What To Do If The ATM Swallows Your Card

Rule #1: Don't panic!

  • By: Afiqah
  • Friday, 26 May 2017
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What To Do If The ATM Swallows Your Card
Image: Epoch Times
So, you decided to use the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and/or the Cash Deposit Machine (CDM) to carry out your bank transactions. Hey, it is convenient after all – or so it should be.

With that, you casually insert your card and proceed with whatever you intended to do – withdraw some cash, pay the bills, check your bank balance; you name it! 

Just when you turned your back around, thinking you were done, you realise that you never did get your card back!

Urgh! This must have been the fault of that distracting phone call you answered mid-way in your transaction! Now that your transaction is over, the machine has already gone back to its default menu. You press here and there and everywhere but nothing seems to help retract your card.

Only then does the horrible realisation hit you – YOUR CARD HAS BEEN SWALLOWED

So, what should you do in order to get your little plastic friend back?

We spoke to several representatives from different local banks to find out more about it! 

But first off, let’s just be clear that crying and wailing on the floor where the scene took place would probably not help much. It is not the end of the world, so take a deep breath and take careful consideration of these details:
•    What bank card did you use that got swallowed?
•    Which machine swallowed it? 
•    Is the machine from the same bank as your card?
•    Where is the machine located?
•    When did it happen?

Once you are able to identify the answers to each of the questions listed above, deciding on what to do next will be a much easier task.

Top tips from bank representatives

Always remember which branch your card got swallowed at.
According to a representative from CIMB we spoke to, when a cardholder reports of a machine-swallowing-the-card case, the bank will usually "destroy the customer’s ATM/Debit card which is retained by the ATM/CDM machine to protect risk and for security reason”.

This seems to be the standard procedure as the other banks we contacted said the same thing too.

The CIMB rep also added: “The Bank will waive the replacement ATM/debit card charges if the card is (automatically) blocked by the system. If not, customers need to pay RM12 for the replacement of the ATM/Debit card”.

Just so you know, once the card is blocked, you cannot do any transactions with the associated account – not even online ones! 

However, recognising where it happened may help you save a few bucks.

A Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) representative explained to us that if it took place at the bank’s branch, the ATM cardholder "can visit the same BSN branch (if the card is retained at a BSN branch) to claim the card and there will be no charges for this. Just bring your identity card for verification at counter”.

Very convenient indeed! However, please note that this is only for BSN cardholders.

Apparently, cards from other banks that get swallowed by the BSN machines would immediately be blocked. So, you would have to go back to your respective bank to get a replacement for it, and replacement charges may apply.

Cancel the swallowed card as soon as you can

You need to run to the bank like this.

Here’s a firm reminder though: if your card is swallowed during off-working hours, it is highly advisable that you call the bank as soon as possible to cancel the card – no matter where it happened.

When we asked if we could opt to not do so and just come back during working hours to claim the card (during instances where it is claimable at no cost) instead, a Bank Rakyat representative told us: “It is possible but you will have to bear the risk. The bank shall hold no responsibility should anything happen”.

So, let’s not be penny-wise, pound-foolish, shall we?

The same step should also be taken for cards that get swallowed by machines that are out of the bank’s premise, such as those that are at the shopping malls or petrol stations.

You need to call your bank at once to inform them of the happening. In fact, you are actually doing yourself a favour by getting this done as it helps prevent unwanted incidents.

Do not take these things for granted, guys and gals. You never know what sort of ‘danger’ lies ahead. 


If you're too lazy to read the text above, we've done you a favour and summarised what you need to do if ever your card gets swallowed by the ATM/CDM: 

(1) If the unfortunate event happened during off working hours or somewhere out of your respective bank premise, you should always contact the call centre immediately to cancel the card. This course of action has to be taken for security measures and for your own good, to be honest.

(2) If the card is retained at other bank’s ATM or CDM or your bank’s ATM/CDM that are out of the premise, you can visit your nearest bank branch for card replacement. Charges may apply. Don’t forget to bring your identity card and the bank book for verification purposes!

(3) If the card is retained at your bank’s branch, you can claim it there – provided you didn’t cancel it first, of course. Just go and see the officer in charge and explain the situation. They would normally ask you which machine has your card. For verification purposes, they would also ask for your identity card. Eventually, you’ll get back the very same card that got swallowed at no charge! 

*This may only work at certain banks. Some banks may not practice this method.

We hope this helps! Good luck!

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