Retaining Bank Cards – The Myths

Understandably, we are sometimes asked questions by interested businesses about retaining bank cards.

Is retaining cards safe?
What about GDPR?
What if the bank card is stolen?

Is retaining cards legal?

There are numerous questions that we are only too happy to answer.

Below is a Q&A with CardsSafe’s Founder & Director, Trond Rornes. He dispels some common myths about retaining bank and ID cards.

Q1. With the advent of ‘tap to pay’ and cashless, why would we want to retain cards? 

TR: When technology allows customers to treat payment cards and even their phones as cash – it is much less likely that they will run a tab. According to VISA, venues that encourage running tabs will have at least thirty per cent higher takings than those that do not.

Q2. What happens if a punter leaves their card and lives a long way away?

The duty manager can access the card in the draw with a master key, record the event and pay off the tab with a CNP transaction if the issuing bank allows. As a matter of customer service, the cardholder should be contacted, and an offer should be made to return the card.

In addition, if a customer leaves and leaves their card behind, they will be happy that nobody can misuse the card. 

Q3. What about Covid? Surely, it’s not safe to leave your card behind the bar? 

There are no additional risks associated with leaving a card in a CardsSafe draw. Also, since all hospitality venues should operate a Covid safe environment, the handling of customer cards should be treated like anything else a customer might come in contact with during a visit. 

Q4. I thought it was illegal for a business to retain bank cards?

It has actually NEVER been illegal to retain cards. The banks created the Chip&Pin scheme to shift the liability of any card losses away from the banks and onto the cardholders and merchants. What was illegal was to allow customers to drink alcohol on credit, i.e. run a liquid tab. However, the Blair government repealed this in the latest licensing act, so nothing is illegal.

Q5. What about GDPR? Surely that is affected if you hold cards? 

CardsSafe does not store any payment details, so regarding GDPR, the customer’s bank details are not affected since the vendor does not record any information. As the card is under the control of the cardholder via the unique purple key, there is no conflict between using CardsSafe and GDPR. It is safer for the card to be placed in a CardsSafe box than to be left in a wallet on the premises, even if this is in a purse or jacket pocket.

Q6. What if a customer gave us a stolen card? We couldn’t charge them.

Even though Chip&Pin was meant to do away with Customer Not Present (CNP) transactions, most banks will still accept this, and you can run the charge against the card. We also recommend that before you put a card in the CardsSafe box, you run a 1 penny charge against it (which is taken off from the final bill). The EPOS system will alert you if the card has expired and/or has been reported stolen.

Q7. What if the customer wants to pay their bill but cannot find their key?

Use the manager’s master key to access the customer’s card from the box and complete the payment transaction normally. Politely ask the customer to return the key when it is found. If the key is not found, call CardsSafe customer service for a replacement key.

Find out more about CardsSafe’s Best Practices here and if you’re keen to get the ball rolling, please sign up for your account here!

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!