Debit cards grant you the ease of access to your bank account. If you misplace yours or it gets stolen or hacked, your account and its money are at risk. However, the good thing is that card issuers apply several security measures to keep you safe.
People like debit cards because they are pretty flexible, allowing you to make purchases without carrying cash or writing a check. These cards help you avoid paying interest on purchases and reduce the risk of spending too much.
Since these cards are linked directly to a bank account with a particular amount of money, it is essential to secure them.
Keeping debit cards secure is through a debit card security code.
What is a Debit Card
A debit or bank card is a payment card used to withdraw cash from the ATM or purchase products and carry out the money deduction directly from a bank account. The cardholder can use the balance where the account links to the debit card on a debit card.
It is a card made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that is an alternative medium for cash when you are out shopping. In using debit cards, the customer has to make payment immediately to purchase the goods and services.
An authorized bank or financial institution is the issuer of the debit card in which the cardholder owns a savings or current account in such bank. There are, however, different types of debit cards.
The different types of debit cards are as follows:
- Visa cards
- Master cards
- Platinum cards
What is a debit card security code?
Like a credit card, a debit card has several numbers printed. The card number is on the front of the card, and the issue and expiration are also in front.
A debit card security code is a three-digit number seen in the signature box below the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. This number is also known as the card verification code (CVC) or card verification value (CVV)
Credit and debit cards both have a card security code. Some card issuers put this code in front of the card.
There are differences regarding security when you swipe the magnetic strip with a debit versus a credit card.
When you use a debit card to purchase or pay a bill, you are using your own money, which is drawn directly from the bank account linked to the card. Using a credit card is as good as using the card issuers’ money, which it has agreed to lend you to make a purchase or pay a bill.
The security code on a Debit Visa card
A VISA card is used for shopping, paying bills, and making withdrawals from the ATM. The security code on this card is a three-digit number that you see on the back of the card. It is on the right side of the signature block.
The security code on a Debit Mastercard
The Mastercard is one of the most popular cards in the world today. It is an international dual currency type of card that lets you transfer money from any country. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to carry out any transaction outside the country using this card.
There are different types of International MasterCard, usually based on the card’s service, such as prepaid MasterCard, Debit, and Credit MasterCard.
There is also a three-digit security code for the MasterCard at the back of the card. The code is on the right side, where you have the signature block.
How does a debit card security code work?
Since your debit card links to your bank account, you need to guard it with the same vigilance you use for cash.
Debit card security codes are only a portion of security for card transactions. You may get a prompt to give yours if you make an online purchase. By requesting this code and other relevant information, the merchant is trying to verify that you are the cardholder or the authorized user. It is so because you will need to have the card in your possession to share this code.
A debit card security code works differently from the personal identification number (PIN) that you created when you got your card. It is the same one you enter when you want to withdraw money from the ATM or make a debit purchase using a card-enabled machine (POS).
It also works differently from the unique code generated by EMV chip cards to help prevent fraud. The cards come with a chip in front that you read when you insert your card into the card reader. The reader scans the chip, enters your PIN, or uses your signature, and the chip produces a unique code to enable that particular purchase. Unlike the security code on the back of your card, you do not get to see this unique code.
With the debit card number and expiration date, it is essential to protect your debit card security code because someone can use this information to carry out a fraudulent purchase with your card even if they do not have the card physically in their possession.
Other ways to combat debit card fraud
Card issuers and financial institutions are not the only ones responsible for protecting your debit card. You can also take steps to help keep your card secure.
The steps you can take are as follows:
- Never disclose your PIN to anyone, and do not write it down or carry it around with you.
- Avoid using a debit card to carry out online purchases. It may be safer to use a credit card.
- If your financial institution grants them, ensure to sign up for email or SMS alerts that notify you of your account activities.
- Monitor your bills, bank account statements, and credit reports for a fraudulent activity like withdrawals you did not make or purchases you did not authorize.
- Alongside not sharing your card details like the card number or security code with anyone, it is essential to contact your bank, credit union, or card issuer if your card gets lost or stolen.
Suppose you notify the debit card issuer within two business days after you notice that your card is missing. In that case, you will only be accountable for $50 or the amount of any fraudulent transactions that occurred before you notified the issuer, which is less. However you take up to 60 days to alert the issuer, your liability may be up to $500. Also, keep in mind that you may lose everything taken from your debit account if you report the loss more than 60 days after your statement.
In conclusion, debit cards continue to increase as more cards are issued, enabling users to carry out their transactions like making purchases and payments. The fraud on these cards is also growing as the perpetrators invented more sophisticated means. Therefore, it is essential to understand the security features like the debit card security code that can help guard the debit card and its linked account. The steps to mitigate the risk of fraud are also crucial as this will help you enjoy safely and benefit from the convenience of making payments using a debit card.
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