You may cringe at the thought of standing at the cash register ready to pay, and the cashier tells you your debit card’s been declined. If this happens to you, there is no need to panic. There are many reasons your debit card declines, even if there’s money in the account. Let’s explore five of them.
You’ve Exceeded Your Daily Limit
Most banks limit how much you can spend a day using your debit card, including in-person swipes and online purchases. It may seem frustrating, but it’s an important security measure. If someone steals your debit card, they won’t be able to drain all the funds from your account since there is a limit to how much you can spend.
If you know you’re going to be doing a lot of shopping or making a large purchase that is more than your limit allows, you can change your daily limit by calling the bank. Alternatively, if you use internet banking, you may be able to increase your limit online. Just remember to decrease the limit after you’ve done your shopping to keep your money safe.
The card has Expired
Debit cards usually expire every two to three years, and your bank should send you a new one about a month before it expires. The transaction will be declined if you attempt to pay with an expired card. You should find the expiry date printed on your card, so it’s easy to check when it will expire.
If you’ve not received a new card, call your bank. Sometimes there may be a technical or admin error, and the card wasn’t sent or sent to the wrong address.
The Bank Has Flagged a Transaction or Activity on Your Account as Suspicious
As fraud has become more commonplace, banks have responded by being more sensitive to suspicious transactions and activities on clients’ accounts. Banks track their clients’ spending habits and look for anything out of the ordinary which may indicate that fraud or criminal activity is involved.
A suspicious transaction can be anything out of the norm from your regular spending habits, for example, if you use the card abroad without notifying your bank. Your account may also be blocked if you make a series of small payments in a short time.
You’ve Not Activated Your New Card
A common mistake is forgetting to activate their new debit card before using it. When you get your new debit card, it will come with instructions on how to activate it. Activating it takes a few minutes, and you can usually do it online or at the bank. If it’s not activated, it will be declined when you try using it.
You Need to Provide Additional Information
When shopping online, you will often be required to fill in additional information, like a code sent to your phone or email. This is for security reasons. The bank sends you a code to verify that the right person is using the card, and you are usually given a fixed amount of time to use it before the code expires.
If someone who does not have permission to use your card tries to use it, they won’t be able to complete the transaction since they don’t have the code sent to your phone. Therefore, to complete your online transaction, ensure that you fill in all the required information within the stipulated time so that your card payment goes through.
Your debit card declines for various reasons, even if you have money in the account. Common causes are that you’ve reached your daily spending limit, the card has expired, the bank picked up suspicious activity relating to your card, your new card is not activated, or you need to provide additional information before the transaction can be processed.