Galleries, museums and audio guides

There are over 2,500 museums in the UK ranging from your typical village museum to the vast British Museum and V&A in London. The UK is also home to many well respected and world-famous art galleries which welcome thousands of visitors every year. In fact, a 2019 article published by the Government’s department for digital, culture, media and sport reported a record breaking 50 million visits to UK museums and galleries in the year prior. Many of the medium to large museums and galleries offer an audio guide service which is loaned out for a small fee, or sometimes free of charge. This offers a more engaging experience for the visitor but it means increased costs and liability as some visitors may like the audio guide so much they decide to keep it as a souvenir!

Museum and gallery audio guide stolen

How to stop your audio guides from being stolen

As technology has advanced it’s become the norm to see costly devices being used as audio guides. Many of these devices are smartphone-based solutions which are used as they offer good quality displays, battery life and the ability to run complex applications which allow the visitor to navigate around the museum or gallery. The only problem with this is that some visitors may decide to keep the guide instead of handing it back at the end! The CardsSafe solution has been used by Hampton Court Palace, Bletchley Park, The National Portrait Gallery and other businesses to mitigate this risk. When using CardsSafe you retain a customer debit or credit card as a deposit and exchange it for a unique key which the user will use to collect their card when they leave. It’s simple, cost effective and PCI compliant.

Proof that CardsSafe can help galleries and museums reduce losses

The CardsSafe system was first installed at The National Portrait Gallery in 2011 and it used to protect their audio guide system. CardsSafe has proven to be a successful deterrent in preventing the loss or damage of the gallery’s high-value audio equipment during the 1m+ annual visits. Read the full case study here.

CardsSafe working with The National Portrait Gallery


The National Portrait Gallery has used Cardssafe for the security of its audio guide hire system to guarantee these consumer-grade, high-value IT items against loss or theft. It has always been a successful deterrent, and it has been a pleasure to work with the helpful and efficient team in the Cardssafe administration centre on supply and billing.


Protect your museum or gallery audio guides with CardsSafe

Join CardsSafe today from only £39.95 setup fee and £9.95 per month. Start protecting your audio guides.
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Any comments or questions regarding the CardsSafe system?

Our staff will be more then happy to help. Give us a call on 0845 500 1040 or drop us an email at Happy to help!