What is a Debit Card?

A Debit card is a payment card that allows you to access funds available in your account as cash to purchase goods or services both locally and globally, where Mastercard® is accepted.

What is the difference between Debit Cards and Credit Cards?

Credit cards and debit cards typically look almost identical, with 16-digit card numbers, expiration dates, and personal identification number (PIN) codes. Both can make it easy and convenient to make purchases in stores or online, with one key difference: Debit cards allow spending money by drawing on funds that have been deposited at the bank. Credit cards allow borrowing money from the card issuer up to a certain limit in order to purchase items or withdraw cash.

What is Debit Mastercard®?

The Debit Mastercard is a brand of debit cards provided by Mastercard®. They are payment cards that deduct money from the customer's account.

Order, activate, replace, or lock/unlock a debit card

How do I order a debit card?

You can request a debit card by visiting the NBV branch in Port Vila, Luganville, Lakatoro, Lenekel, or Saratamata.

How do I activate my debit card?

Your debit card will be activated by NBV Bank Officer upon receiving the card at the NBV branch.

How do I replace my debit card?

You can request a replacement of your lost/stolen or damaged debit card by visiting your local NBV branch.

How do I temporarily lock my debit card?

You can temporarily lock your card if you need time to locate your misplaced card. To do this contact our Help Desk by calling (+678) 34628. Once located, call our Help Desk again to unlock your card.

How long does it take my debit card to arrive?

New and replacement debit cards are ordered on Monday weekly and are received a month from the request date.

Debit card alerts and limits

Can I set up alerts to track my debit card and account activity?

You can subscribe for IsiMS service by visiting your local NBV branch.

Do I have a spending limit on my debit card?

Yes, your debit card comes with default daily limits, refreshed every day at midnight: Read more.

Is it possible to change my debit card limits?

Yes, you can temporarily increase your daily limits. To do this, contact our Help Desk by calling (+678) 34628.

The default daily limits will be restored automatically at midnight.

Debit card fees

Will I be charged for a new debit card?

The is no fee for requesting a new debit card.

Will I be charged for requesting a replacement debit card?

There is no fee when we replace an expired debit card, but there is a fee for each debit card replacement you request (lost/stolen or damaged debit card). Please refer to the General Banking Fees & Charges for further details.

Are there any fees using my debit card?

Yes, there is a card monthly service fee and other account fees may apply such as a minimum balance fee. Please refer to the General Banking Fees & Charges for further details.

Will I be charged for using my debit card on an NBV ATM?

Yes, there is a fee for NBV customer using one of NBV’s ATMs to withdraw cash. Please refer to the General Banking Fees & Charges for further details.

Will I be charged for using a non-NBV ATM?

There will be no fee charge when you use your debit card at a non-NBV ATM (domestically or overseas), but a fee may be charged by the ATM operator or any network used for the transaction.

Are there any transaction fees for using my debit card?

NBV doesn’t charge transaction fees when you use your debit card to make purchases, but some merchants may impose a transaction fee or surcharge.

Lost or stolen debit card and transaction disputes

What should I do if my card is lost or stolen?

If your debit card is lost or stolen, contact our Help Desk immediately by calling (+678) 34 628.

Request your replacement debit card by visiting a NBV branch in Port Vila, Luganville, Lakatoro, Lenekel, or Saratamata.

How do I temporarily lock my debit card?

You can temporarily lock your card if you need time to locate your misplaced card. To do this contact our Help Desk by calling (+678) 34628. Once located, call our Help Desk again to unlock your card.

How do I dispute a transaction?

We recommend that you contact the merchant prior to calling us about a dispute as it's generally faster and simpler for you to attempt to resolve the question with the merchant directly before going through the dispute process. To dispute a transaction with us, a NBV branch in Port Vila, Luganville, Lakatoro, Lenekel, or Saratamata.

Transaction disputes must be submitted within 30 days of the transaction date.

As per Mastercard® regulation, NBV will only process transaction disputes greater than NZ $50 and the customer are fully responsible for disputes less than NZ $50.

