It’s always a nightmare when some one loosed their ATM/Debit card. Not that any one can use it instantly to cash out your account balance, but just out of fear that something nasty could happen. If you are a holder of an ATM card, you should be knowing that the first thing one must do when a card is lost is to report to their respective bank and ask them to block the card. Most banks’ have dedicated toll free numbers for Cards section who will first verify that you are the legible owner of the card and then block it as per your request.
If you have gone through this process ever in just one call, then you’re lucky, since most people struggle to connect to a ‘Human’ when calling the toll free number.
Realizing these difficulties, RBI, the apex Indian Bank, following the recommendations of a committee, is soon going to make it possible to block the ATM card by simply sending an SMS from the registered mobile.
The process works like this. Normally, after any ATM withdrawal, you would get SMS on your mobile phone. Now if your ATM card is lost and somebody has withdrawn money, you will get SMS as usual. You can immediately reply to that SMS with block option to instantly block further transactions.
Of course, you can always block your card as soon as you are aware that you have lost it instead of waiting for the first transaction.
Also under proposal is to introduce a single toll free number to all banks, raise the insurance benefits for deposits from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.5 lakh, provide receipts for online banking transactions and giving customer the choice of choosing maximum withdrawal amount from ATM in a day (instead of the current Rs.40000 limit, such as in State Bank).
Update: Well its 2013 and none of the above mentioned recommendations are implemented yet by any bank. Customers still need to call their banks to block their lost card.