During my first two months in Australia there had been no issues transferring money from my UK Barclays account to my ICE Travellers Cashcard and Australian Commonwealth accounts. Then disaster struck. I got locked out of my Barclays account. The timing was awful, it happened during the Melbourne to Perth road trip.
Resolving the issue was very difficult. I had to deal with some awful customer service advisers. One adviser recommened me to go into an Australian Barcalys branch to fix the issue but he did not even know if Barcalys had branches in Australia. Another told me to just wait till I got home to fix the issue, my reply that I was not planning on coming home for many months seemed to fall on deaf ears. Hopefully the advice below will either a) prevent fellow travellers bank cards being frozen or b) allow them to quickly resolve any issues that occur.
- Anytime you plan on using your domestic bank account abroad its worth giving your bank prior notice. If you are planning a long term trip abroad, emphasise this to your bank.
- Barclays can setup a telephone banking passcode for their customers. I think the purpose of the code is to let customers bypass the more traditional security questions. It is probably worth setting up a code prior to travelling.
- Before you leave your home country, you may want to give a family member authorisation to act on your behalf if you have a banking emergency. Had I done this my other family members could have just walked into a UK branch with my paperwork and quickly got my issue resolved.
- Barclays customers are issued with bank card readers. Other banks have similar schemes. Pack your card reader.