Activating the debit card before being used is a fundamental step. It is a procedure that begins when the user is given the plastic and the password or PIN, indicating the bank executive or the brochure that accompanies the card, if he has received it by mail, that the activation process will be completed in 24 working hours.
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In some cases it can be activated through an ATM, this being a process where the user can change the password assigned by the system or the bank executive.
In other cases, the banking institution has a telephone service to carry out this activation. This is generally a free call (0-800), the number of which appears on the back of the card or can be found on a sticker attached to it.
In the case of the ATM, once the card has been inserted, the reader in the machine will read the information on the chip and through an automated process will guide the user to enter the assigned password and then modify it, which will activate the card.
When it comes to telephone service, an operator or an online system will require your identification and through a sequential procedure will request the selection of certain options. For example, the system may ask you to dial 9 if you want the instructions in Spanish or 0 if it is in English, it can also ask you to dial 1 if it is a credit card or 2 if it is a debit card, as is also possible ask to mark 1 if you want to activate it or 2 if you want to block it, and things like that.
If it is an operator who attends you, the process is more conversational and it will be enough to answer the questions that this bank employee asks you so that in the end the card is activated. These questions are generally intended to verify your identification and the properties of the card.
As is natural in these times when online operations save time and resources, today the number of banks that have an online platform for card activation has increased.
The procedure to activate it through the bank’s website starts with the user registration, assigning a username and password, as well as an email. Usually in the activation process, a link is sent to said email and the user just clicks for the card to be activated.
What is the way to check if the card is activated?
In the case of telephone assistance, once the process is finished, the operator or banking system clearly tells you: your card has been activated.
The same happens with the online banking platform, when you click on the link sent to the email, it sends you back to another part of the bank’s page where, usually, it says your card has been activated, in addition to other segments where you can review some information of interest or change your configuration of access to the system.
If for some reason you are not convinced by the messages that your card has been activated, because that is how they once said and it was not, well the easiest way (although not less expensive due to bank fees), to make sure that the plastic it can already be used, it is precisely that, using it to consult, withdraw, buy or transfer. Of course, with caution, because by entering a wrong password three times the card is blocked and even if you exceed the available funds several times.
What should you do after your debit card has been activated?
In addition to using it for your banking operations, obviously, now you must take care that it is not stolen or cloned, in addition to maintaining the confidentiality of your PIN and thus preventing you from being a victim of fraud or scam.
When using your card at an ATM or when making a purchase in a commercial establishment, make sure that people cannot see the numbers you dial.
Many banks have a system that sends a message to your phone or to your email, notifying you that you have carried out a banking operation using your card and if you do not know it, just click on the link that appears there. In that case, check that you were the one who carried it out and if the data (date, amount …) that appear there coincide with the operation carried out.
If you do not have a Smartphone, you may not be able to receive these types of notifications, however, some banks have taken this into account and have enabled the system to notify by sending text messages to conventional telephones, and to alert the banking institution about any irregularity in the operation, you should call the number that appears in the message.