Bank of Ghana issues new guidelines on handling captured ATM cards
Regulated financial institutions have been tasked by the Bank of Ghana to ensure, among other things, that the replacement of ATM cards captured by ATMs, due to technical issues, among others, is done free of charge.
This was in a document released by the central bank on how payment cards captured at ATMs should be handled following ongoing complaints about such incidents.
The document titled Directive on Processing of Payment Cards Captured at Automatic Teller Machines (ABMs) for Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) stated that in addition to a technical issue, registered financial institutions would not charge charges for replacing cards captured by an ATM, if the Payment Card is forgotten in an ATM card reader, as well as if a session has expired during an ATM transaction.
An ATM card issuer will also not charge a fee for activating a deactivated or blocked captured card.
The directive also lists a number of conditions under which a card can be captured by an ATM device, including, but not limited to, entering a wrong personal identification number (PIN) more than the allowed number. of times; the marking of a payment card as “Card capture”, “Stolen card” or “Lost card”, the use of an expired, damaged or fraudulent card at an ATM, among others.
The Bank of Ghana also gives a number of conditions under which financial institutions can destroy captured ATM cards.
Cardholders whose cards are unfortunately captured by ATMs have also been asked to, at least within 48 hours, file a complaint with the acquirer or issuer of an ATM card and provide all relevant information to help identify the card holder, including a valid national identity card, driver’s license, passport, SSNIT identity card or voter card.
The directive then asks financial institutions to do equally well to retain all relevant documentation on captured cards for a period of at least six (6) years from the date the captured card was retrieved.
According to the central bank, a regulated financial institution that violates the provisions of the directive is liable to an administrative sanction of at least two thousand (2000) sanction units and at most ten thousand sanction units in accordance with article 92 (8) of Law 930.
The latest data from the Bank of Ghana shows that between April 2020 and April 2021, the number of ATMs in the country increased from 2,187 to 2,254. The number of debit cards in the system during the same period also fell from 4.5 million to 4.6 million.