Westpac has today launched a new update for their Android app in time for the busy Christmas shopping season, adding the ability to temporarily lock your debit or credit card if it becomes misplaced.

The update is a first of its kind in Australia, with Westpac first to market with the ability to place a debit card on hold. The card can be placed on hold within seconds for up to 15 days just by marking it as lost in the app, or through a users online banking portal. Cards will be automatically re-activated after the 15 day period or when manually activated.

Westpac customers can still access funds through their account by using the Get Cash to withdraw money from any Westpac ATM.

Westpac’s general manager for digital, Harry Wendt said Card on Hold gives customers security and reassurance while out and about. Indeed the faster access to placing a card on hold can help prevent any unauthorised charges.

Westpac is keen to give customers better access to security measures for missing cards, with up to 9% of Westpac customers reporting lost or stolen credit and debit cards every year. With Christmas almost here, more shopping is being done and customers are even more likely to be in a situation where the feature is required.

While a minor feature, Westpac has also added a new feature to transfer money to another person using their mobile number instead of bank details.

Westpac has delivered seven tips they believe will help secure your banking over the Christmas season:

  1. Treat your mobile like you would a credit card; don’t leave it lying around or lend it to others. Enable a password lock and change it regularly, or sign in with fingerprint login as a fast and convenient option (available on compatible devices).
  2. Selfies are okay, but not if they’ve got your details in them. Think before you post photos, financial or personal information about yourself, your friends or family on online or on social media. Regularly adjust your privacy settings to make sure you’re protecting your personal information.
  3. Sign up for electronic statements which can be viewed and downloaded when banking online or via mobile.
  4. Ensure your letterbox is locked and check it for tampering. If you’ll be away from home for an extended period, arrange for mail to be held at your local post office or have a friend collect it.
  5. Safely dispose of personal and financial information such as account statements, bills and receipts, by tearing or shredding them before throwing them away.
  6. Do we have your mobile or telephone number? Knowing your current contact details will enable us to contact you quickly if suspicious activity is detected.
  7. Let us know if you are planning on travelling overseas, so you have less likelihood of your card being blocked while you are away.

To get the update to the Westpac banking app, head over to Google Play to check for updates.

Price: Free

Source: Google Play.
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“the update is a first of its kind in Australia” D Tyson maybe do some research before making this statement. My Commbank & ING apps have had this ability for some time.


Commonwealth Bank app user here.
We’ve had Misplaced Card temporary lock functionality for months now.
Westpac is not the first to offer this.

Daniel Tyson

Debit or Credit?


Debit and Credit at Commbank.. Just debit at ING.. also Stgeorge have had this feature since Feb or March this year.

Darren Ferguson

Hey Westpac, how about adding support for NFC for more than one type of phone. HCE has been around for a couple of years now, stop ignoring it’s existence.


Actually in the process of getting a fee free CBA credit card to try it out and then decide if I should switch away from Westpac. Asked a couple of times on twitter and they don’t seem interested in adding support for it.



Michael O'Brien

The ING Direct app has had the ability to place a hold on a debit card for a while now, so I’m not sure how “the update is a first of its kind in Australia”.