9 Reasons Why Your Debit Card Is Declined & How To Fix It

Did you ever have your card declined while standing at the store, with the cashier waiting for you to pay for your stuff? That must be frustrating and embarrassing, with your mind running a million miles per second. Debit cards are more popular than credit cards because they incur no interest payments.

The common question that arises in such situations is, “why was the card declined when I have money in the bank”? Not to worry. We have compiled a list of different situations that can be a reason for the decline and how to avoid it.

Let us look at some of the common reasons that may be why your card is being declined.

1. Insufficient funds

This is the most probable reason why your card declined. It is imperative to have sufficient funds in your bank account. Suppose you are a heavy spender and do not keep track of how much you are spending. In that case, you will not be aware of how much you have left and will probably end up having your card declined at one point or another. 

If you wish to avoid this and want to be able to proceed with transactions despite having no less amount in your account, then you need to go for overdraft protection. This ensures that you can use your debit card to proceed with transactions even if you do not have sufficient funds.

You may find that your debit card has been charged in some cases, although it declines at the store. This happens when you have an unprocessed payment, like cable bills or subscriptions, and will show a pending charge. It can be removed after the payment is processed. 

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2. Multiple Incorrect PIN entries

A PIN is a 4-digit number that is used for transactions. Each person has a unique PIN that serves as a security feature. It is important to put in the correct number. Too many incorrect tries will block the card and send the owner a fraud alert. The card provider can block the card if they suspect it has been stolen or was used with unauthorized access.

If your card is declined, but you are certain there is money in your account, this could be one reason. Make sure you have your PIN memorized so you do not take more than one tries to access your card. 

Please do not make the mistake of writing down your PIN and putting it in your wallet or with your card. That is just inviting thieves to take your stuff and use the card at their luxury. Now, that is a bad move!

In case you can not remember your PIN, contact the card provider so they guide you for further steps.

3. You’ve Reached Your Daily Withdrawal Limit

Many financial institutions have placed a 24-hour withdrawal limit on accounts. This is to protect customers’ accounts and funds from fraudulent activities. If you have reached your daily withdrawal limits, your card may be declined.

Suppose you plan to make huge purchases or withdrawals in larger amounts. In that case, you can talk to your card provider and go through the steps to extend the daily limit or for a specific day.

4. Using an expired card

It may come as a surprise, but debit cards have expiry dates. If you try to make a transaction beyond its end date, it will not be of much use when making purchases.

This might seem to be the most obvious reason but is never the priority in anyone’s mind. Keep track of the expiry date. Make sure you renew it in time and request a replacement from your card provider. Be sure to destroy any previous cards after replacement since they still hold valuable information and can be misused by anyone.

5. Incorrect information entered

This problem mostly occurs during online shopping. Most stores ask you to enter personal details. If you enter any incorrect information when using your debit card for payment, your card can get declined, and you will not be able to proceed with the purchase.

Even when entering the address, make sure it is consistent with the billing information entered with your financial institution. If you relocate or any information changes, update it on all your financial accounts.

6. Suspicious activity detected

Your financial institution has the right to decline any transaction if they notice suspicious activity. This is a clause that users must sign when debit cards are issued. Sometimes over-spending can also raise suspicion.

This is an important security feature that may seem tedious at a given time but is important in case your debit cards get stolen or misplaced. 

7. International Purchases

This should not be much of a problem, right? Well, if your card gets stolen and banks notice your card transactions from halfway around the world, it is bound to raise some red flags. If you plan to travel, notify your banks, so they do not block your card. 

8. Technical Issues

Delays due to technical issues are quite normal. The bank may have some problems with its processing system or internal servers. In this case, the fault lies with the bank, so it is not much you can do. Try to call customer service and inquire about the problem or try later when the systems have been restored.

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9. You Have not Activated the Card Yet

If you have not activated your card yet, how can you expect to make any transactions using it? Most banks will not let users use their cards before they activate them. You may be required to withdraw a certain amount or call a phone number. Make sure you follow each step of the instruction given by your card provider.

Final Thoughts

It can be quite inconvenient to have your card declined, especially when you need to make a necessary purchase. Contact the bank and convey your problems so that they may help solve the issue. Keep a credit card with you in case of emergencies. 

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