What to do if the ATM didn't dispense cash but the amount got debited

These days plastic cards like debit cards, credit cards or prepaid cards have started playing an important role in everyone’s life. Previously, we used to visit banks to withdraw cash from our accounts. But currently, thanks to technology, along with several banking services, cash withdrawal has become very easy. Having an ATM in every corner of the street, you can withdraw cash whenever you want using your ATM cards.

Check: What is the CVV number on a Credit Card?

Though ATMs have made a part of banking simple the worst nightmare can be when your money gets debited from the account but the ATM doesn’t dispense the cash. This can happen when there is no cash in the ATM or due to some technical error where your transaction gets declined. It can definitely be an anxious situation for the account holder in such cases. The first thing you want is your money back. In order to solve this issue and get the money back, you need to take steps like

Keep the transaction records safe 

When the money didn’t dispense you might have got a  transaction receipt with the transaction failure message. Keep the slip handy as it would be proof that you didn’t get the money. Along with the transaction slip, it is important to save the SMS or mail you’ve got about the money debited. There can be times where you didn’t get the transaction slip but need not worry keep the money debited message save or else check your bank e-statement and save the details.

Also, check: How to take your ATM balance check

Call your bank 

Once you have the required proofs like transaction slips, an official message from a bank or bank e-statement, contact your bank customer care and explain your issue. They will raise a complaint and begin the enquiry. Your proof will come in handy now once the bank registers your complaint. 

If you’ve used the ATM at the bank itself then you can visit the help desk and explain your situation. 

Visit the branch 

Once your bank takes up your complaint and starts an inquiry, they may request you to provide the transaction slips and other proofs related to the issue. You can visit the bank branch to provide the documents. You can also scan your documents and send them through the mail if you are not available in the UAE to visit the bank in person. 

If there is no solid proof, banks check the video surveillance to find out what happened. This entire process may take 7-10 working days to get back your money. Some banks even take more than that depending upon the situation. 


If your issue doesn’t get resolved in 10 days, then you can escalate it to the bank branch manager. You can visit the branch and provide your complaint in a letter by attaching the evidence. Even then if your issue is not resolved you can register a complaint at the Central bank of the UAE. But in most cases, the issue gets resolved right in the first step that is by talking to the customer care itself. The worst-case scenario can lead you to the escalation or central bank complaint. 

Read: How to close your UAE bank account from abroad?

Transactions failure and amount debited may not just happen in ATMs but also at outlets when you swipe your card. In such cases, the banks will enquire with the outlet you’ve swiped your card as well. The ATM transaction failure can happen to anyone and most of the banks try to resolve the issue in 7-10 working days. The account holder also must note that the evidence you provide, like transaction slips, messages, bank statements, etc. will help the bank in resolving the issue as early as possible.  

Meet the author
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Nikitha is a Senior Analyst at MyMoneySouq.com. She has been writing about personal finance, credit cards, mortgage, and other personal finance products in the UAE. Her work on Mortgage loans has been featured by the GulfNews and other popular Financial Blogs in the UAE.

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