Important questions about Debit Card you should have answers to

Having a Debit Card is a basic necessity in the new normal. It is not only more convenient to carry around than cash but can help you make contactless payments. But do you know all of the benefits your Debit Card comes with – both in terms of usage and security? For example, did you know that most Debit Cards in India come with complementary insurance cover worth up to Rs 10 lakh.

No matter what bank you choose, Debit Cards operate the same way. However, it doesn’t mean the cards are all created equal. Depending on the type of account you have, and the commercial partners your bank is associated with, costs and features vary. Whether you’re looking for a new Debit Card, or just trying to understand the features of the one you hold, here’s a quick look at what to expect.

What is a Debit Card?

In its simplest terms, Debit Cards provide a means of paying for products and services as an alternative to cash. When buying something, the money is immediately taken out (‘debited’, in accounting parlance) from the bank account the card is linked to, as long as there’s money in the account.

A Debit Card has a two-fold function: a payment card and an ATM card rolled into one.

Is a Debit Card Similar to a Credit Card?

If you think there’s no difference between the two, you’d be wrong! A Debit Card allows you to spend money by utilising money already available in your bank account. Credit Cards, on the other hand, enable you to borrow money from the card issuer up to a certain limit in order to purchase items, or even withdraw cash, for which you are billed later.

If your Credit Card is something you use and abuse too frequently for your own good, a Debit Card is a great alternative. With the latter, you spend only the cash you have in your account, forcing you to keep your spending habits in check, restricting your ability to lose control of your finances.

How Safe is a Debit Card?

A Debit Card is a pretty secure way to access your money. It’s protected by the bank’s anti-fraud policy – so if you lose it, or someone steals your details, you can cancel/block it. You also need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to withdraw money from an ATM. Unless you’ve shared your PIN with someone, it’s hard for your account to be misused.

With an HDFC Bank Debit Card, there are additional layers of protection, which include:

  • PIN-based protection for all your store-based purchases.
  • Online payments made secure by ‘Verified by Visa’, ‘Mastercard SecureCode’, or the bank’s own ‘One Time Password’ (OTP).
  • Zero Liability Cover for all your shopping at stores.
  • Chip cards for added security.
  • The ability to proactively add transaction limits for certain types of charges and set up SMS/email transaction alerts.

And for Online Purchases?

As far as possible, never use your Debit Card for online transactions. The level of protection against fraud is much lower if you use it, and disputes can be difficult to resolve. However, it is critical that you report any authorised transactions to the issuer as quickly as possible. This can minimise your liability, in accordance with RBI guidelines.

A Credit Card is a much safer option for e-commerce.

What About Overdraft Facilities?

Most banks allow you the facility of an overdraft on your bank account. If you do happen to run short of funds before your next salary is deposited, you’re still able to pay for life’s staples using your Debit Card.

However, you must bear in mind that an overdraft does have interest charges and other fees attached to it.

Are There Cashback & Rewards Options Too?

The reality is you’re unlikely to be offered the same level of rewards as the ones you enjoy with your credit card. However, most banks do have programmes for their customers. HDFC Bank has a wide-ranging Rewards Programme for their customers, including:

  • 5% CashBack
  • Discounts on fuel, shopping (at stores and online), travel, dining, entertainment etc.
  • Cashback on shopping throughout the year
  • Cardless Cash facility at HDFC ATMs where cash can be withdrawn 24X7, without a physical card
  • Upto 5 free ATM transactions per month
  • Air Miles.
  • Annual/Renewal fee waivers.

Banks that offer such a wide scope of benefits are few. Look no further than HDFC Bank to meet all your banking needs.

Are There Fees Attached to Having a Debit Card?

All banks have fees that go along with the Debit Cards they issue. However, the fees and other charges also depend upon the type of account you have. These charges are associated with:

  • Annual fee / Renewal fee
  • Add-on card fee
  • Replacement card charges
  • ATM fees (local and international)

With over a dozen types of Debit Cards to choose from, HDFC Bank has a fee structure that is not only competitive but one that keeps your needs at the forefront.

Are There Any Downsides to Owning a Debit Card?

As the old adage goes, there is never a free lunch. We’ve already mentioned using Credit Cards over Debit Cards for online purchases. There are a couple of other aspects to be aware of too:

  • Credit History – Unlike a credit card, you cannot build a credit history by using a Debit Card.
  • Chargebacks – One benefit, that can also be a drawback, is that transactions are instantaneous, which means if something goes wrong – like a double payment – or you want to cancel the transaction, you don’t have a lot of time.

If this happens, you can request your bank to rectify the error, but it requires you taking the time and making the effort. However, if an ATM fails to dispense cash and your account is debited for a certain amount, it is reversed almost instantaneously in most cases.

Debit Card Transactions Through NetBanking

With HDFC Bank, you have the ability to use your Debit Card to do more from the comfort of your home using NetBanking. These include:

  • Debit Card upgrades
  • Setting your international & domestic usage limits
  • Instant PIN generation
  • Debit Card ‘hot-listing’
  • Re-issuance of hot-listed Debit Cards
  • Linking your Debit Card to accounts

With the bulk of your questions answered, say goodbye to the hassle of withdrawing cash every time you need to shop and enjoy cashless, worry-free shopping with HDFC Bank Debit Cards.

You can easily apply for your HDFC Bank Debit Card here! New customers can get a new Debit Card through opening a new Savings Account while experiencing hassle-free banking with HDFC Bank. Existing HDFC Bank customers can get their Debit Card reissued within minutes here.

Read more on the different situations where Debit Cards are the best choice

*Terms and conditions apply. Debit Card approvals at the sole discretion of HDFC Bank limited. Debit Card approvals is subject to documentation and verification as per Banks requirement.