General Question

Scarlett's avatar

How long does it take for your debit card to activate ?

Asked by Scarlett (915points) October 23rd, 2010

I just got my debit card in the mail and I activated it by phone. I tried using it on PayPal but it says it was declined.. I have money in there and the card was activated so what gives ?

Does it take it a while to activate ? Because it’s been about 2 hours since I called to set it up.

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7 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think it just depends on the bank and how you activated it. If you did an automated activation thing, it may take longer than if you had talked to someone directly.

I’ve never tried to use a card right after activating it, but I have used them the next day without a problem.

marinelife's avatar

I think you could call the activation center back and ask.

jrpowell's avatar

I had a similar problem a few years back. I called and they said I needed to use it in a actual ATM or store before online stuff was allowed. They said it was to prevent fraud.

St.George's avatar

Wells Fargo Bank cards can be used immediately after activation. Oh, and GO GIANTS!!!!!

downtide's avatar

I’ve never had to activate a debit card by phone. Just stick it in an ATM and the first time it’s used it activates the new card and deactivates the old one. I guess the system works different in the UK?

tedibear's avatar

@downtide – Many times you can do either. Depends more on the bank than the country. :)

@Scarlett – Let us know what your bank says. I’m curious!

mrrich724's avatar


I’d favor blaming Paypal, they’ve NEVER been the easiest to start something up with in my experience. And I can easily see this having something to do with them.

I hate when Paypal is the only option, and on many occasions didn’t consume a good because of it.

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