5 ATM ERROR MESSAGE YOU NEED TO KNOW IN 2021


Ever been in a long queue at your bank to get cash and left disappointed?. Well, that’s a sad story we all tell at some point. Whether it’s your fault or your Bank’s, it’s a not-so-sweet experience especially with an emergency in view.

Over time, there’s been a swift transition from what we had and what we have now.

Technology has gradually become the central core for a lot of transformational happenings in this century. Do you need cash on a weekend?. Worry not, for the ATM is here to save the day!.

This article is focused on five ATM error message you’ll get at the ATM and possible resolution or backup plan.

1-CARD REPORTED LOST: it’s quite simple. The debit card was hotlisted upon customer’s request.

Wondering what a hotlist means? Well, a hotlist is a list of debit, credit, or prepaid card that has been reported lost, stolen, or compromised by the customer. The bank proceeds to terminate card usability by putting it on the hotlist.

Once hotlisted, the card is inactive. Hence, it can’t be used to access customers account, make purchases online, or at any point of sale (POS).

What do you do when your card is reported lost at the ATM?
– visit your bank, the branch nearest you for a debit card renewal.
-Upon retrieval, a hotlisted card can be de-hotlisted. It takes a maximum of 24 hours to do so.


2INVALID TRANSACTION: “Invalid transaction, please contact your bank” is the full ATM error message. You might be wondering how your transaction could be rendered invalid after looking so closely and punching the right keys. Not a single step was missed. The account is doing fine the last you checked, so what could have gone wrong?

An invalid transaction prompt will require you visit your bank’s branch nearest to you as it could be due to any of the following reason

-Possible dormancy: The account was left idle for a while and it transitioned from an inactive state to a dormant state. Unfortunately, you can deposit funds but can’t place a withdrawal request on a dormant account.
-Debit freeze: Usually, accounts are frozen either on customer’s request or at the bank’s discretion. You can’t withdraw from a debit frozen account and will need to contact your bank for further advice.
-Newly issued debit card: When issued a debit card, please ensure to use it on the ATM to at least check your balance or withdraw before leaving the bank premises. Most times, if the card wasn’t approved or properly activated, the issuance process isn’t complete. Hence, card utilization becomes difficult.

Please note, in case of possible dormancy or freeze, a valid means of identification and proof of address might be required of you.

3-INVALID ACCOUNT SELECTED: There are two major kinds of accounts; savings or current accounts. The requirements to open both accounts vary slightly and the reason for account opening is best known to the customer.

You’ll always get an “invalid account selected” prompt if you don’t punch the right buttons or interchange one for the other. You can’t be operating a savings account and hit the current account button. Your transaction won’t be successful as it would be declined by your financial institution.

4-MAXIMUM PIN TRIAL EXCEEDED: Congratulations! you’ve entered an incorrect pin thrice and would need a pin reset to proceed with your transaction.

Debit card pin is vital information, very instrumental for cash withdrawal and other ATM-related transactions. What’s a debit card without its pin? Practically useless I guess.

Once you get this error message at the first trial, you might want to take a pause and think. Try to remember your pin or check the debit card just in case you’ve been a victim of a card swap.

Upon a third wrong attempt, the card gets blocked by your financial institution. This is a deliberate security measure put in place by most banks in case of card theft or impersonation.

Usually, the pin reset procedure varies and is dependent on your financial institution. For some, you can try again after 24 hours that’s if you get to remember your pin. For others, you’ll need to visit your bank for pin reset.

5-ISSUER SWITCH INOPERATIVE: You’re queuing at the ATM and the machine dispensed cash to people before you. It gets to your turn and all of a sudden, the machine declines your request with an “issuer switch inoperative” response. You tried other machines nearby and get the same response.

This response is a result of network downtime with your financial institution, especially when using another bank’s terminal. Ideally, your bank’s terminal should pay you

A better alternative would be to wait a while and retry the transaction or use any of your available account for your transaction. If the issue persists, you’ll need to contact your bank for further advice and assistance.

Alternate channels are always available in case the ATM flops. Internet banking, USSD, Mobile applications, live chats for enquires are other effective means of transacting seamlessly.

Have you had other errors asides those stated above? Please share in the comment section below.

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