Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsIndia

Credit card activation: How to activate a credit card?

Activate your Credit Card - You can now easily activate your Credit card with multiple options available online & offline. Here are the credit card activation processes for some popular banks at Moneycontrol.

July 18, 2019 / 10:37 AM IST

There are different ways with which one can activate a credit card. Usually, the activation process varies from bank to bank, and there is no common process of activating credit cards. Some banks ask cardholders to activate their credit cards by logging into their net banking system and activating the cards. Some other banks require cardholders to visit an ATM and swipe the card to get it activated.

To get a card activated, you must know the personal identification number or (PIN). Banks have different ways of communicating the PIN to the customer. While some banks despatch the PIN separately after despatching the card, others help users generate the PIN online.


Activate your credit card online

To activate your credit card online, you need to first generate your pin. To do so, you can log in to your account through net banking. Fill in your customer ID and password to log into your account. Click on the credit cards tab and choose the credit card PIN generation option.

Once you do that, the bank will generate the pin for your card. There various ways by which the bank communicates this PIN with you. Some banks such as HDFC bank post the PIN to your registered address. Others will either SMS the PIN to you or send it via email.

Some banks also let you choose a convenient four-digit pin. Once you enter the PIN, a secure code is sent to your registered mobile number and email id, to ensure the security of your card. To validate your PIN, you have to key in the secure code.

Once you have received your pin, you can activate your card either online by clicking on the activate option or swipe it at an ATM. The card is activated once you validate it with the ATM pin.


Activate by SMS

A handful of banks also let customers get their credit cards activated by sending an SMS to the bank’s customer care. Not all banks offer this service. Therefore, please check the process for your bank before sending the SMS. The banks that do allow this service require customers to send a predefined message to a specific number. The message could be MBANK or ATM PIN or any other predefined message. Once you send the SMS, you will get an instant response on the process of validation and activation of the card. The customer service number will vary from one bank to another. Please check the bank’s website.


Activate your card offline

Credit cards offered by most banks can be activated offline. This is a fairly simple process, wherein you can visit the nearest ATM of the bank which issued the credit card. Upon swiping the credit card, you can choose the ‘SET PIN’ option. To protect the credit card’s security and to ensure that the PIN is being issued to the right customer, the ATM will ask for details such as the account number, registered mobile number and date of birth of cardholder. A one-time password is sent to your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP in the machine. Once the validation process is completed, you will be asked to set a PIN of your choice.

Alternately, if the bank has sent you a PIN via post, you can swipe the credit card an ATM of the issuing bank. You can then enter the PIN sent to you by the bank. Once logged in, you can choose to ‘reset/ change’ the PIN that is convenient for you to remember.


The activation process for a few popular cards

The activation process is different for most banks. Here is a compilation of credit activation processes for some popular banks:

SBI credit cards:

 The bank allows for several ways to activate your credit card. You can either log in to your account at or email to If you log in to the website, you can log in using your user id and password. You can then click on the ‘Requests’ menu and then choose the card number from the drop-down menu which you wish to activate. Click on the activate button. Your card will be activated instantly.


The bank sends your credit card PIN to your postal address within a week from sending the credit card to your address. To change the default PIN, you can log on to the website through net banking. Under the My Accounts section, choose the credit cards option and then generate a credit card PIN. You can also download the ICICI bank mobile app and log in. You can then go to ‘Smartkeys and Services’ section and choose card services. Here, too, you can generate a credit card PIN. You can also visit the nearest ICICI ATM, swipe the card and activate with the default PIN. There, you can also change your PIN.

YES Bank:

You can log in to your netbanking account using your username and password. Then click on the Credit Cards tab. Click on the ‘PIN SET/ RESET’ option. Choose the card that you

want to be activated in the dropdown menu and card number. Then click on submit. Enter and Re-enter your default PIN. Enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number. You can then set a new PIN.

Kotak Mahindra Bank:

Kotak Mahindra sends the credit card followed by the PIN in separate mails to your registered address. Once you have both the credit card and the PIN, you can activate your card using the nearest Kotak Mahindra ATM, netbanking or mobile banking. The bank also lets you generate an instant PIN on its website. You can find the service under the transaction services section of the website. You can call the bank’s IVRS service at 1860 266 2666 and follow through the process to reset the PIN. Keep your credit card number handy in this case. You can also log in to your account using netbanking and choose the change PIN option under the credit cards tab. You can set up a new six-digit PIN. A similar process is to be followed if you log in on the mobile application. Look for the Regenerate PIN option under the Service Requests tab. You can also visit a Kotak Mahindra ATM and change/ reset your PIN.

HDFC Bank:

HDFC Bank also sends the credit card and the default PIN separately to the customers on their registered address. The card is activated at an HDFC ATM alone. You can call the customer care and ask for an OTP to be sent to your registered mobile number before visiting the ATM. You can choose ‘create a new PIN using OTP’ option. After entering the OTP, you can set up a PIN convenient to you. You can also log in to your account using netbanking. There you choose the Credit Card ATM pin option under the credit cards tab. By clicking on the PIN option, you will generate a new PIN, which is sent to you via post. You can visit an ATM and validate the card.

Axis Bank:

The bank provides various ways to generate the PIN for a credit card. You can either call the customer care or the interactive voice response system (IVRS) to create the PIN. You can also generate the PIN by logging on to the mobile app or internet banking. You can also do so by visiting an ATM. The bank has dedicated IVRS for customers at 1860 419 5555 and 1860 500 5555. First choose the credit cards option. Then choose ‘Generate Credit Card PIN and activation code’. You will be asked to key in your card number, expiry date and date of birth. Once you validate your details, you will receive an activation code on your registered mobile number. You will have to call the IVRS or customer care again after receiving the activation code. Then choose the option “Generate Credit Card PIN, I have an activation code”. Key in your code and then you will be asked to set your credit card PIN. If you choose to activate your card via the mobile app, you can log in and choose ‘My Controls’ from the ‘Options’ tab. Here, you can choose the credit card option and then click on the SET PIN option. You will be sent an OTP. Validate the OTP, and you can set up a PIN of your choice. A similar process is followed in netbanking. Choose credit cards from the accounts tab. Click on ‘More Services’ tab and choose ‘PIN Change’ option. Enter your PIN. A secure code will be sent to your registered mobile number. Validate the secure code, and you are good to go.



Can I change the PIN set by the bank on my credit card?

Yes. Most banks issue a default PIN along with their credit cards. While you can continue to use the dame PIN for your transactions, you can also change it to a more convenient PIN that is easier for you to remember. You can do so by visiting an ATM of the issuing bank or logging into your account online or on the mobile application.

Is it mandatory to change the default PIN set up by the bank?

No, it is not mandatory for the customer to change the PIN for their credit card. However, in the interest of security, it is advised that the customer change the PIN. It is also easier to remember the PIN if you set it.

Why does my new credit card not work?

A new credit card usually comes in the ‘deactivated’ mode to ensure the security of the card. To activate a card you need the PIN for the card. The PIN is either sent by the bank on your registered address within seven days of receipt of your card. Or you are required to generate a PIN using net-banking or mobile banking. Read the instructions that came along with your credit card carefully to understand the process for activating a card. The process is different for different banks. Visit the website of your bank or call the customer care of your bank to find out more.

Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 18, 2019 10:37 am