Look before you swipe / SUR

Bank of Spain issues guidance on using payment cards safely

It also offers advice on how to resolve common bank card problems


The Bank of Spain is urging people who use payment cards – an ever-increasing number since the Covid-19 pandemic made it the preferred way to spend – to pay attention to some well-known issues that arise and how to resolve them.

In the event of loss or theft, it is advisable to inform the bank that issued the card as soon as possible as they can immediately block it and deactivate any associated apps and later provide the customer with a new card.

In the case where fraud is suspected, the customer should check the payment details or inform the bank which may choose to block the card to prevent any further losses.

If an establishment has overcharged for a purchase, the customer should first attempt to resolve it with the seller by providing a receipt for the amount paid. If the original has not been kept, the bank will have a record which can be checked online. If the conflict cannot be resolved with the seller, the bank can be requested to refund the amount.

The Bank of Spain advises people to actually look at the amount they are paying before they swipe their cards in payment. If a customer is not able to check the amount prior to payment, they should ask for a paper receipt.

If for some reason the card will not work, customers can ask that the payment be made manually by providing the card's details. Alternatively, services like Bizum can often be used. If all else fails, the Bank of Spain suggests calling your bank to resolve the issue and to have some cash in your wallet as backup.