In India, there are more than 85 million debit cards already issued by the banks and every month about 2 million debits cards are being added. It implies that 8-10% of Indian population is in the possession of a debit card and with the current growth, it is likely that in another five years every Indian would be in the possession of a debit card. I am damn sure that the reader of this article must be a proud owner of debit card. Debit card is an essential requirement in the fast moving world that is run by plastic money.
Responsible use of your debit card and getting the optimum benefits out of your debit cards demands that you should be well informed about the various aspects of debit cards. Carry on reading further to know more about debit cards.
Tips to Use your Debit Card Responsibly
Before You Start Using Your Cards:
- Banks may try to sell you fancy sounding cards but it makes sense to go for one that is suitable to your lifestyle, psychology and personal habits. Understand various features, charges and fees even before you sign up for any kind of debit card.
- As soon as you receive your card, you should verify all the information and then sign on the signature panel on the reverse of your card.
- If you are not familiar with how to operate ATM, seek the help of family members instead of any strangers.
- Change your PIN at the time of first use and then regularly at least once in 3-6 months depending upon your usage.
- Never disclose your PIN to anybody. As far as possible, keep it to your memory instead of writing it down. Even if you write it on a piece of paper, ensure that it doesn’t fall in the hands of any stranger.
- Never forget your PIN. If you enter wrong PIN in the ATM for more than 2-3 attempts, the card would be blocked. Banks charge minimum Rs.25 + tax for generating new PIN for you.
- In the event of renewing, upgrading, or reissuing of expired cards, dispose off the old card by cutting it diagonally across the card.
- Insist on carrying out ATM transactions in complete privacy. Avoid using your card at ATMs, which are located at secluded premises.
- In case of technical faults, it may happen that the card is held back in the machine. It may occasionally happen that cash does not come out but the amount is debited from your account. Inform the call centers of the bank immediately. Write down the name and other details of the security guard and make him a witness.
You must ensure that under no circumstances your debit card details fall in the hands of unscrupulous elements. If by any chance your card information is stolen then you might end up with huge loss of money even before you realize it.
- When using the cards for shopping, you should be more vigilant. Keep a close eye on card swiping, signing the charge slip and entry of the details into the register of the merchant.
- Ask for applicable transaction charges at the retail stores. Many stores charge 1.5 to 2.5% of the bill amount as service charges for accepting payment through debit cards.
- Destroy air tickets, bills, receipts or anything else that displays your card information.
- Understand about dispute resolution policies in case of defective goods purchased through online shopping.
- Avoid using your debit cards for internet payment at unknown merchants.
- Keep an update on various schemes, promotions and offers available on your debit cards. Banks regularly encourage cardholders with cash back, reward points, and other freebies. During the festival time, the banks offer special gifts and attractive discounts. Plan your shopping accordingly to get the optimum benefits out of such schemes.
- If you intend to use your international debit cards overseas then you must understand thoroughly about various features, commissions on foreign exchange, charges, fees and other terms and conditions before going abroad. Remember that your purchases or withdrawals are in foreign currency but your bank account is debited with Rupee.
- In case of loss of your card, report the matter immediately to the concerned bank.
- Understand the liability policy of the bank and the extent of protection in case of unauthorized purchases due to loss/theft of card and frauds.