Keeping the ATM card protected and safe is important to avoid any fraudulent access to the account holder’s savings. However, there is always a possibility of an ATM card ending up being stolen and misused. In circumstances when a cardholder suspects that the card might be misused, it is best to get it blocked or deactivated. In order to block the ATM card easily and quickly, several banks have streamlined their processes so that little or no time is lost in blocking the ATM card. But, to block an ATM card in such a situation, one must be aware of how to block and unblock ATM card.
How to Block an ATM Card?
There are several ways to block an ATM card. Some of the steps are mentioned below:
- Customer Care: ATM card comes with a toll-free number printed on its back. It is best for the account holder to save that number in his / her mobile phone and call it when he / she want to block ATM card. Before that keep the ATM card number and account number handy as one would need them to block the card.
- Visit the Nearest Bank Branch: Go to the nearest bank branch with the ATM card number and account number. The cardholder can request the bank executive to block his / her card.
- Block ATM Card Online: Go to the bank’s official website and login to the net banking section. After logging in to the bank net banking portal, the cardholder should look for the “ATM Card Block” section and follow the steps required by the bank. Follow the directions there to get the ATM card hotlisted.
- Through Mobile Banking App: Most banks have mobile banking apps that enable a customer to block their ATM Cards. So, every cardholder should ensure that he / she has the mobile banking app installed.
- Through the Bank’s Automated Reporting System: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks to send transaction alerts to the customers for every transaction made in their accounts. This SMS or email always carries a mobile number to alert if the transaction is fraudulent. The cardholder can send an SMS to the number forwarding the message and ATM card will be blocked immediately. This can be helpful when any fraudulent transaction is done but will not be helpful in case of theft of ATM card until any transaction is made.
How to Unblock ATM Card?
ATM card could have been blocked for several reasons and therefore the answer to unblocking it depends upon the reason why it was blocked in the first place.
- Automatic unblocking (24 hours): When you enter the wrong ATM PIN thrice, ATM card is blocked for 24 hours to avoid misuse. However, after 24 hours it will unlock on its own.
- Submit Written Application: If the cardholder mistakenly or purposely has blocked the card, then he / she will have to submit a written application at the nearest bank branch. This must be accompanied by the cardholder’s identity proofs so that the card can be unblocked.
- New card issued by Bank: If the bank has blocked the card due to a security breach in their systems, they will provide the cardholder with a new one free of cost.
- Replace expired ATM Card: If ATM card has expired, it will be blocked. The cardholder can ask the bank to renew it and provide a new one as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can I unblock my ATM card?
There are different ways to unblock your blocked ATM card. The most common way is to use your bank’s SMS banking service and send an SMS in the prescribed format from your registered mobile number. You can also write an application about the same and submit it at your bank so that the concerned authorities can continue further procedures. Besides that, internet banking, phone banking, mobile banking, and bank’s automated report system are some channels to unblock your ATM card.
Q. Can I unblock my ATM card online?
Yes, it is possible to unblock your ATM card online if your bank provides the same service. Most of the public and private sector banks have dedicated internet banking and mobile banking channels to provide such banking services online.
Q. Can you still transfer money if your card is locked?
No, it is not possible to transfer money via your ATM/debit card if it is locked. However, you can still use your account details to transfer money via NEFT or RTGS. To unlock your card, you can consider taking the matter to the bank/card issuer’s Customer Services or Credit Control Department.
Q. Can I temporarily block my ATM card?
Yes, you can block or deactivate your ATM card temporarily.