These transaction disputes is subject to fees. Please refer to the General Banking Fees & Charges for further details.

Debit card PIN (Personal Identification Number)

How do I change my debit card PIN?

You can change your debit card PIN at any of the NBV ATMs by selecting the PIN Change option.

Can I request a new PIN?

If you forgot your PIN, your card must be re-issued.

How should I protect my PIN?

Never share your PIN with anyone, including friends, family, merchants or customer service representatives. You'll never be asked to provide your PIN by any NBV representative. Also remember the following tips:

  • Do not write your PIN down anywhere, including on your card.
  • Do not keep your card and PIN in the same place, such as in your wallet or purse.
  • Do cover the keypad with your hand or body when you're entering your PIN at an ATM or on a PIN pad at a store.

Debit card authorisation, pending (funds on hold) and final transaction amounts

What is an authorisation hold?

When you use your debit card to make a purchase, the merchant will request an authorisation (or approval) for the transaction by blocking the amount (put the amount on hold). An authorisation confirms that your account is open, active and there are funds available to cover the purchase at the time of the request.

The purchase amount sent by the merchant for authorisation varies by merchant type. Many merchants request an authorisation for the exact purchase amount, but some merchants may send an authorisation request for a nominal amount such as 1 Vatu or an estimate that is more or less than the actual purchase amount. The authorized hold amount will immediately reduce your available balance. The hold is released after 7 days or when the transaction clears, whichever comes first.

When the transaction is presented to the bank (cleared), the actual purchase amount is deducted from your account.

What could cause an authorisation hold amount to be different from my final or actual purchase amount?

An authorisation hold amount may vary from the final or actual purchase amount in situations where there is an estimated authorisation amount or a tip is involved, or different foreign currency conversion rates. Here are 2 examples of how a pending authorisation amount might be different from the final amount:


  • At a restaurant, an authorisation is requested prior to a tip being added. The final purchase amount will include a tip you add. Some restaurants may add an estimated tip to the transaction total when requesting an authorisation. Because of this practice, your final purchase amount may vary from the authorised amount.


  • A hotel is allowed to request an authorisation for an amount based on the length of your stay and applicable taxes. An estimated amount for incidentals may also be made. Cruise lines and car rental companies may also follow this practice.
Why does NBV place hold amount on certain types of transaction?

Account deductions can’t be cleared until the final amount is known. Therefore, a hold may be placed on funds to cover the estimated cost of certain transactions, such as at gas stations, hotels, etc. This ensures that you don’t spend more money than you have and merchants are paid for each transaction.

When will the final purchase amount replace the hold amount and post to my account?

It may take several business days for the final purchase amount to replace the hold amount on your account. The “hold” reduces your available balance. When the transaction is presented to the bank, the “hold” is released and the final or actual purchase amount is deducted from your account, usually within 3 to 5 business days (3 business days when a card is swiped or inserted in person or 5 business days when used via the internet, phone or mail order transaction).

Do all debit card transactions clear within 7 days?

No. Some merchants will not send the final transaction to NBV within the 7 days’s hold period. In these situations, the hold will drop off and the funds will appear to be available again, however, the transaction still has to post to your account which can overdrawn your account. Unfortunately, NBV has no control over how quickly merchants process their transactions.

Can debit card authorisation holds on my account be removed?

It is not the NBV’s policy to remove debit card authorisation holds unless an error was made. If an erroneous hold was placed or there are extenuating circumstances that may warrant removing the hold, please contact our Help Desk by calling (+678) 34 628.

How do I get details of my debit card funds on hold transactions?

You can view these on IsiNet if you have access to your accounts through IsiNet or visit your local NBV branch.

About Chip & PIN debit card

What is a Chip & PIN debit card?

Chip & PIN technology provides better protection against fraud, with the added security of a Personal Identification Number (PIN). These Chip &PIN cards also feature an embedded microchip that encrypts cardholder information into a unique code improving security when making purchases at Chip-activated terminals.

How do I use my Chip & PIN debit card?

