debit card

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debit card

debit card, card that allows the cost of goods or services that are purchased to be deducted directly from the purchaser's checking account. They can also be used at automated teller machines for withdrawing cash from the user's checking account. Increasingly common in the 1990s as an alternative to credit cards, debit cards have been promoted as safer than cash and more convenient than personal checks. By 1998 more than 73 million debit cards had been issued, with a sales volume of $134.7 million attributed to their use. They are typically issued by large credit-card companies through their participating banks. Debit cards typically offer the holder more limited legal protections than credit cards. Similar cards have also been used to distribute welfare benefits to recipients in some locales. Mobile payment services, which use a smartphone app to make payments, have replaced debit cards in some cases, but such services may not offer any protection against fraud.
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debit card

A payment card in the physical format of a credit card that is used like a bank check. There is no line of credit, and sufficient funds must be available in the customer's bank account, which are withdrawn immediately or within a couple of days, depending on the system. Debit cards are used at ATM machines and point-of-sale terminals in retail outlets. To prevent fraud, a numeric PIN must be entered. If the merchant supports it, cash may be paid to the customer. See debit.
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