JPMorgan Chase has reportedly canceled a program in which customers could replace lost debit cards instantly at a slew of the company’s branches.
According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, the move means customers can’t walk into a branch and get a debit card replacement if it is lost or stolen. Instead, they have to wait for it to arrive in the mail.
One of the sources told the Wall Street Journal that JPMorgan has the machines to make the instant-issue debit cards in around half of its branches, or 2,650 locations, but started canceling the service back in March and as of late July is now finished.
The Wall Street Journal reported the move on the part of JPMorgan is prompted partly by efforts to clamp down on fraud. About two years ago, branches in the company’s network saw an increase in the number of people coming in with fake IDs that matched customer information in an effort to get their hands on the debit cards. The scammers would request a debit card replacement and use them to make purchases or withdraw cash from customers’ accounts. Once officials within the bank noticed the increase, they started requiring customers to use the same ID they used to open the account to get a new debit card.
While fraud was a factor in the latest move, Anne Pace, a spokeswoman at JPMorgan, said there were numerous factors that prompted the move, such as renewed efforts to slash costs. The spokeswoman also pointed to alternative payment options, such as mobile banking. Pace told the paper that fraud issues with debit cards covered less than 1 percent of all consumer fraud.
JPMorgan was an early mover in letting customers get instant-issue debit cards at branches, highlighting the service back in 2012. Despite the rise in alternative payment options, other banks and credit unions have followed JPMorgan’s lead since then. TD Bank and PNC are still offering the ability to instantly replace a debit card, with a spokeswoman from PNC telling the Wall Street Journal said it is “extraordinarily popular with customers.”