Unlike credit and charge cards, payments using a debit card are immediately transferred from the cardholder’s designated bank account, instead of them paying the money back at a later date. Debit cards usually also allow for instant withdrawal of cash, acting as an ATM card for withdrawing cash.
A debit card (also known as a bank card, plastic card or check card) is a plastic payment card that can be used instead of cash when making purchases. It is similar to a credit card, but unlike a credit card, the money comes directly from the user’s bank account when performing a transaction.
Some cards might carry a stored value with which a payment is made, while most relay a message to the cardholder’s bank to withdraw funds from a payer’s designated bank account. In some cases, the primary account number is assigned exclusively for use on the Internet and there is no physical card.
In many countries,[where?] the use of debit cards has become so widespread that their volume has overtaken or entirely replaced cheques and, in some instances, cash transactions. The development of debit cards, unlike credit cards and charge cards, has generally been country specific resulting in a number of different systems around the world, which were often incompatible. Since the mid-2000s, a number of initiatives have allowed debit cards issued in one country to be used in other countries and allowed their use for internet and phone purchases.
Unlike credit and charge cards, payments using a debit card are immediately transferred from the cardholder’s designated bank account, instead of them paying the money back at a later date.
Debit cards usually also allow for instant withdrawal of cash, acting as an ATM card for withdrawing cash. Merchants may also offer cashback facilities to customers, where a customer can withdraw cash along with their purchase.
A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder’s promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts so paid plus the other agreed charges. The card issuer (usually a bank) creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder, from which the cardholder can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance. In other words, credit cards combine payment services with extensions of credit. Complex fee structures in the credit card industry may limit customers’ ability to comparison shop, helping to ensure that the industry is not price-competitive and helping to maximize industry profits. Due to concerns about this, many legislatures have regulated credit card fees.
A credit card is different from a charge card, which requires the balance to be repaid in full each month. In contrast, credit cards allow the consumers a continuing balance of debt, subject to interest being charged. A credit card also differs from a cash card, which can be used like currency by the owner of the card. A credit card differs from a charge card also in that a credit card typically involves a third-party entity that pays the seller and is reimbursed by the buyer, whereas a charge card simply defers payment by the buyer until a later date.