There are several reasons why you can keep your ATM card held at an ATM. It may be for security reasons: for example, when exceeding attempts to enter the PIN code or if there is an attack against the system or even if your card is notified due to the possibility of theft, fraud or loss.
You can also keep the ATM card withheld if it has expired, if it is in default (specifically for credit cards, where the card is in “Black list” of Banco de Portugal) or even due to a malfunction of the ATM.
In addition, you may still be the victim of an ATM attack and have your ATM card withheld. Often, thieves place certain devices in the ATM slot where you insert your card, so that it is retained after the transaction you have made.
In order to protect yourself from more complicated situations, namely related to theft, theft or loss of your credit card, in which you can be stolen hundreds of euros, you must have a card that has insurance against these and other risks.
Some credit cards have fraudulent use insurance, covering transactions that occur within 24 or 48 hours after reporting to the financial institution and the authorities. It is important to guard yourself and your finances with a credit card that has adequate insurance to your needs.
I had the ATM card withheld. And now?
If you ever see your ATM card withheld, don't panic. Know what to do in these 3 situations.
1) What to do if the ATM is in a branch of your bank?
Firstly, it matters where you are, that is, whether the ATM is within a bank branch or not. If you are inside one, understand whether or not it is the financial institution that issued your card. If so, you just need to enter the agency and report the situation.
In a simple way and on time, a collaborator will help you in this process and, validating your identity, return the card that was inside the ATM (if the reason for which it was retained allows it).
If it is past closing time, inform your bank and go to the same branch the next day to get the ATM card withheld.
2) What if the ATM is in a branch of another bank?
If the bank branch is from another financial entity other than that of which you are a customer, you must inform not only the branch, but also your bank, and understand, with your bank, the reason for which you have retained the ATM card.
Finally, you should find out about the next steps to take. This process can be time consuming (even if there is no problem with the card), since your bank will have to send a letter to the bank where the card was held with a request to send that card. Only after this will the customer receive the same.
3) What to do if the ATM is outside an agency?
If the ATM is not inside a bank branch (it can be on the street, in a shopping center or at a gas station, for example), the matter becomes more complicated to resolve.
First, try to understand if you are not a victim of card theft. Often, in the slot where the card is inserted, a device is placed that does not let it out after completing its operation. Fraud situations are more common at an ATM that is on the street and not inside shopping centers or other surfaces.
Tip: Pay special attention to this type of fraud when you are abroad. Keeping your ATM card held abroad can be a headache that you can avoid if you take precautions.
Subsequently, contact your financial institution and inform them of the situation. If it is a fraud, go to the nearest police station to report what happened (always ask for proof of participation, as this is often required by banks).
You should also know, with your bank, what to do to get the card back. This process takes the longest, since it is necessary to contact the company that manages that specific ATM and get the card back to the issuing bank.
What to do next?
The next steps always vary depending on why you have your ATM card withheld.
Sometimes, the issuing financial entity is able to easily retrieve the card, at other times it will be able to compensate the customer more to request the cancellation and request a new one. In some situations, the time you will be without your card will be less if you do this.
On the one hand, whenever you cancel a card and request a new one, you may have to pay commissions and annuity of the new card to the issuing financial entity. On the other hand, it is not always an option for consumers to be indefinitely without their card.
How to avoid having the ATM card withheld?
Just be aware of some aspects. Read these tips carefully.
Firstly, if you have a credit card, you should not default, as your card may be blocked and will become unusable. If you are being a victim of fraud, the ideal is to cancel it.
In addition, be alert when making your transactions on ATM. You should pay attention to the messages displayed on the screen (insert the PIN and take the card and money when requested) to avoid having the ATM card withheld.
It is also important to analyze the ATM itself. If you notice any type of vandalism in the ATM and / or the card reader (where you insert it), do not make any type of transaction - as it may be a fraud - and notify the competent authorities.
While dealing with your transactions, pay special attention when placing your code and withdrawing money. Be careful and do not accept help from third parties if you have your ATM card withheld.
In short, avoid having your ATM card withheld due to situations that you can easily overcome. If the case is more difficult to identify and your ATM card is withheld at the ATM, then report it immediately to the issuing financial entity and the authorities.