You go to an ATM, withdraw money, count it, then walk away forgetting to take your debit card out of the machine. It is one of those machines that swallows the card to read the encrypted data to complete the transaction.
The next morning, you find to your horror that your debit card is not in your wallet. You call the bank on the customer service hotline and have the card blocked.
Fortunately, no money is lost and you request a replacement card for an additional fee.
But what if you choose to retrieve your card by going to the bank branch or ATM instead of blocking it? Is it possible? Or can a fraudster misuse your ATM box if they have access to it?
What happens if you forget your card at an ATM?
There are two scenarios: whether you use your card at your own bank’s ATM or at another bank’s ATM.
If you have an account with Bank X and you forget your card at an ATM operated by another bank, your ATM card will be destroyed.
Chitrabhanu KG, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Retail Assets and Cards, Federal Bank, explains that if a customer of another bank forgets to withdraw their card from the ATM, the bank branch that operates the ATM will destroy the map.
“In such cases, the bank branch operating the ATM cannot identify the customer of the other bank and therefore the card cannot be returned to the customer. branch ATM will register the card number and name in a register and destroy the card,” adds Chitrabhanu.
Even if you manage to reach the other bank or branch (other bank) where the ATM was located to retrieve your card, you will not retrieve it either.
Says Sony A, Managing Director and CIO of South Indian Bank, “If you forget your card at an ATM or on the premises, and if a good guy hands the card over to the branch that operates the ATM, the branch won’t be able to either contacting the customer on the basis of the physical details of the card, or handing the card over to someone claiming to belong to them, unless this is the customer’s originating branch, where the authenticity can be confirmed.
Also, there are no plans to contact the currently available map network.
“Acquiring banks will not contact VISA/Rupay/MasterCard as no such procedure is currently available and information from their end would also be minimal,” Sony adds.
According to Sony, customers should immediately call their bank to block the card as soon as they find it missing and request a new card.
But what if you lose your card at an ATM operated by your bank?
In this case, the process differs from bank to bank. Some banks will return your card to you after verification. Another bank will only return it if the ATM is under your home branch. For example, suppose you have an account at Branch X, which has 10 ATMs. If you lose your card at one of these 10 ATMs, the bank will return your card to you after verification. If you lose your card at any ATM outside of these 10 ATMs, you will not get your bank card back.
However, this varies from bank to bank.
Can someone fraudulently use your card or clone it?
If you forget to remove the card from the machine and a fraudster takes it, he will also not be able to use it for a cash withdrawal or any other transaction without knowing the PIN code of said card.
“In India, most of the cards contain an EMV chip, where even if the card is cloned (from the magnetic stripe on the back), the chances of withdrawing money using the cloned card are very less, as most banks do not allow such debits against magnetic stripe details,” adds Sony.
However, a fraudster can use said card for contactless payment transactions, within the limit of Rs 5,000 per transaction, if said facility is activated for this card.
But there is also a remedy for this.
Chitrabhanu said every banking customer gets 24/7 access to card management modules, through multiple applications including mobile banking app, Netbanking, ATM, IVR and bank branches through to which it can deactivate facilities such as international card transactions, e-commerce transactions and contactless payments.
“If the customer identifies that they have lost the card, they can either block specific features or permanently block the card through one of the channels so that further transactions are not allowed with the card,” adds Chitrabhanu.
A VISA spokesperson said in a statement that it is important that a customer notifies the card-issuing bank immediately if the card is lost so that necessary action can be taken.
Regarding contactless cards, VISA said in a statement that “contactless cards incorporate many layers of security, both at the bank level and at the network level. Card networks use various security measures and protocols to anticipate, identify and report suspicious transactions so that banks can take action.
As to whether or not the cards can be cloned, VISA said in a statement that EMV-compliant chip contactless cards are “almost impossible to clone.” Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, consumers should use their bank’s card control functions to deactivate all the contactless functionalities of the card and block its access as soon as the customer notices that the card is missing.
What should you do for a safe banking practice?
You should write down your bank’s customer service number or your card’s hot number list number and always keep track of your bank balance. If you lose your debit/credit card, immediately open your mobile banking/Netbanking apps and website to access your bank’s card control management. Then you have to deactivate all the functionalities of the respective card, including the contactless option (if you have it).