A debit card is a special type of commercial instrument that enables a person to carry cash very conveniently.
This card is quite similar to a credit card. But, unlike a credit card, the person cannot get into any debt trap using
a debit card. This is because the person using this card cannot spend more than the balance available in the
account or the amount that has been prepaid.
Traditionally, only banks can issue such cards. Now, a debit card can also be obtained from other places such as gas stations, convenience stores, or grocery stores. It is possible to obtain debit cards online as well, and use such virtual debit cards.
Banks issue debit cards to people with a checking account. Therefore, a person who does not have a checking account needs to open one. At the time of opening the bank account, the person can specify that a debit card would be needed. Banks these days issue such cards without any such requests from the account holder. These cards are promptly dispatched to the address provided by the account holder.
On receiving the card, the account holder has to sign in the place that is provided for signatures. As a precautionary measure, the account holder may also specify that the person accepting payment from that debit card should insist on identity proof. This prevents losses in case the card is lost and somebody is trying to impersonate the debit cardholder.
Prepaid debit cards such as VISA, American Express or MasterCard is issued by the payment processors such as VISA Inc., American Express Company, and MasterCard Worldwide. These prepaid cards are very useful when a person is traveling to distant places. Such Payment processing businesses have a network that is spread across the world.
Other prepaid debit cards can be bought from most of the stores these days. Such cards imply that the amount mentioned has been deposited with the payment processor, bank, or stores that issued the card. Paypal is another option for similar cards, but the card that Paypal offers is a virtual one. It can be used with codes for purchasing anything online, subject of course, to the specified limits. This debit card is used with codes.
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While issuing credit cards, banks and other businesses that issue such cards verify the credit history of the person. Limits are defined as per the earnings of the person for the preceding three or more years. The individual applying for credit cards has to furnish income tax details, and can withdraw only a limited amount of cash, which is a percentage of overall credit limits. In case of the debit card, the process of obtaining it is much simpler. Credit history and credit scores are not relevant. Limit of withdrawal is as per the amount that is available in the account or the amount that has been prepaid. There is no stipulation regarding Income Tax returns, or other guarantees. Debit cards can also be used as ATM cards. This means that there is no limit on the amount of cash that is being withdrawn provided that there is adequate amount in the bank account of the debit cardholder.