One of the most stressful and fearful moments that can occur when dealing with your personal finances is when you discover that your debit/credit card has been lost or stolen. The traditional response to such a scenario is to either phone up your bank or visit your local branch. Banks should provide a phone line that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week -- for reporting lost or stolen cards -- but you may be wondering if there is a faster and more convenient way of reporting a lost or stolen card? (due to call centre queues at peak hours) the answer is potentially, as some banks and credit card providers provide a feature for reporting a lost or stolen card on the Internet, via their website.
The one drawback to reporting a lost or stolen card online: is that it requires the user to login to their Internet banking account. It can take upto a week to register for Internet banking, so this option is not going to be convenient for customers who haven't signed up for Internet banking. Alongside reporting a lost or stolen card on the Internet -- via a laptop or desktop computer -- some banks and building societies allow customers to report a lost or stolen card via their mobile banking app. The banks, building societies and card providers that provide an Internet / mobile app reporting feature, for lost or stolen cards, include: Halifax, Lloyds, Barclays, Natwest, HSBC, Nationwide, Bank of Scotland, and Royal Bank of Scotland. While you may have assumed all the major high street banks provide an Internet reporting feature, that is currently not the case: Santander appears to be an example of a high street bank that only provides a phone number, and not an Internet or mobile feature, for reporting lost or stolen cards; judging from their frequently asked questions section.
Some banks -- Natwest for example -- only allow customers to report lost or damaged cards via the Internet; they require customers to phone them to report stolen cards, probably due to the increased risk of fraud being conducted with the card in question. So, how long does it take to report a card lost or stolen online? Natwest says it takes just 2 minutes to report a lost card online, which will easily beat the time it takes to report a lost card via the telephone. Most banks will also allow the customer to order a replacement card at the same time they are reporting it missing. Barclays state on their website that their replacement card service is limited to "2 cards per customer, per calendar year". Customer can order more replacement cards, but perhaps a charge is applied after 2 cards. Most banks state they will deliver the replacement card -- via the post -- within 3-7 working days. Replacement cards sent overseas will probably take over 10 working days.