Unlike most debit and credit cards, Woodforest National Bank's cards can't be activated with a simple phone call or online. You'll need to make a physical transaction to activate your Woodforest bank debit card.
Once you've activated it, you can use it in the same way you use other cards and set up online and mobile access to your account.
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Receiving Your Card and PIN
You will need your card and personal identification number to activate your Woodforest card. According to Woodforest customer service (as of September 2021), you will not receive your PIN with your card. Your PIN will be mailed to you approximately three days later in a separate letter.
This helps prevent a thief from using your card if he or she intercepts your letter and card. If you don't receive your PIN letter within seven or more days, contact Woodforest customer service at 877-968-7962.
If you want to change your PIN, you'll need to visit a Woodforest branch. For extra security, don't use an easy-to-guess or find numbers, such as 1234 or your birthdate.
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Changing Your PIN
According to Woodforest customer service, you cannot change your PIN yourself. Any new PIN must be generated by their system. You will need to go into a local branch and ask a customer service agent to reset your PIN. This will result in you getting a new debit card with a new expiration date. You can begin using your card after one day.
If you have any autopayments tied to this Woodforest bank account, you'll need to update your card's expiration date or your next payments will be declined. This can result in damage to your standing with those vendors and result in penalty fees.
Read More: How to Track Debit Card Purchases
Activate It at an ATM
Once you have your card and PIN, you can go to any Woodforest ATM or any outside of Woodforest's network. Insert your card, enter your PIN and perform a transaction. You don't need to deposit or withdraw money. You can simply check your balance and your card will be activated.
This latter method will save you money if you're not using a Woodforest ATM. Out-of-network ATMs often charge you a user fee to withdraw money. The money is deducted from your Woodforest account, in addition to the money you withdraw.
Make a Store Purchase
While you can't activate your Woodforest debit card making online purchases, you can activate it by making a purchase that requires you to swipe, chip-read or scan your card. If you do this at a grocery, clothing or electronics store, the merchant will ask you to swipe your card, insert it into a chip reader or have you scan the card using a contactless system.
Doing this sends a notification to Woodforest's system, which verifies that the card is good and the PIN is correct. Once the merchant approves the purchase, your card is now activated.
The first time you try to use your debit card and activate it, have another card or cash ready to use in case your Woodforest card transaction doesn't work and you don't want people waiting in line behind you to have to wait while you and cashier try to figure out what's going on.
Create Online and Mobile Accounts
Once you've activated your card, it's a good idea to set up online and mobile access so you can check your account 24/7. You can set up alerts, check balances and perform other banking functions.