If a bank card (debit card, credit card, prepaid card or any other type of bank card) expires, or you stop using it, you will need to dispose of it in a safe and secure manner.
Why Destroy a Bank Card?
When you have finished using a bank card and no longer need it, (for example, if you've changed bank account or the card has expired), for your personal safety, you should destroy the card.
Never throw a bank card away in a bin in its whole form without destroying each feature and function of the bank card first. Doing so would mean you open yourself up to potential fraud if your card finds its way into the wrong hands.
Safely destroying and disposing of your bank card when you no longer need it helps to greatly reduce the risk of fraud.
How to Destroy the Card
Get rid of your bank card in a safe way by using the below steps.
The magnetic strip positioned on the back of your bank card is made up of multiple tracks which stores your personal banking data. To void the use of the magnetic strip and render its capability useless, run a magnet along the strip a few times.
Tip: any magnet will work – including a fridge magnet.
Cut the Card
This is the fun bit.
Take a strong pair of scissors and cut up the card.
Cutting up your bank card needs to be done in a methodical manner to ensure you have voided each function from working and to make sure the physical features cannot be read by a possible fraudster.
Long Card Number
Cut through the long card number horizontally and then vertically over the letters.
Cut through your name horizontally and then vertically over the letters.
Account Number and Sort-Code
Cut through your account number and sort-code horizontally and then vertically over the numbers.
Cut through the chip diagonally and then keep cutting through it into more pieces.
Security Code (CV2)
Cut through the security code (CV2 – last 3 digits on the back of your card) horizontally and then vertically over the numbers.
Tip: Unless you have an industrial shredder, don’t place your bank card through a standard home-office shredder as the card could potentially break it.
Check the Card Pieces
Look at all the card pieces. Make sure that no one piece contains information on it that could mean something to someone.
Separate Your Bank Card Remains
Don’t place all of the pieces of your bank card into one bin as this potentially gives a fraudster the opportunity to try to piece the card together.
To add an extra layer of security, add some parts of your card to each bin collection day so that your whole bank card in pieces isn’t collected within the same bin collection.
I don’t know what each part of my bank card is?
Don’t worry, we have created an easy to use guide on Debit card features and functions which explains where each feature is and what it is for.
Do I need to do this for all of my old bank cards?
Yes, if any of your bank cards are no longer of any use to you. For example, if the card has expired or if you no longer have a bank account with that specific bank then you need to safely and securely destroy and dispose of the bank card.