What is Debit Card & How Does is Work?

What is Debit Card & How Does is Work?

Debit Cards and Credit Cards have become an integral way of life for customers today to make payments without the hassles of cash. It feels almost impossible in today’s world to survive without these modes of payment. We all use Debit or Credit Cards for a wide range of reasons, from swiping them at Point of Sales machines to shop from groceries to luxury items to paying utility bills, both forms of plastic money have a multitude of end-uses. So, therefore, it’s not surprising when we hear that Debit Cards are one of the most popular ways to transact today.

However, given the multiple modes of payment today, customers often get confused about what is meant by Debit Cards. So let us begin by understanding what the meaning of Debit Card is.

What is a Debit Card?

Debit Card allows customers to make payments which get directly deducted from the account on a single tap.

In terms of utility, it is the same as a Credit Card, meaning Debit Cards can be used in the same manner to make payments. However, in the case of Debit Cards, you use your own money, unlike borrowed funds in Credit Cards. With Debit Cards, you can access your account at various payment outlets across the country to pay for your purchases and to pay your bills online. Therefore, it eliminates the need for carrying physical cash.

You might be wondering then what is ATM Card and if it is different from Debit Cards, but they are the same thing. Since Debit Cards also offer a means to cash when needed, they are often referred to as ATM Cards.

Most of the Debit Cards are associated with either a Visa or a Mastercard. You will see a logo of either of these two major companies on your Debit Card. To make payments at the store, or to withdraw money, or to make other monetary payments, you will need to make an input of your Debit Card PIN either at the store, ATM or online.

You can read more about the difference between ATM Card and Debit Card here.

What is Debit Card number?

You must have noticed a 16-digit number on the front side of your Debit Card. This is known as the Debit Card number. This number is unique and primarily represents and identifies your Debit Card. The number constitutes of two parts, each having a significance of its own. Here is a simple breakdown of the meaning of the Debit Card Number.

The first six digits of the Debit Card number are the Issuer Identification Number, also referred to as the Bank Identification Number. These digits tell you the name of the company, i.e., Mastercard or Visa, which issued the card.

The next digits, i.e., Digits 7-16 are an indicator of your bank account details, i.e., the name of the bank who issued the card, the type of card issued and other unique identifies that point to your specific bank account.

What is an ATM Number?

A Debit Card number also contains an ATM Number, i.e., a 4-digit unique PIN, which you can use for validating and making ATM transactions. The PIN is a secure 4-digit number that can be set by the customer and is used to identify the user as an authentic owner of the Debit Card before accessing such funds. On the issue of a Debit Card, banks allow customers to set this PIN to ensure that it is a number that can be easily recollected at any point in time. Banks also enable seamless reset of this PIN in case the PIN  is wrongly set up or forgotten for any reason.

How Debit Cards work?

When you use your Debit Card offline, you usually make the payment using a card machine. Payments using Debit Cards are very swift and convenient. Once the merchant inputs the amount, all you have to do is input your unique PIN to complete the transaction, and you will receive a notification of your completed payment. Your bank processes the request made by the merchant using the Debit Card and releases the required amount.

When you use your Debit Card online, you need to enter the 16-digit Debit Card Number, the expiry date, and the three-digit CVV number (found on the reverse side of the Debit Card) to make a purchase. Once the details are entered, there is an OTP triggered (One Time Password) to your registered mobile number which needs to be entered at the merchant’s site to complete the transaction.

Now that you know the meaning of the Debit Card, its features, and how it works, you can now reap from its immense benefits by using it safely and securely. In today’s economic juncture with a bright future for digital payments, it is imperative that customers understand plastic money such as Debit and Credit Cards prudently and use it optimally to gain maximum benefits from it.

If you are looking to apply for an HDFC Bank Debit Card, 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.

* Terms & conditions apply. Debit Card approvals are at sole discretion of HDFC Bank Ltd. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only.