Lost your debit card? No need to cancel it with Westpac’s Card on Hold

Westpac’s Card on Hold feature, extended for the first time to debit MasterCards, will spare Aussie millennials from having to cancel their debit cards an average of 2.4 times per year.

According to Westpac’s 2016 Lost Cards Report, the average millennial loses and cancels their debit card 2.4 times, which collectively adds up to 6.5 million cancellations.

The report found that millennials were waiting an average of 2.7 days before cancelling lost debit cards, mostly in the hopes that they would recover the card, leaving them vulnerable to fraudulent transactions.

Cardholders weren’t blind to the security risks of a lost debit card, said Ashley Gray, Head of Youth and Millennial Markets at Westpac, but they were reluctant to cancel cards before it was absolutely necessary. 1 in 4 said they felt vulnerable after cancelling the card, as it meant they were cut off from easy access to their money.

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Now, says Westpac, unnecessary cancellations will be a thing of the past, thanks to its Card on Hold feature.

Card on Hold, which lets cardholders lock a misplaced debit card for up to 15 days, was extended to debit cards in order to make card security easier for spenders.

“With Card on Hold, you can temporarily lock your missing card through our mobile banking app and if your card does turn up again, you can unlock it just as easily,” Gray said.

“This provides peace of mind that your card is secure, while you attempt to find it.”

After 15 days, cards automatically unlock, so if the card is still missing at that time it should be cancelled. In the meantime, Gray said, Westpac customers could use Get Cash, via the Westpac mobile app, to withdraw money at ATMs.

The Card on Hold option seems to suit millennial debit cardholders a lot better than cancellation - 85% said they would be more likely to report a lost or stolen card if there was the option to “un-cancel” it if it was later found. 86% said they would use the temporary lock feature if it was available.

“If you do lose your debit card, it’s important to take immediate steps to safeguard the security of your account,” said Mr Gray.

Check out our debit card comparison table to find out which piece of plastic is the best fit for your wallet.