Collect Your Debit Card
You may from time to time forget to collect your debit card from the bank’s cash dispenser machine especially if you are in a rush to get somewhere else or get distracted for some reason. I remember once I forgot to retrieve my debit card after a cash withdrawal transaction from the cash machine because I noticed the account balance printed on the transaction receipt to be somewhat erroneous which temporarily distracted me. This short distraction was long enough to make me forget about the debit card and just focus on the questionable account balance while driving away from the machine.
The good news is that the cash machines are programmed to swallow the debit card after a few seconds (usually 10 seconds) when a customer forgets to retrieve the debit card after the transaction is completed. This process is meant to prevent debit card fraud by not allowing anyone collect your debit card after you forget to pull it out of the machine. Although there is a very slim chance that your forgotten card may be stolen and used illegally if you leave the location quickly by someone who takes it before it is swallowed by the machine, you should still be cautious and attempt to collect your debit card.
Sometimes, banks will collect swallowed debit cards and return them to you when you contact the bank to collect your debit card. In my case, I left my card behind on a Sunday when the banks are closed and did not notice my missing card until when I attempted to look up the customer service number on the back of the card in order to call the bank and inquire about the questionable account balance. Since I was already on the freeway driving toward my destination, I did not think it was worthwhile driving back to the cash machine thinking that the machine probably swallowed the card anyway. As I was traveling on that day with no access to the Internet or any other means for quickly contacting the bank’s customer service center, I decided to wait until that night to check the account balance online and then contact the bank on Monday morning, especially since I neither had my bank account number nor the debit card number.
After I checked my account balance online that same night, every thing looked normal and my balance appeared to be correct although different from the balance on the printed receipt. The next day, I called the branch and they told me to call the customer service number. So I did and they told me that the card can not be retrieved and will be cancelled but they were not able to confirm whether the card was actually swallowed by the machine. Either way, it didn’t matter since the swallowed card was cancelled immediately and a new card was mailed. I continued to check my account activities online to make sure that there are no pending unauthorized transactions which may have occurred before the card was cancelled.
Return to the credit card protection section from "collect your debit card" article.