The introduction of automated teller machine (ATM) has provided a greater level of convenience for the customers. As customers need not visit a bank's branch office every time to withdraw the money. It's round the clock availability is one more plus point for the users who earlier had difficulties to withdraw money post bank's working time.
But these ATMs have flaws when it comes to safety. A burglar always looks out for an easy prey at an ATM which is located in a dimly lit, low-traffic area. Currently, there is no central repository statistics on the ATM-related crimes but reports suggest that there are plenty of ATM robbery cases which will be frequently reported in newspapers.
Before understanding in detail about the tips which can be used to safeguard your debit card transactions, let's known about the basic feature of a debit card in general.
What is a Debit Card?
A Debit card is also popularly known as check cards. These cards act as a payment card which deducts money straight away from a customer's checking account at the time of purchase through the card. The debit card eliminates the need to carry money physically to make purchases.
Today, the markets are flooded with an array of debit cards which are customized to meet the requirements of customers and accordingly there are several debit card types offered by many banks in India.
As per the international norms, debit card with CVV is issued to upgrade the safety of financial transactions. VISA, MasterCard and Discover branded debit and credit cards have 3 digit CVV number, whereas the American Express-branded cards come with 4 digits numeric code.
Unlike a credit card, these cards will not allow its users to go in for a debt.
These cards can be used at all the ATMs to withdraw money or for checking account (balance amount), Point of Sale at merchant outlets. It helps its users to make purchases using the card instead of paying physical cash.
The 16 digit debit card number can be seen on the front of the card, whereas the debit card CVV number will be found on the signature strip on the backside of the card.
A purchase made using a debit card will instantly take away the money from the checking account of the users and hence it is very important to be cautious if you are using the card for any kind of purchase-related transactions. If anyone fraudulently uses your debit card number without your knowledge, you will be held responsible for some or all of the related charges.
How to use Debit Card Online?
The rampant growth of the internet has provided an option to make debit card online transactions anytime, anywhere in a day. All the users have to do is to visit a merchant web portal, select the list of products which they want to buy and choose the check out option and select the debit card as the mode of payment. After this, enter the details of the expiry date, your card number, CVV number. At the final stage, enter the PIN or one-time password at the final stage of the transaction. Your payment will be processed instantly if you have followed all the steps properly.
Check out the list of consumer tips to keep your debit card safe
Protecting PIN Number
This is the first and foremost tip offered to all the debit cardholders. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) has to be kept safe and secure. It is advised not to share your PIN with anyone (including spouse, family members, friends) or with someone who asks and does not write it down and keep it in your purse or wallet. Do not use your PIN at the gas pump, but if you have an option to use your debit card as credit card mode then it is better to do so as it will offer you extra liability protection depending on the bank.
Checking Bank Statements Regularly
It is essential to check your bank statements regularly at least once in a week or even daily to keep a tab on the checking account. If you find any mismatch then report to the bank authorities straight away.
Avoid using it for Online Transactions
Using a credit card while making online transactions is better as compare do the debit card as the debit one is more prone for fraudulent activities. Hackers can easily hack a debit card and can take away your money instantly. But the transaction, in credit card, takes more time for your bank to process and can become an item of dispute.
Experts reveal that it is better not to make a financial transaction using a debit card on an e-commerce site which does not have 's' following http://. The symbol 's' indicates a higher level of security.
Report Problems Immediately
If you find any kind of unauthorized transactions, immediately report it to your bank. If a consumer's debit card has not been stolen or lost but there are some unauthorized charges on their account, then they will be protected if they report those charges within 60 days of when the statement report was sent. If your debit card has been lost or stolen, then quickly report the matter to the bank and cancel the missing card. The faster you report the problem, the more quickly you will be able to cancel your debit card and prevent additional charges.
Use ATMs only at a Bank
Most of the banks have set up ATMs to help the customers for an easy reach out. The ones which are located at airports, convenience stores, subway stations have a higher risk factor of having a skimming device attached to it by a thief or a burglar, which will extract and store your debit card data. Some times this even happens at banks as well, but it is easier to do it at a place which does not have surveillance cameras.
Creating Own Security Profile
As far as the cardholder remembers the answers, which will make up to answer your security questions, it is a safer bet. Using your mother's maiden name or your pet's name makes it easy for the hackers to hack into your account. The answers need not be true it just has to be consistent.
Do not use public wireless access for making Financial Transactions
Always ensure you are using a password-protected wireless signal to check the balance amount in your bank account, shopping and for paying bills. By doing so, hackers will have less chance to capture your account information and password details.
Lodge a Police Complaint
If your debit card gets stolen or lost, it is better to lodge a police complaint at the earliest and keep a copy of the police report so that you will have extra support when you want your bank to reimburse the related charges.
About the Author
Archana is a Content Writer at GoodReturns. She has been writing articles related to investment planning and personal finance for more than two years.