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Business News Mon, 17 Oct 2016

Lost your ATM card? No need to worry

Over the years, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have become a part of everyone’s life because of their ubiquity and the convenience they offer.

Unfortunately, fraudsters have also identified ATMs as an avenue for their criminal theft.

There have been complaints of people’s ATM cards being robbed, especially on Friday evenings, when banks have closed for the week.

These fraudsters are said to withdraw at least the Bank ATM withdrawal limit daily between that Friday, and Sunday. Thus, they end up withdrawing a chunk of the money in the account before the card owner is able to report the theft to the bank on Monday.

So what happens if you lose your ATM card, especially on a weekend? Do not wait until Monday. Call your bank immediately! In case your ATM card is lost or stolen, you can immediately block it to avoid the misuse of the card.

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“As soon as a customer reports the loss of a card, we block all transactions on the card,” says Doreen Baffoe, Head of Stanbic Bank’s Customer Care Centre, CCC 24.

“There are two options: we can either “warm” the card – where the customer just wants a temporary halt of transactions for a misplaced card; or “hot” the card which means halting all transactions so the client will have to request a new card.”

Most banks have a toll-free customer service phone number for this purpose and this is usually indicated on or around the ATM machine or the bank’s website.

Some companies provide 24-hour service. Stanbic’s Customer Care Centre, according to Mrs. Baffoe, is accessible 24/7, all year-round and can be reached through various channels that include telephone, web-chat, and emails.

“Aside the direct number, the CCC 24 can be reached via MTN toll free number –18080 – and the Vodafone toll free number – 080010009,” Mrs. Baffoe said. “We are also available on customercare@stanbic.com.gh”. There is also the web-chat option on the Stanbic Bank website where customers get to chat directly with a live agent.”

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In order to make it difficult for fraudsters to access your account, it is important that customers do not store their ATM cards and their PIN in the same pouch. You are better off memorising your pin so that whoever has access to the card would probably have to figure out a way of getting your pin as well.

For those who have both current and saving accounts, it is best to keep a substantial amount in your savings account (or the account not linked to your card) and leave only the minimum in your current account, according to Mrs. Baffoe.

“Stanbic gives you that free service to instantly transfer money from your savings to current account – using our e-channels (internet and mobile banking)” she said. The transfer is instant and then you can withdraw at the ATM machine.

It is a risk mitigating measure to minimise your losses if anybody even gets access to your ATM card and PIN code. The maximum they will ever get is what you have left on your current account.

Source: Sandra Manu