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Debit Cards

What is a Debit Card

Unlike the credit card, a debit card is not a form of credit. The amount you can spend on a debit card is linked directly to the amount of money you have in your bank account at the time you make your purchase. You can use them to shop online or to withdraw cash from a cash machine, but only if there are sufficient funds in your account to pay for the transaction.

As with a credit card, most debit cards are now utilising the chip and pin service, and so when issued with a debit card you will also be issued with a PIN number. Follow our advice here on how to prevent debit card fraud.

Most bank accounts nowadays, even the basic bank account offer a debit card facility, however, the type of debit card offered may vary.

Types of debit card

Basic bank accounts tend to come with a Solo or Electron debit Card. These work in exactly the same way as other debit cards, but your account WILL be checked before each transaction, in order to ensure that there are sufficient funds to pay for the item. Most shops nowadays accept Solo and Electron, but there are still one or two that don't, such as Monsoon and Accessorize. Some high street stores, such as Debenhams and Marks & Spencers, accept Solo and Electron in the store, but won't accept them if purchasing online.

Other debit cards such as Switch, Visa or delta don't necessarily check your account automatically before each transaction, but the payment would go through within days. If the funds are not in your account you will risk running into problems with an unauthorised overdraft (which carry high interest rates) or even with the payment being bounced.

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