Are you embarrassed to shield your pin code when paying in shops?

Are you embarrassed to hide your pin code when paying in shops?

Are you embarrassed to hide your pin code when paying in shops?

The lady in front of me in the supermarket today had the pin code 1910. I know this because I saw her key it in. She did it without any attempt to conceal it from me or anyone else in the queue – she just stood back and blithely punched each number in.

All I would’ve needed to do is grab her card, run out the door, go to a cash machine and bazinga, £400 mine straight away. (Ok, I know it’s unlikely, it’d be a career ruining moment for me, but you get my point).

This isn’t an uncommon occurrence, I’ve lost count of the number of pin numbers I’ve seen (I do usually try and look away, but sometimes it’s too obvious). I think it’s become embarrassing for people to hide their pin codes. 

I know I sometimes feel that it’d be rude to put one hand over the hand putting the code in – you worry it may offend the shop staff or others in the queue by indicating you’re worried they’re dishonest. My own technique is instead to put all my fingers on the keys, so it’s very difficult for anyone to see what I’m pressing (I asked Mrs MSE to look and she couldn’t work it out).

So as I’ve been mulling this over, I thought I’d try and see how you feel.

  • Is it embarrassment, or is it just not thinking about it?
  • What’s your pin code technique – do you have any tricks that may help others?
  • Are you psychologically more likely to take more care at an ATM, rather than in a store (even though the end result would be the same)?

I’d love your answers, please let me know by one of the links below.