How to Activate an ATM Card

Technology has indeed made life easy for everyone. Before now, making payments online without having to visit the stores or companies was like a fairytale. Thanks to modern-day technology and the discovery of ATM cards, online payments can now be made. 

ATM is an acronym for automated teller machine. The cards are so named because they can be used to withdraw money from the machine. ATM cards, also called Debit cards, are very different from credit cards. Credit cards can be used even without paying money into the registered account, but debit cards must be loaded with funds. If not, the transaction will not be approved. Banks issue ATM cards that can be used to withdraw money from POS in Nigeria and make fast online payments. 

Types of ATM cards

Whenever you go to the bank to request an ATM card, you’ll be asked, “What type of card do you want.” Most times, people don’t know the card to choose, and instead of asking questions, they say “anyone.” “Anyone” can either be Visa, MasterCard, or Verve, depending on the card available at the bank. Each card has different fees attached to them. Banks always charge the highest for MasterCard, while some give out Verve and Visa cards for free.

The type of ATM card you choose will play a significant role in the success of your online transactions. To date, MasterCard is still the most preferred card for online transactions since most companies support them. This means you’ll have to choose a card based on your financial activities. Here are the different types of ATM cards in Nigeria.

Visa cards

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The Visa ATM Card is a payment card created and distributed by the popular payment company, Visa. All transactions carried out on a Visa card are processed on the Visa network. Before Visa started designing debit cards, they had been creating only credit cards. They recently decided to expand their market with gift cards and debit cards, and Nigeria was one of the few countries to benefit from it. 

Using their 16-digit PAN number, they are accepted internationally online and via ATMs. Like other cards, the Visa Card has a CVV (3-digit code at the back of the card), a PAN (16-digit numbers at the front), a PIN (4-digit) and set up by you, 3-year expiration period, and a metal chip used for different modes of transactions. Regarding reach, coverage, and restriction, MasterCard is more effective than Visa gift cards, but again, it depends on your type of transaction.


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MasterCard is a payment network provider that enables cards from authenticated issuers to make payments anywhere the MasterCard Brand is present. MasterCard is ranked behind Visa as the second-largest payment network in the world. 

Like the Visa ATM card, the MasterCard also has a 16-digit card number, three years expiration period, and a CVV on the back of the card. As mentioned earlier, MasterCard trumps the other payment cards in terms of reach, speed, coverage, and restrictions.


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Verve is the only card option created and distributed by a Nigerian company called Inter-switch. All Verve card transactions are powered and approved on the Verve network. Verve is regarded as the ‘Nigerian’ payment card powered by a fully indigenous Nigerian company. Many Nigerians are proud of its progress as it has expanded across the Nigerian borders in recent years to other African countries. 

Like the Visa and MasterCard, the verve card also has a card number, PIN, CVV, and a gold chip. You can use Verve cards for your online transactions in Nigeria, but they might only be accepted by some foreign companies like Apple and Nike. These foreign companies usually accept only MasterCard or Visa cards on their website. 

Activating your ATM Card

Before you can make payments or withdraw money with your ATM card, you must first activate it. Activation of ATM cards is relatively easy, depending on the bank you use. The general and easiest way to activate your ATM card is via the machine. Follow the steps below.

  • Visit any of the teller machines located near you.
  • Insert your card into the machine, the side with the gold chip facing upwards and going in first. 
  • Enter the default PIN you were given at the bank.
  • You’ll be asked to enter your preferred PIN. Choose a PIN that cannot be easily guessed by third parties. 
  • Immediately after this is done, your bank will activate your card. Now, you can make online payments and enjoy cashless transactions.

Where to sell Visa gift cards in a Nigeria

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Visa gift cards are quite popular in Nigeria in the same way their ATM cards are popular. If you own a Visa gift card and don’t know what to spend the value on, you can sell it on an exchange platform. The best platform to sell your Visa gift card in Nigeria is Astro Africa. Astro Africa buys gift cards from gift card holders in Nigeria at the best rates. You can make enormous profits from one transaction when you trade on Astro Africa. To get started and sell Visa gift cards on Astro Africa, follow the steps below.

  • The Astro Africa trading app can be downloaded from Google Playstore or App Store. You can also visit the Astro Africa website now.
  • Click on Trade Now.
  • Click Create an Account.
  • Complete your account creation by adding a bank account and creating a transaction pin. As long as you complete this step, you will get paid immediately.
  • Click on Trade gift cards, and all the gift cards supported by Astro Africa will be displayed.
  • Select the currency.
  • Select the Visa gift card as the gift card of choice.
  • Input all details about your gift cards. Take note of the subcategory of your gift card, as there are several subcategories. If you input the wrong one, your transaction might not go through.
  • Input the value of your gift card.
  • Upload a picture of your gift card. If it’s an encode, screenshot the code and upload the image. Or you can write the code on clear paper, take a picture and upload it. Ensure the images uploaded are clear enough to verify your transaction quickly.
  • Click on submit. 
  • Your transaction will be verified, and you’ll get paid immediately.
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