How To Pay Online With a Debit Card

Have you ever wanted to pay for an item online without using a credit card? Although convenient, not every customer has or wants to use a credit card for online purchases. In the past these customers could have turned to a third party platform to make purchases online. With the increase in major banking institutions implementing online debit card options such as VISA Debit, customers are now able to pay online with a debit card from their regular banking accounts directly on a merchant's website.

Who Can Use It?

Using a debit card to make online purchases is a convenient way for a customer to make a purchase without accumulating a credit card balance. Like a credit card, paying online with a debit card is a safe and easy. The experience of using debit card to pay online is nearly identical to using a credit card online and is a great option for many customers. Many customers appreciate the ability to use a debit card online as an alternative form of payment.

You may already have the ability to use a debit cards online without knowing it. Often a banking institution will provide customers with a debit card showing a symbol that indicates that their debit card can be used as a VISA Debit. Others may provide the customer with an additional card that is used specifically for online debit card purchases. If you are unsure if you are able to pay online with a debit card you can contact your banking institution to clarify.

How Do I Use It?

The process of using a debit card to pay online is very similar to using a credit card. Like a credit card, paying online with a debit card requires you to input a debit card number. This is the 16-digit number located on the front of your debit card.

Even if the merchant is asking for a credit card the customer should be able to enter their debit card number if their bank allows them to pay online with a debit card. This means that if the merchant accepts VISA it should also accept VISA Debit even when it does not specifically say so.

When using a debit card online the customer will also be required to provide the name associated with the card. The name is often located on the front of the debit card, but it could also be the name that is associated with the bank account.

Once the debit card number and name have been provided the customer  will also be required to provide verification. The number used to verify the card is called the CVV (Card Verification Value). This is the three digit number located on the back of the card beside the signature line. Merchants use this number to verify your card and to help prevent fraud.

How is it different than paying in person?

When a customer uses a debit card online the funds will be automatically withdrawn from the customers bank account as if they were using it in a physical store. Although they are not using a debit card PIN number as they would in person, the transaction that takes place and acts just like a regular debit card transaction would.

This may seem confusing to some customers if they are accustomed to using credit cards for online payments. There will be no bill to pay after the online debit card purchase has been made as the payment is sent directly from the customers banking account. This is one of the reasons why paying online with a debit card is a great option for customers.

Is it Safe?

Paying online with a debit card is just as safe as using a credit card but there are some differences. As with any online transaction there is always some risk involved with a customers debit or credit card information being used fraudulently. Like credit cards, debit cards used to make online payments will have a policy that requires a customer to report any fraudulent activity that they see. It

If fraudulent activity is reported quickly some companies may have a policy that allows for the customer to have their funds returned. Others may require that a customer be liable for a percentage of the claimed cost. Online shoppers should check with their financial institutions to ensure they fully understand the terms of their online debit card payments.

How Stuff Works notes that unlike a credit card online debit card purchases come out of the customers bank account directly, therefore any fraudulent activity would pull funds out of the customers bank account. Although the customer may be able to get money back the fraudulent withdrawal from an account like a checking account may cause a financial burden to the customer.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Just like you would with any online credit card or in store debit card purchase a customer should always monitor their account for fraudulent activity. Monitoring allows for a customer to quickly identify if there has been fraudulent activity on their account and to take action.

Additionally a customer should try to ensure that they are purchasing from authentic merchants. Merchants who’s websites show a lock icon are secure websites. When data is sent on these sites the information is encrypted making it much harder for a thief to obtain a customer's information.

It is important to understand that using a debit card for online payments is just as safe as using a credit card online or using a debit card at a brick and mortar store. ATM machines and payment terminals can also be targets of would be thieves. Always be diligent when using any card online and report fraudulent activity immediately.

Should I use it?

Using a debit card online is a convenient way to pay for goods or services. If you do not have a credit card or do not wish to use one then you may want to consider using your debit card to pay online. Make sure to ask your bank about policy’s regarding online purchases and ensure you have a good understanding of what to do if there is fraudulent activity on your account.

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