In my previous post, I explained the restrictions on how much money a visitor could bring into Barbados and the amount to be declared. I also spoke about the strict dollar regulations on the Island including  ATM withdrawals.

In this post, i’ll explain to you how my debit card stopped working after I paid for lunch at an Asian Restaurant at Cave Shepherd Mall in Bridgetown Barbados….

After hours of walking around broad street window shopping and just exploring Bridgetown, I decided to have lunch at the food court at Cave Shepherd Mall before continuing my exploration. I decided on an Asian restaurant, I ordered food, paid by card, ate my meal and moved on.

My plan was to buy some fabrics at Abeds and go grocery shopping afterwards. At Abeds, I found the fabric I wanted, went to pay at check out, lo and behold my debit card was declined for the fist time ever. Shocked, I asked the cashier to try again, which he did but it still didn’t work. Half embarrassed I paid in cash and moved on to an ATM to see if the problem was with Abeds POS. However, on trying to pull cash from the ATM, the card still did not work and so began 5 days of declined payments, confusion, trial and error and mild panic.

At first I thought time zones with my bank of origin was the issue but after a while I figured it was probably not the case. I wondered if my bank acct had been blocked by my bank or if I had exceeded international limits and other random analysis.

After much thought, to ease my suffering, I called the debit card company to figure out what was going on and I was asked “did you pay B$33.50 for food at an Asian restaurant in Trinidad and Tobago? Shocked, I responded “no, I paid B$33.50 at the said restaurant here in Barbados“. The debit card company went on to inform me that it seems the restaurant is registered both in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago and because Trinidad and Tobago is flagged as a Fraudulent country, my card got locked! Wow!

After answering some security questions, my card was unlocked and was ready to be used.

Basically, from this experience I learned to:

  1. Always have cash because credit/debit cards can fail you.
  2. In the Caribbean, pay attention to where you’re paying by card. I know it may be hard to figure out which company is registered where and all that, but many businesses in Barbados could be registered on another island country that may be flagged as fraudulent and this could lead to your card being locked.

If you found this post helpful, please like, follow and leave a comment to tell me about your experience. Thanks for reading!

PS: The information provided on this page is based on my personal experience and should not be considered as legal advice. Five foot nomad is not liable for any misrepresentation or misinterpretation of any posts on its website.

Cover Photo by from Pexels