First of all, make sure that the debit card is actually lost. Perhaps you forgot it in another jacket or left it at the store you just left.
Case#1: there is no doubt – the card was lost or someone stole it
In the case the debit card was stolen or lost, you need to urgently report the bank and block the card. After all, there is a high probability that scammers can use it or withdraw cash at any moment. You can block a bank card in different ways:
- Call the hotline. It is a universal way. The emergency phone number is always indicated on the bank’s official website. The call center operator will ask you to name your ID data, a code word or an SMS code that will be sent to your phone. After that, the operator will block the card.
- Via a mobile app. The fastest way, if you have access to the Internet, the app is already set up on your phone and it has an option to block the card.
- Online banking. It is convenient if you have online banking connected and have a computer, tablet or smartphone with Internet access nearby. In the personal account on the bank’s website, there is usually an option “Block card”. Your decision will need to be confirmed with a SMS code, which the bank will send to your number.
- By SMS. Some banks use an SMS command system. A code word must be sent to the bank’s short number (for example, “blocking”). In response, you will get a code that must be sent back to the bank number to confirm the action. But it is better to clarify in advance whether your bank offers such a service and what code words you need to use.
- At the bank office. If you are near a bank office or have lost your phone along with a card, write a statement about blocking the card at the bank office. But for this you need an ID.
Immediately after blocking the card, you can leave a request for a new one release.
Case#2: the card seems to be left at home
If you are still hoping to find a card and are almost sure that it is somewhere at home or at work, then other options may work for you:
- Temporary card blocking. Some banks offer a temporary blocking service: if a card is found, you can unblock it and you don’t have to waste time re-issuing a new card. If the card is really lost, then it can be blocked forever. The temporary blocking service can be accessed through a mobile application, online bank or a hotline operator.
- Zero limit on any transactions. This is an alternative option: the card seems to be active, but it cannot pay anything or transfer money to another account. Usually, you can set a zero limit on transactions through a mobile app, online banking or a hotline. And after that, continue to calmly search for a debit card.
It is worth finding out in advance in your bank whether it is possible to temporarily block the card and change the limit on it. If it turns out that your bank does not offer such options, you will have to weigh the risks each time and decide whether to immediately block the card permanently or still wait and look for it.
The card was never found. Can you restore it?
If you still have not found the debit card, but intend to continue using the account to which it is linked, the card must be reissued. It takes from 1 to 10 days in different banks.
You can apply for a reissue at a bank office or through an online bank. The new card will be linked to the previous account, but its number and PIN will be changed. If you do not want to use your old account, then simply withdraw money from it at the office and close it off.
If you have lost a credit card which is in debt, it is best to reissue it. After all, you still need to make payments on the loan, even if the card has disappeared. While you are waiting for a new card, you will have to pay off the debt at the bank office through the cashier or in another way that is specified in your loan agreement.
What if the fraudsters have already managed to steal money from the card before I blocked it?
If you act quickly, you have a great chance to get the stolen back. You can object to a card transaction that was made by fraudsters. But this must be done no later than the next day after you receive a notification from the bank about the operation.
If you meet this deadline, the bank will return the money. True, before that, he will have to make sure that you have not violated the safety rules when using the card. For example, that you yourself did not provide the criminals with your card details or did not write the PIN code directly on the card.