How to use a debit card to make a purchase online

Perhaps for you, debit cards are not something new, what is new may be that you can use them to make purchases online, much like a credit card. We present basic concepts about online shopping and how to use a debit card to make a purchase online.

The idea is that you can make the most of the advantages of debit cards.

For many, the credit card is the payment instrument that dominates online transactions, a practice for which not everyone has a clear understanding of the scope of debit cards.

In addition, debit cards allow you to use available money and without acquiring debts, or expensive charges or commissions.

The debit card is a payment instrument accepted in most stores and makes it easier for you to dispose of the money you have in your checking account and in some cases in your savings account.

The Spanish BBVA offers us the review “Six advantages offered by debit cards”. Among them, greater security, better control of our expenses and the possibility of making purchases on the Internet.

In fact, although the commonly accepted practice to make purchases online is to use a credit card, debit cards allow you to make a purchase online conveniently, quickly and safely.

let’s see later how to use debit cards to make a purchase online.

How to use a debit card?

As stated above, debit cards are accepted in the same establishments as credit cards, there are even fewer restrictions in establishments.

To use it, you must enter the card at the points of sale using the chip or swipe the magnetic stripe. There are even available cards with technology contactless with which you only have to move your card over a reader, as its name alludes, without the need for contact or further manipulation.

Then, you will be asked for your verification data and your personal identification number (PIN or Personal Identification Number), to complete the transaction.

Although there are establishments where you deliver your debit card with all the information, it is not recommended if it is not fully trusted. At all times you must avoid any fraud to your checking account and consequently, your money.

How to use the debit card for an internet purchase?

If you are going to make a purchase online, the transaction with a debit card is carried out practically in the same way as with a credit card.

You don’t even need to select to use a debit card. Select the option to pay by card, usually in most online stores it appears as follows: “pay by credit card” and but this is not a limitation at all.

Then the process will be as follows:

  • Select the type of card. Also, if it’s Visa, Mastercard, Discover or some other.
  • Enter your debit card number. You should differentiate it as the series of 16-digit numbers that appears on the front of your debit card.
  • It is possible that the online platform where you make the payment will ask you for some extra information to verify your identity and thus avoid fraud.

So you may be asked Card Security Code (CVC, CVV or similar), usually located on the back of the card. They will also ask you for the expiration date of the plastic.

In addition to your zip code, date of birth or address. Which should match your bank record.

  • Unlike when you make a purchase in person, (as we will teach you soon so you know how to differentiate the processes) you will not have to enter the PIN of your debit card.

The transaction is carried out as if it were a credit card

There is a reason why you have to be extremely cautious with debit cards and not allow access to the card if it is not someone you trust.

It is possible that certain platforms require a credit card and do not allow you to complete the transaction, but there are a few exceptions such as: hotels, car rentals or the like.

But don’t worry, if what you want is to pay for your services streaming What Amazon-Prime, Netflix, Disney Plus, Spotify or buy in some portal e-commerce like eBay or Amazon, you can do it with your Debit.

It is recommended to have antivirus or security software to protect your information. In addition to using safe sites with an excellent reputation, where there is less risk of having problems.

Most web browsers have a built-in feature that tells you if the connection is secure or not. It is important that before making any purchase, you make sure you are in a secure connection.

Highest use of a debit card: At ATMs

The most frequent use of debit cards, in addition to purchases at points of sale, is to make cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, transfers or management of card codes at ATMs (automated teller machines).

Some multifunctional ATMs may allow some other type of debit card operation, including an online purchase.

There are businesses that install the ATM service, linked to a point of sale that you can manage yourself with your Debit.

The process to complete the transaction is simple:

  • You enter the card. It is recommended that you be sure that no one can see the data you put. If you don’t know how to enter it, a diagram should appear explaining the position of entering the Debit.
  • When the ATM has read the Debit, it will ask you to enter the PIN or key (remember to be careful that someone can copy it).
  • Then, according to what you want to do, you must follow the instructions how to complete an online purchase under the steps that we already explained before.

How to stay safe using your debit card?

If you follow these recommendations, you will reduce the probability of having security problems.

First: Make sure you make the transaction on secure sites; take advantage of the browser tools, on the security of the connection.

You will usually be able to identify it as a padlock near the address bar and you can press it to get more information. In addition, it will be accompanied by “https://”, verify that the “s” goes at the end of https.

Second: Stay up to date on the status of your account through online platforms. It is recommended that you check it periodically, to see if there is any movement without authorization.

You can also set up alerts to notify you when a charge is being made.

Third: Use secure network connections. Be careful with free Wi-Fi connections, public accesses are not recommended when you are going to have access to accounts and place data from credit cards, debit or fill out a form.

It is preferable that you do it from the comfort and safety of your home or work, where web traffic is safer.

BBVA tells us that it is totally feasible to buy with the debit card online by adding the CVV code.

When is it better to use a credit card?

Although you can make purchases on the internet with your debit card, it does not mean that you should or that it is the most recommended.

Online purchases have their risk, especially in terms of information theft.

It is a risk that exists even when you carry out the transaction in physical stores, but it is a little more difficult for those who are dedicated to these misdeeds. The problem is that you Debit it is directly connected to the checking account and from there you can access your available funds.

In the event that you are a victim of information theft and they make fraudulent transactions with your data, they will deplete all the money in your checking account.

What is going to complicate things much more is that they have access to your credit card and fully cover the quota of your available credit. There is always legal protection for these cases, but the processes can be long while you have an answer.

It is said that the credit card will create a debt, but it does not give a direct link to take the money that you have in your checking or savings bank account.

It is possible that the limit of the credit card is lower, and much more could be taken from your checking account by way of access to theto debit card.

debit card protection

You are protected by federal law if you are a victim of checking account fraud. If it happens to you, report it as quickly as possible.

In the face of any malicious practice on the part of third parties when you use the debit card to buy online, the time it takes to notify the bank works against you.

In such a way that if you notify the bank that you are a victim of fraudulent use of your checking account, in the two business days following the incident, you will only be responsible for up to US$ 50. But if you delay up to sixty days, you could be responsible for up to US$ 500.

If you take more than 60 days to report fraudulent use of your checking account, you could be liable for up to one hundred percent of the amount of the fraud or fraud.

There are debit cards with extra protection by whoever issued it, to be more sure of what the law stipulates.

But you will always have the problem of waiting to get your money back, although the issuer of the Debit have a “zero liability” policy in your favor for fraudulent acts.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB o Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) explains how to get money back after discovering an unauthorized transaction or money missing from my bank account?

The use of prepaid cards

The prepaid debit cards, usually have less protection, in comparative terms with respect to the debit cards. Both options are a great tool if you want to keep costs, fees and good management of your money low, according to the official portal

They are options that do not carry large fees per month as it happens with the Credit cards and will not allow you to get into debt.

Prepaid cards are similar to traditional debit cards issued by banks. The main difference is that they do not have a direct link to your bank account, as summarized by the CFPB.

Prepaid cards spend or consume balance on money that you load to the card before using it. In most cases, you can use a prepaid debit card just like any other card, including when making a purchase online.

As long as you have sufficient funds available, no one will care that the online purchase is made with a prepaid card as a means of payment.

Eventually, you can use all the available funds on your prepaid debit card. At that point, some cards allow you to “reload” and add funds to the card account.

The top-up process varies from card to cardIn the worst case you may have to go to a retail store or kiosk and top up with cash, or you can transfer funds from your bank.

If you’re going to use a prepaid debit card to make an online purchase, pay special attention to the fees you pay. These cards are typically more expensive than bank-issued debit cards, although there are exceptions.

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