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Do you rely on debit cards for everyday transactions? While they offer unparalleled convenience, the risk of losing or misplacing your card looms large.

How can you safeguard against unauthorized access in such a scenario? Enter debit card hotlisting: a crucial security measure that involves permanently blocking your debit card.

So what exactly is debit card hotlisting? How do you hotlist your debit card? Is hotlisting better than freezing or temporary blocking? Read on to find out.

What is Debit Card Hotlisting?

Debit card hotlisting means that you block your debit card permanently. The need for hotlisting arises when you either lose or misplace your debit card. This can protect you from any financial fraud caused by unauthorised access to your debit card.

When a card is hotlisted, all transactions, including withdrawals, purchases, and online payments, are prohibited. This prevents unauthorised access to your funds.

In FY 2023, digital payment fraud almost doubled in India as compared to the previous year. Moreover, as per the government’s data, the average value of banking frauds involving internet banking and cards rose by 8.5%, valuing at Rs 34,802.

Hence you must understand concepts like debit card hotlisting.

Moreover, credit card hotlisting means the same i.e. permanently blocking your credit card.
Now that you know what it means for a debit card to be hotlisted, let us look at the scenarios where you should hotlist your card:
• Immediately after you lose your card or it is stolen.
• In case of suspicious activity from your card.
• If you are not able to locate your debit card.
• If you have disclosed your debit card details to an untrustworthy source.
• If you have reasons to believe that your card is compromised or someone has access to your card’s details.

So, if your debit card has been hotlisted it means that it has been permanently blocked. But how do you hotlist your debit card?

How to Hotlist Debit Card: Understanding Different Methods

Now since you know what hotlisting a debit card means, let us look at its process. You can hotlist your debit card using any of the following methods:

1. Mobile Banking

You can hotlist your debit card from the convenience of your home by simply going to the mobile app of your card provider. You will find an option for debit card hotlisting.

2. Net Banking

If you do not use the mobile application of your card provider you can log in to your account through their website and can hotlist your card from there.

3. Phone Banking

Almost all banks have toll-free numbers which you can use to get in touch with their customer care executives. They will guide you on how to hotlist your debit card.

4. SMS Banking

Most banks also have an SMS facility where you can simply send an SMS to a particular number to hotlist your card.

5. Visit Your Bank’s Branch

• Visit Your Bank: If you have lost your card or misplaced it, immediately notify your bank or card issuer.

• Provide Necessary Information: You will have to provide details like your name, account number, etc to verify your identity.

• Confirm Hotlisting: Upon receiving your request, the bank will initiate the hotlisting procedure and confirm the action with you. Once confirmed, the card is instantly deactivated.

• Request a Replacement Card: Also request a replacement debit card from your bank so that you can continue accessing your funds using your debit card.

Once a card is hotlisted, it typically cannot be reversed immediately. To reactivate or remove the hotlisting of a debit card, you would need to contact your bank or financial institution. You will have to verify your identity and follow their procedures for reissuing a new card or reactivating the existing one.

Why Should You Hotlist Your Debit Card?

Having understood the meaning of hotlisting a card, are you wondering why freezing or temporarily blocking it isn’t considered instead?

Hotlisting and temporary blocking are both security measures used by banks to protect customers’ accounts from unauthorized transactions. Hotlisting offers immediate action by completely blocking the card, and preventing any further unauthorized transactions, which is crucial in cases of suspected fraud or lost/stolen cards.

Debit card hotlisting offers several advantages over temporary blocking or freezing. Unlike freezing, which may only restrict certain types of transactions, a hotlisted card means that all forms of card usage, including ATM withdrawals, online payments, and point-of-sale transactions are blocked.

Overall, hotlisting your debit card has the following advantages:

• Prevents unauthorized access: Hotlisting your debit card blocks any attempts to misuse it.

• Minimizes liability: By hotlisting your card, you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent transactions post-blocking.

• Protects against personal information theft: Hotlisting your card safeguards your sensitive information from potential theft.

• Ensures prompt replacement: You can quickly order a new card to replace your hotlisted card and resume your transactions after hotlisting.
While temporary blocking provides flexibility, allowing the cardholder to regain access shortly, hotlisting is simpler for both the customer and the bank and ensures a higher level of security.


In this blog, we understood what a hotlisted debit card is. It is a way of permanently blocking your debit card to prevent its unauthorised use in case you lose your debit card.

Understanding the meaning of a hotlisted card can help protect you from financial fraud. It is an easy process and can be done through mobile banking, net banking, SMS, or even by visiting your bank or card issuer’s branch.

It helps in preventing unauthorised access to your card and minimizes your liability for fraudulent transactions. 


What is the Meaning of Hotlisting Your ATM card?

If your ATM card has been hotlisted, it means that it has been permanently blocked. 
Typically, hotlisting is employed in situations where you misplace your ATM card, it’s stolen, or if you suspect unauthorized access to your card.

Can I Unblock My Hotlisted Debit Card?

Card hotlisting means that your card has been blocked permanently. Once hotlisted, the card is permanently blocked to prevent any further misuse. To regain access to your funds, you would need to contact your bank or financial institution to request a replacement card and follow their procedures for issuing a new one.

Are Hotlisting and Blocking Cards the Same?

No, hotlisting and blocking cards are not the same, although they serve similar purposes in terms of security. While hotlisting is typically permanent and irreversible, blocking a card may be temporary and reversible, allowing the cardholder to reactivate it later. 

Are There Any Charges Associated With Hotlisting a Debit Card?

No, most banks do not impose any charges for hotlisting a debit card. However, it is advisable to check with your bank regarding their specific policies.