How to Cancel a Debit Card

By Dawn Marcotte , last updated December 22, 2011

There may be several reasons for a consumer to cancel a debit card. If the card is lost, stolen or the account is closed the debit card will need to be cancelled. The process varies by banking institution but there are basic steps common to all banks.

Liability for Lost or Stolen Debit Cards

It is extremely important to contact the bank as soon as the loss is discovered. If the card has not yet been used fraudulently the card issuer can’t hold the consumer liable for any charges made against the card. If the card has been used but the issuing institution is contacted within two business days the consumer is liable for no more than $50 of the fraudulent charges. After two days the consumer can be held liable for up to $500. If the card is not reported as stolen within 60 days of a statement that has fraudulent activity listed being mailed the bank may hold the consumer liable for all activity including the use of a line of credit attached to the card.

Steps to Cancel a Debit Card

The first step is to contact the institution that issued the card. If you have the card the customer service number is usually on back of the card. It is a good idea to make a photocopy of the card, front and back, when you receive it and keep the information in a separate location from the card itself. Request information on their process for cancelling the debit card and follow the process. If the card has been stolen or lost, call the bank as soon as the loss is discovered. Most banks will require some verification of the card holder. This may include a pin number, social security number, maiden name of the card owners mother or other identifying information given to the bank when the account was opened.

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