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Westpac’s Card on Hold could save millennials 6.5 million debit card cancellations each year

29 September 2016

  • Millennials unnecessarily cancel their debit cards on average 2.4 times per year
  • 85 per cent would report missing debit cards sooner if they could ‘un-cancel’ them
  • Westpac’s Card on Hold feature allows you to temporarily lock your Debit MasterCard

Australian millennials unnecessarily cancel their debit cards on average 2.4 times per year, according to Westpac’s 2016 Lost Cards Report. This equates to 6.5 million1 unnecessary debit card cancellations.

The research found that although half (51 per cent) of millennials feel worried that their missing debit card will be used to conduct fraudulent transactions, they still wait an average of 2.7 days before cancelling a lost card, with the main reason for delay being they thought they would find it again (56 per cent).

Ashley Gray, Head of Youth and Millennial Markets at Westpac said the results indicate millennials are conscious of securing lost debit cards, but don’t want to cancel prematurely.

“We know that debit cards are used by many Australian millennials as a convenient payment method to support their busy lives and the prospect of having misplaced their debit card can be unsettling. To help our customers with their everyday banking needs we’ve delivered some exciting new capabilities such as Card on Hold which enables them to temporarily lock a misplaced Debit MasterCard for up to 15 days. This provides peace of mind that your card is secure, while you attempt to find it,” said Mr Gray.

“As the first bank to extend the Card on Hold feature to Debit MasterCards, we’re particularly proud to be able to provide this function for millennials, many of whom use a debit card on a daily basis,” he added.

Having the option to unlock a misplaced card would encourage millennials to react to a lost debit card sooner, with 85 per cent admitting they would be quicker to report their card as lost or stolen, if they could ‘un-cancel’ it again, if found.

When millennials do cancel a missing debit card, they experience a range of emotions including annoyance with themselves or the person who lost it (40 per cent), relief that no one could use the card (39 per cent) and frustration (37 per cent).

One in four (25 per cent) said they felt vulnerable after cancelling their card, as they did not have access to their money.

“It’s understandable that many millennials may feel vulnerable without access to their cash,” said Mr Gray. “This is why Westpac’s Get Cash, which enables you to withdraw money from a Westpac ATM while your card is on hold, via our mobile banking app , is so popular with customers.”

The study found millennials do consider security when it comes to losing their debit cards, with 86 per cent saying they would use a temporary lock feature for security reasons if they lost their debit card in future.

“If you do lose your debit card, it’s important to take immediate steps to safeguard the security of your account,” said Mr Gray.

“With Card on Hold, you can temporarily lock your missing card through our mobile banking app and if your card does turn up again, you can unlock it just as easily,” he said.

[1] With 2.7 million millennials unnecessarily cancelling debit cards every year, and each millennial cancelling an average of 2.4 times per year, the total number of debit cards unnecessarily cancelled is 6.5 million.

Unnecessary cancellations include:

1. Cancellation of a lost or stolen card that turned up later; and/or

2. Cancellation of a card which was recoverable, just to be safe

For further information, please contact:

Emalie McPherson, Westpac


M: 0466 391 354

About Westpac Card on Hold

Westpac’s Card on Hold function allows you to lock your misplaced personal credit or MasterCard® debit card temporarily[1] until you find it.

  • Your card will be locked for a maximum of 15 days
  • Your card can’t be used while it is locked, but you can unlock it at any time
  • If you don’t find your card within 15 days, you should report it lost or stolen and a replacement card will be issued. See “what to do if your card is lost or stolen” for details
  • Your card and any additional cardholder’s cards will automatically unlock after 15 days
  • Use Get Cash[2] to withdraw cash while your card is locked.

About the research

The research was commissioned by Westpac and powered by Lonergan Research. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,023 Australians aged 18+, including 808 millennials. Surveys were distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted between 11 and 14 July 2016. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Bureau of Statistics. This research was carried out in compliance with the ISO 20252 standard.

[1] Available on personal credit and MasterCard® debit cards only. Cards to which a temporary lock can be applied will be listed when you sign in to Mobile Banking or Online Banking and visit Lock a card temporarily under Cards services.

[2] Daily and weekly limits apply. See Westpac Emergency CashTM and Westpac Get CashTM terms and conditions for details. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc. MasterCard® is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated.