I live in France and I was recently traveling to Ireland. During the trip, my debit card stopped functioning. I discovered the problem when I arrived in a hotel and wanted to check in. The card was refused, and the person at the reception invited me to go to an ATM in order to bring some cash, as the hotel accepts only payment by card or cash, and won't accept a bank transfer. But when I tried to get the necessary amount of cash, the ATM plainly rejected the card without even asking for the PIN code. A few other ATMs behaved the same, and the card wouldn't work in a supermarket either.
I called my bank, but they just confirmed that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my bank account, and nothing is blocked, so the problem was really with my debit card. The only option they suggested is to try a different ATM. It should be noted that this bank doesn't have any subsidiaries in Ireland.
Thankfully, I wasn't traveling alone, and so I could deal more or less with the difficulty of not being able to get my own money. This made me think, however, of what could have happened if I was alone or if the person I was traveling with wouldn't lend me a rather important amount of money to pay the hotel (as well as food and other expenses).
So, let's pretend that as a French citizen, I'm alone in either Ireland or the UK, I have no more than twenty Euros in cash, and my debit card stops working (or I lose it or it gets stolen) while I need about six hundred Euros to pay to the hotel right now. What exactly are my options, in a context where I still have a smartphone with Internet access and I can pay by Internet and use PayPal? Is there some way to send oneself some cash or to retrieve it somehow without a debit card?