How to get cash from an ATM card that won’t swipe

The world is getting more and more digital each day, and the days of carrying cash are almost a thing of the past, but there are situations where you still need cash to complete a transaction. You are probably buying something from someone online, and they will not accept payment via a card; for transactions like that, you will need to withdraw money from your bank account using an ATM. 

The debit card you get when you open a bank account is perfect and secure but does wear out over time. The magnetic strip on your card wears out, and then it becomes unusable; it will work and sometimes, it won’t. So that can be problematic if you can’t use your card at an ATM or grocery store checkout. If you run into this problem, you should first contact your bank and order a new card. The new card will take some time to manufacture, and then it will get delivered to your home address, but in the meantime, if you need money, you can follow these steps to get access.


Check your ATM card

Take a close look at the front and back of your card, check and see if you can find a Visa or Mastercard logo on it. These credit companies allow you to use the ATM card as a credit card for a purchase at any retail store. A card with a Visa or Mastercard logo is also known as a debit or check card, and it is not an ordinary card as it has more features. You can also perform a debit transaction on an ATM card if it has NYCE, Cirrus, or any other ATM network logo. 

To process this transaction:

  1. Go to a retail store that allows cash back on purchases with an ATM, debit or check card.
  2. Ask the cashier to input the card number as the swipe feature is not working because of the defective magnetic strip.
  3. Purchase whatever you want from the retail store, and at checkout, when the cashier gives you the total for your stuff, ask her to give you some cash back with it, then hand over the card so that she can enter the numbers manually.

After she enters your card number on her terminal, the cash terminal will ask for your secret pin; enter that in and then ask you for the cashback amount. Most retail stores have a cashback limit for each transaction, so ask beforehand so you don’t have any problems. When you press okay after inputting the amount you want, the register adds the amount of your purchase to the cashback amount and withdraws the total from your checking account. 

Using your Smartphone

atm card that won't swipe

Technology is improving daily, so big banks like Wells Fargo now allow customers to use their ATMs without a debit card. They have sophisticated apps on all mobile platforms, allowing customers to use their phones as debit cards. To use this service, customers have to install their app on their mobile phone, and for each transaction, they have to request a use-only-once code; once they get the code, they can enter it using the ATM machine and withdraw any amount they desire.

Another option some banks offer is that they give you a unique bar code on the mobile app, which you can then scan at the ATM terminal and withdraw cash like that; it is super secure and convenient. You can ask your bank if they offer these features with their services.

Smartphones nowadays have digital wallets, which are pretty handy; you can add your debit card to your digital wallet and then use your phone at checkouts to process transactions using the NFC technology, automatically debit your account.


In conclusion, I would like to say that debit cards are essential and will always remain important as it is one of the most reliable and safest ways to process transactions. So if you ever face issues with the magnetic strip of your card be sure to contact your bank at your earliest convenience because making a new card and then mailing it to you will take time. 

I have also noticed that if you rub the magnetic strip hard, it will start to work again for a little bit, and if you are in a rush and need to process a transaction without going through all the hassle, use this technique. It has saved me from embarrassment on many occasions, so try that if you are stuck in a situation like that.

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