What to do if your card gets stuck in ATM

Nigerian banks

You dip your debit card in an automated teller machine (ATM) but realise that it has got stuck inside.

This is an experience that many of us have had. Why does this happen? And what can one do to get the card back?

Why does it happen?

A debit or credit card can get stuck in an ATM for two reasons – error in connection or delay in entering details. In case of fluctuation in power supply or network connection, the machine may be unable to link the information you have fed to the central system. This will cause an error due to which the card might get stuck.

There’s also a possibility of the ATM swallowing a card because a customer takes too long – more than a minute – to enter details such as withdrawal amount, personal identification number (PIN) or any other. Till some years back, if a blocked card was used at an ATM, the machine would swallow it. But now, most machines display a message – invalid card – and reject the card. Same is true if you key in the wrong PIN thrice.

Regardless of whether the card is stuck in an own-bank ATM or another bank’s ATM, it will be submitted to the bank that operates the ATM. If your card is stuck in an own-bank ATM, the vendor who cleans or reloads the machine will submit the card to your bank. Similarly, if it is stuck in an other-bank ATM, the vendor will submit it in the bank that operates the ATM. The operating bank will inform the other bank based on a common protocol that is followed by all banks under regulatory guidelines.

What should you do?

First and foremost, immediately inform your bank. Call the Customer Service Department of your bank and give details of the ATM or place where the card has got stuck. You have two choices – block the card or get it retrieved.

You may want it blocked so that it isn’t misused by anyone. The bank will send the replacement card and its PIN through post to your registered address, usually within seven-10 days. Alternatively, you could visit the nearest bank branch to get a replacement card instantly. Remember to carry your identification proof, such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. The procedure varies across banks. Such replacement cards are free of cost.

If you are sure that the card is indeed stuck in an ATM and know that machine’s location, you can inform the operating bank, which will arrange for the same card to be retieved and sent to you or to a convenient bank branch.

The procedure is the same if a credit card gets stuck in an ATM. The replacement card will, of course, have a different number and PIN, but all other features will remain the same as the previous card’s.

Culled from The Sun

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