HBL Debit Cards Won’t Work Internationally by Default Anymore

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has started issuing debit cards that customers will able to use in Pakistan only. The new rule will also be in effect for all previously issued cards.

This change, HBL says, has been undertaken to help protect customers after cards were hacked and funds were withdrawn internationally.

Now customers will need to get their card unlocked if they want to use them internationally (like for shopping).

On Friday, HBL Management sent letters to all debit card holders, stating that:

HBL is committed towards the security of your debit card. Our aim is to provide a secure environment to you when you are accessing your finance domestically or while travelling abroad.

“For your added safety and to protect you against fraudulent transactions, HBL debit card at international locations will be restricted with effect April 6, 2018.” the letter said.

The letter further said that:

If you wish to use HBL Debit Card overseas, call HBL phone banking at 021- 111-111-425 any time to activate international usage services. Local use within Pakistan will not be affected by this change and you can safely use HBL Debit Card across 150 alliances to enjoy exclusive discounts or any outlet of your choice.

For further information, ProPakistani contacted HBL Director Naveed Asgher but we are still waiting for the banks’ response. Among our unanswered questions are: What about cross border and overseas payment from Pakistan via internet banking? What is HBL’s policy regarding other plastic money Credit, Charge and Cash Cards? And many more.

State Bank of Pakistan told ProPakistani that it has issued no guidelines to restrict the use of debit cards domestically.


FIA Arrests 4 Chinese Nationals Involved in Hacking ATMs

In December 2017, Chinese hackers stole data from HBL customers by installing skimming devices in ATMs. Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) later revealed that Chinese hackers had stolen Rs. 10 million from 559 HBL accounts.

  • I dont think any debit/ATM card works Internationally by Default…you have to activate by calling…even most credit cards

    • Pakistani banks are serious in security concerns? I highly doubt that.

      They can provide 3D secure cards, SMS authentication before completing payment online which is common in modern world.

      In the name of security they ask you to activate for online usage and for which they charge you. Besides that 3% extra even on debit card? And 3% processing besides interest on credit card? Never heard of it elsewhere.

      “Kitnay ganty ky liye active karna ha?” type of questions are so ridiculous. ”

      I once thought to use UBL signature card as a PIA ticket for internal flight was cheaper but finally came to know that I needed to get it activated. Called UBL helpline in Pakistan and after 26 minutes and asking like 10 questions the guy refused to activate as “c/o” was missing in my address in Pakistan.

      I used my overseas card and it went smoothly like always and I never looked back in using UBL card again. In fact when State Bank restricted NRP accounts I stopped using my UBL Pakistan account.

      I keep my earning outside Pakistan and have full control on it.

      • UBL signature card has its own dedicated helpline which is different than the other standard helpline. It usually connects me to their agent in less than a minute.

        never had any trouble with signature card. Created my TPin since day one and I am never asked any questions at all.

    • UBL debit cards work abroad without any problem. But for UBL credit card one must inform bank before travelling.

  • Agree with desi. It might be the reverse of what is being told in this news. All other bank card have to be activated while HBL might be issuing its card with international usage already activated. Just that their eyes have opened now.

  • “Chip and Pin” cards are the need of time as they are used in Europe. It will kill off majority of fraud transactions instantly.

    “Chip and Signature” is not any more secure than normal magnetic strip cards. Physical possession of stolen card renders the card prone to misuse, regardless of chip or magnetic strip.

  • I have HBL debit card (Mastercard supported) which I use on many international websites, it’s actived by default. They have 3D (email/SMS code) verification then what’s purpose of implementing this new policy?

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