to £750 via your mobile app without the card reader. For further information please see Can I make a payment in the mobile app using just an account number and sort code?

How to use your card-reader

When asked to use your card-reader it's the same 5 steps each time:

  1. Insert your card in to the reader making sure the card number matches the one shown on Digital Banking.
  2. On the card-reader, when asked to 'Select Function', press the respond button -
  3. When prompted, enter your card's PIN and press the OK button -
  4. In the card-reader, enter the number displayed by Digital Banking and press the OK button -
  5. In Digital Banking enter the passcode number shown by the card-reader.

When you'll use your card-reader

When you are banking online you may be asked to use your debit card and card-reader. If you don't have a debit card then we will have provided you with a card that can only be used in the card-reader.

You will be asked to use your card-reader when completing certain tasks in Digital Banking, such as:

  • Making a payment for the first time online, to a payee that you set up over the phone or in a branch
  • Making a payment for the first time to a payee added as part of the switching process
  • Creating or amending a payee
  • Creating or amending a standing order
  • Changing your mobile number
  • Changing your security number or password
  • And sometimes to confirm who you are on future logins to Online Banking

As a result of industry changes that affects all Bank's equally, we have been required to change the login process for Digital Banking.

This means that as before, when you login, you will be asked for your partial security number and password details, you will however also be asked to provide an additional factor. In some cases, we will be able to identify this through our profiling systems, however where we can't, you will be asked to provide a one time passcode sent to your mobile phone or to use your card and reader. This regulatory change is required in September, however we are releasing our compliant process prior to this date, in August.

For further information on card-readers see rbs.co.uk/reader (opens in a new window).