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In olden days, people exchanged goods to get what they wanted when the concept of money wasn’t introduced. Gradually, money became a medium of exchange whereby a certain value was attributed to the paper or coin which was commonly accepted. Now the plastic cards such as debit and credit cards are replacing the usage of notes and coins. The convenience a debit card offers is enormous so much so that it has become an indispensable in our day-to-day lives. With the rise of digital transactions and point of sale machines, the debit card has become very handy.
A debit card is normally provided by all banks whereby you have a savings or current account. Also, individuals having a post office account can get a debit card. Other than these ways, you cannot get a debit card. As per your eligibility and income level, there are varieties of debit cards available which will have different features and benefits. However, all the debit cards carry the same purpose of conducting digital payments and transactions.
A debit card is used at ATMs to withdraw money based on your need. The withdrawal limit on each card will vary depending on the card provided to you by the bank. Apart from conducting transactions, a debit card offers you safety over physical money. Even if your card gets stolen, it cannot be misused as it is enabled with safety features. It can also be blocked in the even of loss or theft.
Although the debit cards are issued by banks for opening a savings or current account, they are offered in partnership with payment services companies such as Visa, MasterCard, RuPay etc. Currently, there are 6 types of debit cards are available in India.
Visa Debit Cards :
Being one of the most popular debit cards in India, Visa offers the Verified by Visa platform (VbV) for secured online transactions.
Visa Electron Debit Cards :
This is very much similar to Visa debit cards except that it does not offer overdraft facility.
MasterCard Debit Cards :
Well-known for its benefits and rewards program, MasterCard is used worldwide, and it is one of the popular debit cards in the world.
RuPay Debit Cards :
It is India’s domestic card scheme that was launched National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). As the cost of transactions on international cards such as Visa and MasterCard, RuPay debit cards were launched for domestic transactions which will cut down the transaction cost.
Maestro Debit Card :
With the state-of-the-art technology, Maestro debit cards are well-known worldwide. It facilitates a safe and secured digital transactions.
Contactless Debit Cards :
As per RBI regulation, any transaction between Rs. 2000 can be processed without a PIN. This is where contactless debit cards come into play. These cards are much faster for transactions and you do not have to use your PIN to conduct the transaction. You can just wave or tap to make the payment.
Following are some of the features and benefits of debit cards:
Secure & convenient: Debit cards provide a hassle-free way of shopping at merchant establishments and online with extraordinary security features. You would have to input the security code or OTP sent to your registered mobile number to make the payments.
Access to money :
With more than 2 Lakhs ATMs across India, you have instant access to your account 24x7. You can withdraw any amount you required based on the limit on the card from any nearby ATM.
Rewards for shopping :
Some of the banks now offer reward points for each transaction done at partner outlets or for fuel transactions. The accumulated reward points can be redeemed against a wide range of exciting gifts items, or you can convert the points to cash.
Protection & Insurance :
Most of the lenders offer insurance protection to debit cards which acts as a coverage against loss or fraudulent transactions. There were a lot of fraudulent transactions reported quite recently and customers who have insurance coverage can claim the amount withdrawn illegally by fraudsters.
Contactless cards :
These are the cards that allow you to pay with just a tap or wave near the machine at merchant establishments. You do not have to enter PIN to do the transaction.
EMI Facility :
When you shop online at leading e-commerce sites, there are several offers on purchase of gadgets, accessories, appliances, etc., on using a debit card. Moreover, you can convert big purchases to Equated Monthly Instalments with your debit card. This offers you ease of convenience to shop for the products that you otherwise might not be able to buy with a huge amount.
Keep Track of Your Expenses :
Every transaction you do using a debit card is recorded which can be viewed later at any time. You can just login to your net banking or visit the nearby ATM to check the history of transactions made with your debit card. It helps you analyse your spends and keep track of it for financial planning.
Both debit and credit cards are offered by all banks in India, and an NBFC is not allowed to issue both the cards. A debit card is directly linked to your savings or current account and you are allowed to withdraw or use money only that is available on the account. On the other hand, a credit card comes loaded with an amount that enables you make payments up to the available credit limit and pay for them later.
Though some debit cards offer you reward points on particular transactions, they are not higher than credit card transactions. Credit cards get you offers on shopping, dining and online payments.
There are no charges involved when you withdraw money at ATMs using your debit card for up to 5 transactions. But when you use credit card for money withdrawal at ATMs, it can be costly as there are a certain percentage of fees involved. It could range between 2% to 3% per month.
All the banks are now replacing ordinary debit cards with EMV chip cards that provide you enhanced safety and security features. Designed to prevent fraudulent practices such as skimming and cloning, EMV chip card is named after Europay, MasterCard and Visa who developed this technology.
Old debit cards have a magnetic stripe that stores all your data. This becomes an easy way for fraudsters to copy your data and create a fake card. But in an EMV chip card, your data is stored only on the microprocessor chip found on the card. This means that every time you swipe your card for transaction, the card generates a fresh user data which makes it impossible for fraudsters to copy the original data. Hence, having an EMV chip debit card offers you more safety than ordinary debit cards.
1. Who offers the debit cards?
Debit cards are provided by banks where you have a savings or current account.
2. Can I have more than one debit card?
Yes, you can have multiple debit cards for as many accounts you have with different banks.
3. What are the charges applicable for using a debit card?
Some banks charge a fee for issuing a debit card while some banks give it for free. You may have to pay a fee for ATM withdrawals more than the specified limit.
4. What is the recommended action to be done in the event of loss or theft of my debit card?
You can inform the bank to hot list the debit which will block all the transaction from the card. You can get a new card with new number.
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