With reporting from Ankita Menon
Qatar residents who plan to travel between May and August and plan to use their credit or debit cards during this time should inform their banks beforehand.
Otherwise, their transactions could be declined, according to a new directive from Qatar Central Bank (QCB).
Speaking to Doha News, several local financial institutions have confirmed receiving a circular this week from QCB regarding this change.
A Doha Bank representative said that the move was an effort to increase security, because a pin number is not required to be punched in when cards with magnetic strips are used outside of Qatar. This could encourage fraud, he added.
For Doha Bank customers who want to use their cards outside of the country, they should SMS 92610 to ensure the service works while traveling.
Meanwhile, a representative at Qatar Commercial Bank said his company had received the circular, and that it contained warnings about transactions from certain countries, including Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Thailand.
Customers traveling to these countries must inform their banks so their transactions won’t be blocked while abroad, he said. CBQ can be reached at 44449000.
Meanwhile, a representative at Qatar International Islamic Bank said they have received the Central Bank directive and advised customers to call on 44840000 any time to inform them about the issue.
Several other banks, including HSBC and Khaleeji could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Qatar has been working to combat financial fraud in recent months by adding security measures to local ATMs and banning the use of debits cards for online shopping.
That change, which took place during the end of last year – a holiday season for many residents – caused frustration for many customers. Many complained about not being informed about the decision, while others said it was simply inconvenient. Credit cards weren’t affected.
Speaking to Doha News in November, a QCB official said that new moves weren’t necessarily due to increasing incidences of fraud, but simply to stay ahead of the game.
Has your bank notified you about what to do when traveling abroad? Thoughts?
Watch this space for thousands who do notify their banks but also have their cards stopped whilst traveling. Just a prediction.
I’ve always had to inform my bank here when I’m travelling abroad. That doesn’t bother me at all. What does though is not being able to use my debit card online here and that same debit card being declined in shops after a few transactions when there are funds in the account. It seems that the bank declines it after you have spent a certain amount which is ridiculous. It’s my money and I should be able to spend as much as I want on any given day.
would not use my debit card for anything other than withdrawing from an ATM, not in my country nor any other place in the world; because banks fully cover customers in case of credit card fraud/breach, but they will not cover you at all if your debit card leading to your checking account is breached; my concern here is what retailers do with the credit card, it seems they swiped once on the machine linked to the bank to authorize payment, then to our complete surprise they swipe again on their own machine, which document the entire credit card number and all related info; one retailer said this is the way to open the caisse and validate the transaction, the other retailer said he need the card info to reconcile and “tie-in” every transaction “internally”, this is terribly wrong to put customers data so vulnarably exposed; when my husband asked more questions, the cashier was so rude, so my husband snatched the credit card and the paper slips from the cashier hand, we found 2 different bills, one large for our purchase and 2nd one for 3QR, insignificant amount for the customer but it would be an extra revenue generated by the retailer without anyone’s attention if he charge 100 client per day, her you have QR300/day of QR900/month, if not more; I went back and checked our credit card purchases for at least the last six month from this grocery shop and found few double transactions on the same date, how many times you think you buy stuff and come back to buy more on the same day? in our case extremely extremely rare; because my husband stood up fiercely and yelled ordering the cashier and his supervisor to NEVER swipe his card on any machine other than the one linked to the bank, they never done it again, we continue to buy grocery at this shop, they know we are watching their hands and our card, it seems after all they can “reconcile their internal transcations” without the 2nd “illegal” swipe; so here is your lead to a breach happening under our eyes that worth investigation and correction.
Entry fee like to a disco.
Yes, I’ve noticed this on almost all the big chain supermarkets and hypermarkets here. Maybe the QCB should have a good look at it.