Today more than 60 million people have debit cards that carry the logos
of the two major payment card companies. That number is expected to grow dramatically as
debit cards become increasingly popular. Many debit cardholders confuse debit cards with
standard ATM cards.
Not all debit cards are equal. Debit cards with the logo of one of the
two major payment card companies are ATM cards with clout. They can be used to obtain cash
from ATM machines, and also to make purchases anywhere the logos on these cards are
accepted -- over 16 million merchants worldwide.
Increasingly, debit cards combine the key elements of ATM cards, credit
cards and cheques-- besides giving instant access to cash and worldwide acceptance.Tthe
funds come directly out of your checking account and because purchases and ATM withdrawals
are listed on your monthly statement, you can track your spending
Debit cards are typically used as substitutes for cash and cheques to
pay for everyday items such as groceries, restaurant meals, and department store
purchases. You don't have to carry cash or cheques. And, unless you dip into an overdraft
line of credit tied to your checking account, you don't run up interest charges.
What is a Debit Card?
As it is popularly known, it is an ATM card on the move. The Debit Card
gives you the freedom to access your Savings or Current Account at merchant locations and
ATMs. Whenever you make payments, the amount will be instantly debited to your account.
There are around more than 5.3 lakh Visa/PLUS ATMs and equally strong Mastercard/ Cirrus
ATMs in over 140 countries worldwide. All your purchases and cash withdrawals will be in
the currency of the country you are in, while your account will be debited in rupees. So
you needn't carry traveller's cheques or foreign exchange the next time you travel.
How do I know where my card can be used?
Your Debit Card can be used at any merchant location displaying the
Visa or Mastercard logo or at any ATMs displaying the Visa/PLUS or Mastercard/Cirrus logo.
Besides that, one can always use it at any of the bank ATMs as a normal ATM card.
How does the Debit Card work?
All you need to do is present your card to the merchant who will swipe
it through the electronic terminal and enter the amount of your purchase. You only need to
sign the transaction slip. Your account will be automatically debited for the amount of
your purchase. At merchant locations that have a PIN pad, you may be required to confirm
the transaction by entering your PIN.
Where can I use my Debit Card?
Your Debit Card can be used to access your Account from over 5,000
Shops, Department Stores, Petrol Pumps and Restaurants and over 235 ATMs in India as for
HDFC Bank . You can also use it at over 4 million Visa Electron merchant locations
and equally strong Mastercard outlets . If Debit Card ever gets lost or stolen, card
companies protect you from fraudulent usage the moment you report the loss. After
reporting, your liability is limited to a maximum of around Rs. 500/-as for a HDFC Bank
International Debit Card.
Is there any charge for this service?
There aren't many Debit cards in India as of now. The HDFC
International Debit Card comes at an annual fee of around Rs. 250/-. This charge is
waived off on one additional card taken on your account. There are charges involved
on cash withdrawals and balance queries. Normally the cash withdrawal charges are around
Rs 55/- and a meager charge of Rs.10/- for balance.
How can I get a Debit card?
If you already have a savings or current account with the debit card
issuer, you might just have to file an application form. The card company then couriers
the card across to you in around a weeks time. If you dont have an account,
you will have to open an account first and request for the debit card to be issued to your
Are there any transaction limits for the debit card?
Yes. The Debit card does have a daily limit which could be somewhere
around Rs. 15,000 at ATMs, and Rs. 10,000 at merchant locations. This again is subject to
the balance available in your account.