10 January 2022 - 6 min Reading time
Card Stop is changing its number. The new number 078 170 170 comes into effect today. The old number 070 344 344 will remain in service for the next few years nonetheless so to ensure a smooth transition to the new number.
Card Stop services enable consumers to block their payment cards by phone in case of theft, loss or fraud. The existing 070 344 344 number is charged at 30 cents per minute. The new number 078 170 170 is a normal number, with no additional charges.
The decision to change the well-known Card Stop number was prompted by changes in the new telecommunications legislation. The banking industry also wanted to see extra charges for dialling Card Stop disappear. That was not possible with the 070 number, but is possible with an 078 number.
The introduction of a brand new number is an important step, which is why a transitional period has been provided. The old 070 344 344 number will remain in service for the next few years to ensure a smooth transition to the new number.
The new number will also be available round the clock, year round, in French, Dutch and English, and can be used to block various payment instruments (debit and credit cards, canteen cards, fuel cards, etc.) issued by Belgian payment, credit and financial institutions. There is no change in the accessibility of the number, which will continue to be easily accessible from abroad (+32 78 170 170).
The new Card Stop number will be announced to the general public by, inter alia, a "public service announcement", with the explicit support of the FPS Economy. This message will be broadcast on numerous channels, in French and in Dutch. Several radio stations will broadcast spots announcing the new number, as well as the basic phrase "Different number, same reflex.” The campaign will also be supported mainly by social media, as well as by the channels of Febelfin, the FPS Economy and the banks (ATMs, website, etc.).
Both the deputy prime minister and minister for economic affairs, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, and the deputy prime minister and minister for telecommunications, Petra De Sutter, support the campaign and underscore the importance of Card Stop services and the wide dissemination of the new number.
"Almost everyone knows Card Stop, which can be used to block your bank card in case of loss or theft. Today, this number is changing to stop the extra charges charged to consumers. This consumer-friendly change helps to make banking services more accessible. The FPS Economy supports this information campaign to make the new number known to the public.”
- Deputy prime minister and minister for economic affairs Pierre-Yves Dermagne
"Customers who want to block their bank card can now call 078 170 170. With this number, there will be no extra charges for the Card Stop service. Card Stop is there to protect customers from criminals and from now on you won't have to pay these charges. Our new Telecommunications Act finally settles this issue after years.”
- Deputy prime minister and minister for telecommunications Petra De Sutter
“It is important that the new Card Stop number reaches as many people as possible, as it is a key factor in the fight against fraud and theft. That is why we, as a sector, are launching this large-scale campaign and are pleased to have the support of Ministers Dermagne and De Sutter."
- Febelfin CEO, Karel Baert
You can call Card Stop if your debit or credit card is lost or stolen. Card Stop will block your payment cards.
Similarly, call Card Stop and your bank if you still have your card and do not recognize certain transactions on your account statements, or if you have given your pin code or response code to a fraudster. The Card Stop website has since last month had a new page providing all contact information by bank (Attention: only available in Dutch and French).
The banking sector is considering a possible new extension of the Card Stop services, namely blocking digital banking channels to your accounts (e.g. your banking app). However, this is a complex exercise that requires analysis.
The Card Stop 070 number was launched in 1993 by the Belgian banks as a central contact point for blocking the various payment products of banks. This central contact point is still unique in Europe today. All Cardholders had to do was call one number to have all their payment cards blocked by one or more financial institutions.
As the figures show, Card Stop's services have become firmly established in the public eye: Card Stop received 824,127 calls in 2021. Most of the calls were made in July and September and occur mainly when customers lose their cards (67%), but also when they have been victims of internet fraud (25%) or theft (8%) by pickpockets or carjackers.