Commonwealth Bank media release


  • Nearly 11.5 million credit cards are reported lost or stolen annually in Australia.
  • Seven million cancelled credit cards are recoverable or later turn up.
  • More than a quarter of credit card holders admitted they’ve been unsure whether their credit card is lost, stolen or ‘misplaced’.
  • CommBank launches new temporary lock feature to help credit card customers avoid cancelling misplaced cards.

New research from CommBank reveals misplaced credit cards account for 61 per cent of all credit cards reported lost or stolen in Australia, resulting in seven million cancelled credit cards that are recoverable or later turn up. To help Australians deal with the inconvenience of cancelling a misplaced credit card, CommBank has launched a new temporary lock feature for its credit card customers.

The new feature allows CommBank credit card customers to lock a misplaced credit card while they look for it using the CommBank app or NetBank and unlock it again when they find it. Additionally, if a card is permanently lost it can also be cancelled and reordered via the CommBank app or NetBank.

According to the research, while the majority (84 per cent) of credit card holders say cancelling and replacing lost, stolen or misplaced credit cards can be a frustrating process, more than a quarter (26 per cent) admitted they’ve been unsure whether their credit card is lost, stolen or misplaced.

Misplaced credit cards are not only causing Australians to become frustrated with the cancellation process, but also result in Australians wasting 4.6 million hours a year updating the details of cancelled credit cards, such as direct debits and other regular payments.

With 92 per cent of credit card holders saying they would find it useful to be able to put a temporary lock on a misplaced credit card and 73 per cent admitting they would be quicker to report cards lost or stolen if they could ‘uncancel’ their card if it later turned up, CommBank’s new temporary lock feature will provide extra convenience and security for its credit card customers.

Angus Sullivan, Executive General Manager Cards, Payments, Analytics & Retail Strategy, Commonwealth Bank, says the new temporary lock feature answers customers’ demands for added security and more control over their money.

“We know security is of the utmost importance to our credit card customers, but we also know that our customers not only want, but have come to expect, increasingly convenient ways to manage and control their money.

“The new temporary lock feature we launched today gives our customers extra peace of mind over their credit card security by empowering them to lock a misplaced credit card while they look for it, with the convenience of being able to unlock their card again when it turns up.

“Our customers can now access Cardless Cash, Tap and Pay, transfer funds, control spending limits as well as put a temporary hold on their credit cards and if necessary order a new one all through the CommBank app on their smartphone or Netbank. No other Australian bank can offer customers this level of on-the-go convenience and control,” says Mr Sullivan.

Misplaced credit cards

According to the research, the most common places Australians have misplaced their credit cards are at home or work (61 per cent), in shops or malls (49 per cent) and in bars or restaurants (37 per cent). Other common places Australians have misplaced their credit cards include:

  • when travelling for business or on holiday (32 per cent);
  • on a night out (26 per cent);
  • on public transport (26 per cent); or
  • at a party (21 per cent).

“We’ve all been there before – the moment of frustration as we realise our credit card is missing. Instead of going through the process of cancelling a card, only to find it again, our credit card customers can now use their mobile, tablet or laptop to put a temporary lock on their card while they look for it. Adding an extra layer of convenience for our customers,” continued Mr Sullivan.

In addition to temporary lock, CommBank credit card customers can use the CommBank app on their smartphone or NetBank to lock, block and limit their card for additional control over their security:

  • In-store international payments – for greater peace of mind, customers can lock these transactions when not overseas.
  • Online international payments – the ability to lock the card to block transactions made on international websites, then simply unlock it again to make a purchase.
  • Block ATM transactions – customers who never withdraw cash from their credit card, can now block ATM cash advances to prevent others from taking money out.
  • Transaction limits – the ability to set the maximum amount the primary or joint card holder can spend in one transaction, to provide more control over spending.

Available to download today

For existing CommBank app users, the new temporary lock feature as well as existing lock, block and limit features, can be installed via the latest CommBank app updates in Google Play and the App Store from today.

For new users, the CommBank app is available to download from Google Play, the App Store and Windows Phone store.

For more information on the new temporary lock for CommBank credit card customers, please visit



Notes to editors:

The study:

  • Was conducted by Lonergan Research among 1,244 Australians aged 18 years and older.
  • Fieldwork commenced on Wednesday 17 September and was completed on Saturday 20 September 2014.
  • After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

For further media enquiries please contact:

Liz Lovett
Commonwealth Bank
T (02) 9303 1403 | M 0400 234 035