How to Use Serial Numbers on Custom Scratch Cards

Custom scratch cards are an excellent way of generating business leads and gathering information. Serial numbers included on the cards play a large part in this.

If your scratch card provider is able to include serial numbers, they will do this in one of three ways:

  • By printing a serial number somewhere on the card
  • By using a pin number under the scratch-off surface
  • Employing both these techniques

Including serial numbers on custom scratch cards

Customising scratch cards with their own unique serial number allows businesses to track the progress of each scratch card.

Here is an example of how serials numbers might be used:

Sports equipment firm Two in the Hole Ltd has commissioned a printer to produce 600 scratch cards. It sends 200 hundred scratch cards to each of its 3 branches in Sheffield, Chesterfield and Rotherham.

Among the scratch cards, there are 495 minor prizes, 100 medium prices and 5 major prices.

The management at Two in the Hole knows that the minor and medium prizes are spread between the three stores, while 4 of the major prizes are in Sheffield and 1 is in Chesterfield.

By regularly checking with the stores, Two in the Hole will know a number of facts about its customers, including:

  • Which demographic found scratch cards most appealing
  • How many of the major prizes are left
  • Whether people collect their prizes or not

Serial numbers are a great benefit for any company that wants to use customer data for forecasting purposes.

Above is an example of just some of the information that can be gleaned by customising scratch cards with serial numbers. For more advice about how scratch cards can work for you, contact our staff on 01332 299553 or email

Printing pin numbers under the scratch-off surface

Some scratch cards will feature a pin number under the surface layer. Customers will be required to contact the company’s website and register in order to discover what prize they have won.

What businesses may lose by forgoing the slot machine-style entertainment factor, they gain through increased data gathering.

This communication between customer and business will provide any marketing department with a wealth of information, not only about the prizes that have gone, but about the type of person using the company’s service or product. This can include:

  • Age
  • Address
  • Sex
  • Email address
  • Phone number

In fact, there is no limit to the amount of information a company is able to ask. However, caution should be taken when demanding personal data, as there is a limit to the amount of information most people are willing to give. Once that limit is reached, there is a risk that the customer will feel like the whole process is too much effort and simply back off.

Two sets of serial number

The advantages of using both methods is that you can track you cards, gather marketing information and draw potential customers to your site for their prizes.


Serial numbers can also help to ensure that prizes are collected legitimately. Unique serial numbers can be used by a company to tell if a ticket is being claimed within the dates specified, or if the scratch card has been lost or stolen (though this is usually only the case with cards that offer life-changing prizes, for example, lottery tickets).

When large prizes are offered with ‘instant win’ scratch cards there is a risk of fraud occurring.

Instant win scratch cards feature games that reveal whether the player has won or lost immediately upon playing. These often involve matching a certain number of shapes, images or numbers.


This type of game is susceptible to a type of fraud known as delamination, which involves fraudsters separating layers of the scratch card in order to reveal whether or not the ticket is a winner. The crime is committed when those tampering with the ticket fix the back of a losing ticket to a winning ticket. The ticket will then contain different details relating to the person who bought the ticket and who is liable for the prize.

Note: This type of fraud usually only occurs with scratch cards that offer large prizes and require details, such as the name and address of the purchaser, to be included on the back of the card. Most scratch cards designed for marketing purposes will not have this type and will not be subject to any kind of attempted fraud.

Serial numbers can be used to combat this illegal activity — including distinctive serials numbers on both the front and back of the scratch card makes delaminating ineffective.

Purely Digital’s scratch card printing service will help you choose the design and layout of your scratch card, as well as provide personalised serial numbers to each card.

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For more information talk to one of our experienced members of staff on 01332 299553 or email


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