ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Debit Cards Online

Updated on October 1, 2009

Debit Cards Online

One of the most useful purchasing methods available today is the debit card, and the use of debit cards online has skyrocketed over the past decade. Although debit cards have the look and purchasing functionality of a credit card, they differ slightly due to the type of processing that is performed on the back end. Debit cards are probably the most effective alternative method of payment to cash, since they act as an “electronic check” instead of a charge, as in the case of credit cards. In other words (or, in plain English), you have to actually have the money in your account for a debit card transaction to be processed. Debit cards are, in that sense, basically the same thing as paying with cash, since the funds will not be released for payment if they are not actually currently available in the account. Many have referred to debit cards as “check cards” for that very reason; they are essentially identical to writing a check, except it’s a “plastic check” instead of paper, and it doesn’t have the “float time” that a paper check does; whereas it may take up to 3 or 4 business days for the paper check to clear, a debit card transaction is almost always authorized immediately. One thing to note about using debit cards is that often merchants will authorize an amount on your card that’s more than the actual purchase. I found this out one time when my wife was ordering some photo prints online; the actual cost of the prints was only $5.03, but when I looked at my online banking statement, there were three charges of $5.03 in the “check card holds” section. This is actually a very common practice, where a company will authorize sometimes double the actual amount of the transaction until they can verify that funds are actually available in the account to take care of the purchase, and from there they release the funds and only charge the initial amount of the transaction. I have seen other cases, however, where the company will only add about $1.00 to the purchase amount as a hold instead of double the purchase amount. Under no circumstances should you ever be charged both amounts; when “the dust settles”, you should walk away only having been charged the actual purchase amount.

Image courtesy of creditcardforum.com
Image courtesy of creditcardforum.com

Debit Cards and Online Shopping

The use of debit cards online is a natural fit for e-commerce sites, and there’s always an ongoing debate about whether it’s better to use a credit card or a debit card for online purchases. One of the most obvious benefits of debit cards over credit cards is that no interest is added to your purchase. This, however, can be avoided by paying off the balance of the credit card in full before the end of the month; in that case, there really is no difference between the credit card and the debit card. There are some areas of buyer protection where the credit card offers significantly more benefits than the credit card. If your card is stolen or used for purchases without your permission, as in a case of identity theft, most credit card companies will only hold you liable up to $50.00. With a debit card, the threshold is much higher, with an average limit reportedly being $500.00. Also on the plus side for credit cards is the fact that more stores and retailers accept credit cards than debit cards. You can also save yourself a little bit of time in the checkout line when you’re using a credit card because you don’t have to enter a PIN (if you remember it at all). But again, credit cards can be a deceptive trap if you’re not “on top of things” financially…you can have an abstract conception of how much money you actually have to spend, which may result in you running your card up to the limit much faster than you would initially anticipate. With the debit card, the available funds are never really a mystery; it will always be no more than you have initially deposited. So as you can see, there are several benefits to using both credit cards and debit cards online; it’s definitely important to do your due diligence and find out which one is the best fit for you, so that you can make the most informed decision possible before swiping the ol’ plastic.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)