Know your Debit Card
Know your Debit Card

In the modern days, can you think of life without a Card, more precisely a Debit Card”? Even an illiterate (but number literate) has a plain vanilla Debit Card; thanks to Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana. But do we know our Debit Card or even if we know, how much do we know? It is a fact that majority of the cardholders use this card only in Automated Teller Machine(ATM) and in the process, the Debit Card is known to common men as “ATM Card”.

We shall now discuss various important aspects like what is a Debit Card, types of the Debit Card, its features, its security, etc., as under:

What is a Debit Card?

Debit Cards are magnetic stripe and chip enabled cards, issued to customers by their respective banks. These cards are linked to the accounts of the customers and the funds they spend using their card are directly deducted from their own bank account. At present, there are three major Debit Card variants viz. MasterCard, Visa and RuPay(Issued by NPCI) in the country.

Types of Debit Card:

Based on the status of the depositors, normally, three types of Cards are being issued to the customers by the commercial banks, viz. Classic, Gold and Platinum. However, some banks issue a few other types of card.


A Debit Card can be used as an electronic identifier which allows you to access your bank account as it helps you to make use of almost all of the features an account carries, on the go such as making payments, to withdraw money, updating your account details, check balance status, etc.

Debit Cards, since they are linked to your account, enable you to use money from your own savings rather than taking credit or loans. With a Debit Card, you use your own money and there is no requirement to pay back the used amount and no worries about having to pay an interest or making a repayment schedule.

It also doubles up as an ATM Card with allows withdrawal of money from any ATM machine, anywhere.

Security Issues: ‘PIN’ (Personal Identification number) plays a vital role in the operation of Debit Card and as such, confidentiality of PIN is of utmost importance. Apart from PIN, safety of card has also to be ensured.

Dos & Don’ts of Debit Card Operation:


  • Sign on the strip on the back of your card as soon as you receive it.
  • Memorise your PIN and destroy all physical evidence of the PIN including the PIN mailer.
  • Always change the PIN as soon as you receive it.
  • First use of the card must be on an ATM; else it will not be accepted at Point of Sale (POS) Terminal.
  • Register your mobile number with the bank for getting SMS alerts for your ATM / POS transactions and also, to get ‘OTP’ for e-commerce transactions.
  • Any unauthorised card transactions in the account, if observed, should be reported immediately to the bank. This will help you if fraudulent withdrawal is being done by using your Debit Card.
  • Store your card in a secured place where you may immediately know if it is missing.
  • Store Debit Card carefully so that the magnetic strip does not get damaged.
  • Check the area for suspicious-looking people before you approach the ATM. Leave the ATM immediately if you don’t feel safe.
  • If you notice anything suspicious or any other problem arises after you have begun an ATM transaction, you may cancel the transaction and leave.
  • Beware of “Shoulder Surfing”. Shield your PIN from onlookers by covering the keypad using your body while entering the PIN.
  • Be sure that you have your card and your receipt, after doing the transaction, and then leave immediately.
  • Once you complete your transaction, before leaving, be sure that ‘Welcome Screen’ is displayed in the ATM and it is scrolling.
  • Periodically verify the passbook entries to ensure its correctness. Any unauthorised card transaction, if observed, should be reported immediately to the bank.
  • Please ensure that the card is swiped in your presence at POS (Point of Sale).
  • If your Debit Card is lost or stolen, immediately hot list the Card. For hot listing, you must record the help line number(toll free) / land line numbers / e-mail address of the bank.
  • When you destroy your card upon expiry or closure of your account, cut it into four pieces through the magnetic strip.
  • Look for extra devices attached to the ATMs. These may be put to capture your data. Inform security / bank immediately if any such device found.


  • Never lend your card to anyone, even to your close relative / friend or even if anyone claims to represent the bank.
  • Don’t write your PIN on the Card or back of the Card.
  • Never share your PIN with any one including a family member or Bank personnel or in response to requests through email / FAX, etc.
  • Never carry your PIN in your wallet or purse.
  • Never let anyone see you input your PIN.
  • Never use a PIN that could be guessed easily e.g. Your birthday or telephone number.
  • Never leave your card in the ATM.
  • Never leave your card unattended, e.g. in the car, in a hotel room or at work or at merchant establishments.
  • Don’t scratch the PIN mailer. Tear the edge of the envelope turn to open for easy visibility of the PIN.
  • Don’t respond to any e-mail purported to have been issued by Bank asking for your PIN. These are called PHISHING attempts. Please remember that bank will never seek personal details like PIN etc. for any purpose.
  • Don’t give information regarding your Debit Card or PIN over the telephone to anyone.
  • Never enter your PIN in any ATM that does not seem to be genuine or seems modified/has a suspicious device attached/operating in a suspicious manner.
  • Don’t accept assistance from anyone or from the security guard when using an ATM.
Know your Debit Card
Tagged on:         

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *