ATM says my Naira Mastercard is not smart


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Posted by on Tuesday September 30, 2014 at 18:35:3:

I've been trying to use one of my Naira Mastercars on an ATM several times now and I've also triued out several ATMs in different locations and I've even tried it at my bank's branch but I still keep getting the same error which reads "Card not Smart".

Initially, I thought I was not placing the card in the right way i.e. with the memory chip facing upwards and forward but that didn't seem to be the problem. I again thought that my card has expired but it hasn't since it's going to expire in 2016. I've also tried my other cards as well on it and those ones worked except for this particular one.

It seems that this Naira Mastecard has probably gone past its lifespan and needs a replacement. If it was no longer useful, then it means I may have to get another one and this is a card that I've barely used for 1 year and for which I was charged by my bank.

I tried requesting for a new card from my bank using internet banking and was told that I need to get a token to do it. What is it with some of these banks in Nigeria that you need to get a physical token to do a lot of things even when using internet banking? To do funds transfer on the web you need a token. To request for services, one also needs to get a token.

I'm not yet totally sure what happened to my Naira Mastercard but it seems that somehow the memory chip on the card is no longer readable by the ATMs and so it ends up giving the error "Card not smart". This made me remember many years ago in Nigerian banking industry before memory chips were inserted on ATM cards. In those days, there were no memory chips other than numbers printed on the cards and those cars were not considered a smart then until the new ones with memory chips were launched.

I don't know what could have caused my ATM card's memory chip to be destroyed that made it unreadable by the ATMs. I know I didn't place it on water or break it but it just seems to have worn out although I didn't see any visible signs of wear and tear on it. I have another ATM card which I use more often but it's still working perfectly but this one that I rarely used just gave up the ghost. Are some ATM cards made with higher quality than others? Do some banks prefer that customers just request for new cards before their existing ones reach their validity period? I think Nigerian banks should produce smart cards that are can withstand wear or damage for as long as they remain valid e.g. 2 years.

I may now have to pay another fee to purchase another ATM at my bank. I hope that one lasts for at least 2 years before getting damaged.

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