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

What is a card reader?

A card reader is a security device needed by all customers looking to get the most out of Digital Banking.  It works with your Digital Banking service to provide an extra layer of protection against online fraud.

When you register for Digital Banking a card reader will automatically be sent to you and should arrive within 3-5 working days.


Using biometric approvals on your mobile app

You can also register for biometric approvals on your mobile app which will allow you authorise certain transactions within Digital Banking instead of using your card reader.  Criteria apply.

When you'll need a card reader

You may sometimes need your card reader when logging into Digital Banking and will also need it to complete certain tasks, such as:

  • Making a payment for the first time online.
  • Amending your daily payment limits for Digital Banking, the Mobile app and Open Banking.
  • Creating or amending a payee, including changing the payment reference.
  • Changing personal details, like your mobile number, email address or PIN and password.

It’s really important to remember we’ll never contact you and ask you to share your card reader details with us over the phone. 

Everyday banking without a card reader

If you don't have a card reader, you can still make payments and manage regular payments with the mobile app anytime, anywhere.  You can also use your biometrics to authorise Digital Banking transactions if you have registered through your mobile app. Criteria apply.

Using the Royal Bank app

If you don't have a card reader, there are a number of everyday tasks you can complete using your mobile app.
  • Pay someone new
  • Pay an existing international payee
  • Cancel direct debits
  • Set up / amend / cancel standing orders

When paying someone new using the mobile app, there is a limit of 5 payments totalling £1,000 per day. When paying an existing international payee, there is a limit of £10,000 per day. You must be aged 16 or over.

Using biometric approvals

Setting up biometric approvals through the Royal Bank app gives you more control over your accounts. You can use it to authorise:

  • First time payments to someone new through the app or Digital Banking
  • Payments in the app over the £1,000 daily limit without needing to go to Digital Banking
  • Changes to your payment limits and personal details in Digital Banking

If you're registered for face biometrics, you can pay a new payee up to a maximum of £20000, or £50000 for Premier and business customers, in a single payment without a card reader. The recipient will appear in your saved payees after the first time you make a payment to them.

Setting up a card reader

How to use a card reader

  1. 01

    Insert your card into the reader making sure the card number matches the one shown on Digital Banking

  2. 02

    On the card reader, when asked to 'Select Function', press the button with the up and down arrows

  3. 03

    When prompted, enter your card's PIN and press the 'OK' button 

  4. 04

    In the card-reader, enter the number displayed by Digital Banking and press the 'OK' button

  5. 05

    In Digital Banking enter the passcode number shown by the card reader

How to order a card reader

Should you need to order a replacement card reader this can be done through Digital Banking, please allow up to 3-5 working days for the card reader to reach you.

Alternatively, if you have registered for biometric approvals on your mobile app you can also use your biometrics to authorise transactions within Digital Banking.

Common Questions