What happens to cards swallowed by the ATM?

We all know the result of consecutively inserting the wrong pin, or what happens when we try to use a card that has already expired … But do you know what happens to your card after being swallowed by the automatic machine? Get to know the mysterious journey of bank cards swallowed.

Every day hundreds of bank cards are held at ATMs. The card retention system was created to ensure the safety of customers and prevent fraud and requires that cards follow a highly secure route to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands and that access to their money is compromised.

But let’s find out what travel cards do from your retention to their destruction.

1. The card is placed on a Blacklist

To ensure that your card details are not used after being held and that your account is secure, your card details are entered in a “blacklist”. This list protects bank customers from misusing your card data (for example when shopping online).

2. Collection of captured cards

Cards from different banks can be retained in each ATM. The bank that owns the ATM makes regular collection of those cards that are retained and separates them by entity.

Weekly, the various banking entities schedule the exchange of the cards withheld so that the cards return to the banks to which they belong.

This process, while apparently simple, is quite complex. We are talking about thousands of cards a week, and many different banks.

Only the process of separating cards by bank is a headache for banks due to the security and rigor required and the logistics of the entire process.

This whole cycle means that it often takes well over a week to send a card withheld to the issuing bank.

3. Verification of collected cards

After receiving the cards, each bank checks their cards, one by one, to ensure that everything goes smoothly. In this process, the collected cards are compared with the list provided by the other banks that collected the cards from their ATMs.

4. Destruction of cards

Finally, cards that are not returned to customers are destroyed! Usually the cards are crushed by industrial machines and their waste is delivered to an entity that will do its treatment.

The capture of cards in the ATM network results in a significant administrative and operational burden for banks as well as costs. It is common for banks to have many resources dedicated to this process and it does not flow in the best way, resulting in delays in the identification of the captured cards and prolonging the time that they are blacklisted.

It was for this reason that Contisystems developed the captured card processing service that centralizes the collection of cards, reading and reporting them, streamlining exchange logistics with other banks, storing them in safe deposit boxes and destroying them ecologically responsible when their end of life is confirmed.

We believe that, with this service, we speed up the process of delivering the cards to the respective issuing entity, and reduce the operational effort involved. Learn more about our service here: https://conti.systems/en/payment-solutions/collection-recycling/