Why was my ATM card withheld?

TELL Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, May 20, 2018

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Dear Claudienne

I am writing to seek your assistance in highlighting a very thoughtless policy at Scotiabank.

I am visiting from the United States and have an account with Bank of America.

Bank of America was provided a travel notice and the customer service representative informed me that Scotiabank was their affiliate in Jamaica.

On the morning of March 7, 2018, at approximately 10:00 am I attempted to use my debit card to withdraw cash at the Scotia bank located on Constant Spring Road. After entering the amount I wished to withdraw, the screen gave all indications that the transaction was a normal transaction and said, please take your card and cash. However, nothing came out and the screen read thank you.

I went in and notified a personal banker as to what had occurred and was told in the most nonchalant manner that there was nothing to be done as the bank collected all the cards taken overnight. I was told to return in the morning with identification.

Fortunately, I had other sources of funding. But imagine what could have happened in a case where the card was my sole source of retrieving needed funds or that I had to go to the airport immediately.

There was no security concern as my card had not been stolen and, as stated previously, I had notified Bank of America of my travel plans.

Even if security was a concern, the bank could simply have denied the transaction, returned the card to the cardholder and had them contact the bank for an explanation as to why the transaction was denied.

For the bank to purposefully have a programme that holds onto the card is thoughtless and showing no concern for the inconvenience this action causes their customers.

My hope is that by highlighting how this policy can inconvenience their customers the bank will see the need for a better solution.


Dear RW

Tell Claudienne has been in communication with Scotiabank about your concerns. The bank's policy has been clarified in the following e-mail sent to Tell Claudienne:

“We appreciate the opportunity you have afforded by bringing this matter to our attention. First we must empathise with this customer for the inconvenience he experienced having lost his card at the ATM.

There are a number of reasons that contribute to an ATM retaining a customer's card. Some of the more common instances include: entering an incorrect PIN more than three times; a card being flagged for security reasons; a technical issue during the transaction; or the slow retrieval of the card at the end of the transaction.

The Bank's policy around card retrieval is that cards taken by an ATM should be destroyed, and replaced for security measures. However, based on the discretion of the branch manager, the card can be returned to the customer with appropriate identification. For security reasons, this should only happen if the branch is able to retrieve the card without impacting the servicing policy.

Based on this customer's e-mail, it would seem that the banking officer was unable to retrieve the card based on the policy, and the cardholder would have been advised accordingly.

We thank you for allowing us to respond to this query.”

We wish you all the best.

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