Insert the Chip-end of your card into the terminal with the chip facing up (leave the card in the terminal until you are prompted to remove it). Approve the amount and follow the prompts to enter your PIN or provide your signature. Remove the card when prompted.


If you swipe your card at a merchant who supports Chip technology, a message will be displayed instructing you to insert your card into the terminal.


What if the terminal does not support Chip technology?

Your Chip & PIN debit card has a magnetic stripe as well to allow for use at merchants who have not yet adopted Chip technology.

About the contactless technology

What is a contactless card?

A secure and convenient payment method that speeds up checkout as cardholders can pay by tapping or waving their card over the terminal reader (ATM or POS device).

How does the contactless technology work?

The card provides a wireless link with the terminal, creating a unique one-time transaction code every time the card is tapped.

How can I make contactless payment?
  1. Look for the contactless symbol at the terminal (ATM/POS);
  2. Wait for the merchant to start the transaction on the contactless terminal;
  3. Tap to pay at the terminal;
  4. If purchase is over VUV 2,000 or equivalent, enter your PIN or sign.

Note: The amount of VUV 2,000 is valid for Vanuatu only. Mastercard® has different limits per country. When you use your debit card overseas a different limit will be applied.

Is contactless secure?

Yes, absolutely. With secure encryption technology, your contactless payment is as safe as a chip and PIN payment.


When paying contactless you can always keep the card in your hands, so you won’t forget it or lose it.

Not billed twice: Even if you tap more than once at the checkout, you'll only get billed once for your purchase.

Other debit card questions

How is a debit card different from credit card?

Debit cards allow NBV customers to spend money by drawing on funds they have deposited in their account. Credit cards allow consumers to borrow money from the card issuer up to a certain limit in order to purchase items or withdraw cash.

What currency will my purchase be made when I shop internationally?
Your transaction will be made from your NBV Debit Mastercard® in Vatu. The currency exchange rate charged for purchases made with international merchants is the rate charged by Mastercard® International on the date the transaction is posted to your account.
Where can I use my debit card?
Your debit card offers unsurpassed acceptance for purchases at millions of places wherever Mastercard® is accepted, such as restaurants, gas stations, doctors’ offices, department stores, home improvement stores, airlines, hotels, and online merchants.
My card is not working or has been declined, why?

There are numerous reasons why a card may be declined.  Most common reasons include a damaged EMV chip, exceeding transaction limits, or insufficient funds.  Please call our Help Desk at (+678) 34 628 or visit a NBV branch in Port Vila, Luganville, Lakatoro, Lenekel, or Saratamata.

My card is due to expire, what happens next?

Your renewal card will arrive at your receiving NBV branch at least one month before the existing card is due to expire.

The date on which your card will expire is the last day of the month in the year printed on the front of your card.

You must start using your replacement card as soon as you receive it and securely destroy your old card.

Please remember to amend any existing payments you have set up with your old card number such as magazine subscriptions, online shopping sites or annual insurance renewals.

If your replacement card did not arrive within the timeframe stated, call our Help Desk at (+678) 34 628.

If you do not want your debit card to be renewed, your current debit card must be canceled at least two months before it is due to expire.

Can I link my existing account to my debit card?

No. You cannot link your existing account to your debit card. A new Mastercard account must be opened.

What happens when I return a purchase?

The merchant authorises the refund and sends the transaction information to its financial institution, either electronically or by phone. Then the merchant’s financial institution processes the refund transaction and credits your account.

Note: Even if a return is made on the same day as the purchase, the credit may not be applied in real time and your daily spending limit may still be affected by that purchase.

Where can I use my debit card?

NBV Debit Mastercard® is widely accepted in millions of shops and ATMs worldwide anywhere Mastercard® is accepted. You can use your card as follows:

  • Make purchases at a Point of Sale (POS);
  • Make purchases with Cashback;
  • Make cash withdrawals at ATMs;
  • Make Contactless payments; and
  • Shop online in Vanuatu and worldwide.


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+381 123 456 677

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