Debit Card: Features & Benefits

What is a debit card: Meaning and definition

When you open a zero balance savings account or any other savings account of your choice, there are most chances that you are given a debit card with it. The card can be considered plastic money, which has made our lives easier. All we need to do is enter a pin or tap the card where we want to make the payment. Unlike credit cards, we are saved from the hassle of buy now pay later.

Let us know the details about this kind of card and what features benefits, and information it holds for the common people who have opened bank accounts and want to know what is a debit card that is accompanied their account.

A Debit Card is considered a plastic currency or money. Individuals can use it to purchase items when they are not carrying cash. Generally, the banks give a Debit Card to customers who hold a Savings Account to link it to their account. All transactions that are made with the help of a Debit Card are reflected in your bank account statement or passbook. The bank statement helps an individual keep track of expenses and transactions using the card.

A bank issues Debit Cards in partnership with institutions like RuPay, Mastercard, and Visa. The card holds a 16-digit unique number for each customer that is commonly known as the Debit Card Number. The digits are split into two parts. To understand the debit card meaning one must also know certain things like the starting 0-6 digits specify the issuer company to determine whether the card is Mastercard or Visa. Digits 7-16 identify the bank that issues the debit card, account type, and more. The card also consists of an Expiry date in front and a 3-digit CVV (card verification value) number at the back of the debit card.

Read More: What is the Difference Between Visa and Mastercard?

How a debit card works

After we have understood what a debit card is, and it's meaning we must know how a debit card works and how can we do transactions with the help of this card issued by the bank with our saving account.

There are 3 major ways in which you can use your debit card to do transactions that are as follows -


  • A retailer enters the customer's product purchase information in the card transaction machine they hold.
  • The retailer then swipes the customer's debit card through the card-swiping machine.
  • After that, the customer must enter their unique Debit card PIN to verify the transaction.
  • The retailer gets the payment for the purchase after successful verification, and the bank sends an instant notification to the customer regarding the purchase made and the amount debited.


  • A customer must know the basic details to make an online transaction like - The cardholder's name.
  • The 16-digit debit card number is mentioned on the card.
  • The CVV number is mentioned on the backside of the issued card.
  • The card's expiry date is mentioned on the front of the card.

PS: The user can save these details to make any purchases from the same platform later.

  • After entering the details, the customer will receive a (one-time password) OTP sent to the mobile number registered with the bank.
  • Lastly, the customer must enter the PIN after entering the OTP to complete the transaction.

ATMs automatic teller machine

To complete a debit card transaction for the purpose of cash withdrawal at an ATM, the customer must first insert the debit card into the ATM and read through the screen for the next step.

The customer will then have to select the type of account, enter the total amount they wish to withdraw, and enter the Debit card PIN. After that, one can collect cash from the ATM.

Features and benefits of a debit card

Besides understanding the Debit card meaning and how it is used online, offline, and at an ATM, you must also be aware of its salient features and the benefits that it offers its customers. Some of the most commonly known features are as follows-

  • Debit Cards are fast, contactless, easy, as well as convenient ways to make payments ad perform transactions online and offline.
  • They help you make real-time payments from your linked bank account and save you from the hassle of withdrawing money from the bank's long lines and queues.
  • Banks come up with a vivid range of discounts, offers, and the current favourite cashback options on different types of Debit Cards.
  • You can use Visa and MasterCard-enabled Debit Cards in any country worldwide by facilitating international usage.
  • You can load digital wallets using your Debit Card and make UPI payments, making it a digitally fit bank account as the masses currently need.
  • The debit card also gives you an EMI option which makes it easier to make bigger purchases without the need for credit cards or loans.

Things to keep in mind when using a debit card

There are certain things that you must keep in your mind when users start using your debit card. We must know that it is related to our finances, and it must be used with some consciousness. Hence, here are some of the things that must be taken into account when using your debit card-

  • One must keep their PIN private.
  • Be cautious when making a payment to a vendor while purchasing an item or paying for a service.
  • Keep checking your account statements, balance and added information on a daily basis to know your finances and be safe from frauds if any.
  • ATM pins must be changed from time to time to safeguard yourself from any fraud.
  • Dispose of your old debit cards with consciousness – cut them into pieces and then throw them if they are no longer in use.
  • Make payments and transactions on a secure network.

All you need to know about contactless debit cards

A contactless debit card is a bank-issued card that is known to be encrypted with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or Near-field communication (NFC) technology. It is also known as the NFC debit card.

The card uses the latest development in secure payments technology. It permits debit cardholders to spend for their transactions without physically giving over the card to the vendor or the merchant. It saves us from carrying the card and from various types of fraud that take place.

Final words

Carrying a debit card is like having your saved money with you that can help you in paying, withdrawing, or making any transactions anytime, anywhere as required. With the advancements in the banking industry, such cards have stolen the style of banking and have become a household necessity. Ensure that you use your bank account debit cards and finances responsibly.