We all know how bad it feels for anyone to tamper with our prized possessions, no matter the size. And your bank ATM card is definitely not an exception. Ever since the first bank ATM cards were used around 1967, they have evolved into a convenient means of accessing literally everything. This includes our bank accounts, loans, online payments and so forth 24/7, without handling physical cash.
So what happens when you lose your credit or debit ATM card or it gets stolen? No one needs to tell you that for security reasons, you should quickly inform your bank to block all access to the ATM card immediately. Otherwise thieves and scammers would loot such an account in no time. We will briefly examine the available channels you can use if you are in Nigeria, and you need to block your ATM card after a theft or loss.
Stolen or Lost ATM Card: The Right Steps to Take
How to Block your ATM card in Nigeria
Inform your Bank immediately.
First, you should quickly inform your bank once you notice your ATM card is nowhere to be found; and preferably within 24 hours. You may choose to visit the customer service of the nearest branch of your bank to fill necessary forms and file a complaint. This of course could take much longer than is considered safe. So why not try faster methods? Rather than go physically to a branch of your issuing bank to block that ATM card, you are advised to make use of the following quicker methods:
- Make use of their social media handles. Virtually every bank in Nigeria (and elsewhere) have a customer support handle on all the popular social media websites. (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram etc) handled by a bank agent mandated to respond quickly to customer queries. Follow the relevant social media handles and speak with the agent for prompt assistance. As long as you are internet-enabled on your phone, tablet or computer, you are good to go.
- Use the bank’s internet banking or mobile banking platform. This could be the bank’s website, or the bank’s downloadable app (which virtually every bank has created for both Android and iOS phone users). There is always a section in the menu where you can access ‘card services’, ‘ATM cards’ or the like; and choose to block your ATM card immediately. That would render that card useless to anyone thereafter.
- Use the dedicated customer service phone numbers to speak with the customer service agent, who will assist you to block the card immensely.
- Use the bank’s USSD code (whether text messaging service or dialing service) reserved for card services, or for cases of stolen/lost ATM card direct from your mobile phone.
What Effort Are The Banks Making on ATM Card Theft?
Thankfully, virtually all Nigerian banks have anticipated, and had to deal with, emergency cases involving missing ATM cards by the hundreds over the years. To proffer quick assistance to their customers, you will usually see flyers, posters, stickers, TV & radio ads, bill boards and various other types of ads containing all these available channels (to access card services and other inquiries) displayed conspicuously inside the banking hall, around the bank premises, even on vehicles and all around town. You are advised to look out for such flyers and stickers anytime you reach a branch of your bank, and pick them for keeps.
Transfer all your funds to another bank account soonest.
It is always good to have a second bank account as backup, should you encounter issues with the first one. And also it would be better if such an account is with a well-established bank with a track record of strong security over customer accounts. Instant money transfer can easily be done with your current bank’s USSD code. the bank’s app on your phone (if you are internet-enabled). Or perhaps through fingerprint or cardless transaction on an ATM machine, at the nearest branch of the affected bank (again, this can be slower, unless you are presently close to one).
Request for a new ATM card
For most (if not all) banks in Nigeria, requesting for a new ATM card goes in tandem with any filed complaint of a lost or stolen card, the two procedures do not necessarily need to be separate. The same form may be provided to be filled. You should be able to obtain a new card and block the old one simultaneously, within few days and definitely less than a month.
Remove or unlink the lost/stolen ATM card from all online platforms where previously listed.
Finally while doing the necessary as stated above, remember to reach out to all the websites and organizations where the stolen/lost ATM card was listed as active, to disable or unlink it. This will finally stop all connection with the said ATM card permanently, and keep your funds and transactions safe.
To go a step further, we have prepared below a list of some popular Nigerian banks and their available customer service channels (phone, email, social media, website) you can quickly reach out to in case of a stolen or Lost ATM card for prompt assistance.
GTCO (GUARANTY TRUST BANK)
- Text/USSD code for blocking ATM Card: *737*51*73#
- Phone dialing USSD code for blocking ATM card: *737*51*74#
- Customer Service hotline to block ATM card: 0700482666328
- Social media: @gtbank (Instagram); https://m.facebook.com/gtbank (Facebook);
- @gtbank_help (Twitter)
- Website: www.gtbank.com
ZENITH BANK PLC
- Phone dialing USSD code for blocking ATM Card: *966*911#
- Customer service hotline to block ATM card: 234-1-2787000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Social media: @zenithbankplc (Instagram);
- @ZenithBank (Twitter)
- Website: zenithbank.com
- Phone dialing USSD code for blocking ATM Card: *901*11#
- Customer service hotline to block ATM card: 234-12712005, 234-12802500; 07002255
- Social media: https://m.facebook.com/AccessBankPlc (Facebook);
- @myaccessbank (Instagram);
- @myaccesbank (Twitter);
- 09090901901 (WhatsApp)
- Website: accessbankplc.com
- Text/USSD code for blocking ATM Card: Send BLOCK to 30012
- Phone dialing USSD code for blocking ATM card: *894*911#
- Customer service hotline to block ATM card: 07080625000, 014485500, 0700-FIRSTCONTACT
- Social media: @firstbanknigeria (Instagram); firstbankofnigeria (Facebook); @FirstBankngr (Twitter)
- Website: www.firstbanknigeria.com
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