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How to use a debit card to make an online purchase

How to use a debit card to make an online purchase

How to use a debit card to make an online purchase

Perhaps for you, debit cards are not something new; perhaps what is new is that you can use them to make purchases online, much like a credit card. We present your basic concepts about online purchases and how to use a debit card to make a purchase online.

The idea is that you can take full advantage of the advantages of debit cards.

For many, the credit card is the payment instrument that dominates online transactions, a practice for which not everyone has a clear understanding of the scope of debit cards.

In addition, debit cards allow you to use available money without acquiring debt or expensive charges or commissions. 

The debit card is a payment instrument accepted in most businesses and makes it easier for you to use the money you have in your checking account and, in some cases, in your savings account.

The Spanish BBVA offers us the review “Six advantages that debit cards offer”. Among them, greater security, better control of our expenses and the possibility of making purchases online.

Although the commonly accepted practice for making purchases online is to use a credit card, debit cards allow you to purchase online conveniently, quickly and safely.

From now on, let’s see how to use debit cards to purchase online.

How to use a debit card?

As previously stated, debit cards are accepted in the same establishments as credit cards; there are even fewer restrictions in establishments.

To use it, you must enter the card at the points of sale through the chip or swipe the magnetic strip. Cards with contactless technology are even available. You only have to move your card over a reader, as its name implies, without the need for contact or further manipulation. 

Then, they will ask for your verification data and your identification number (PIN or Personal Identification Number) to complete the transaction.

Although there are establishments where you deliver your debit card with all the information, it is not recommended if it is not entirely reliable. At all times, you must avoid any fraud in your checking account and, consequently, your money.  

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How to use a debit card for a purchase on the internet?

If you are going to make a purchase online, the transaction with a debit card is carried out practically the same way as with a credit card. 

You don’t even need to select to use a debit card. Select the option to pay by card; usually, in most online stores, it appears as follows: “pay by credit card”, but this is not a limitation.

Then the process will be as follows: 

  • Select the type of card also, if it is Visa, Mastercard, Discover or some other. 
  • Enter your debit card number. It would help if you differentiated it as the series of 16-digit numbers that appear on the front of your debit card.
  • The online platform where you make the payment may ask you for extra information to verify your identity and thus avoid fraud. 

Therefore, you may be asked for the card’s security code (CVC, CVV or similar), generally located on the back of the card. They will also ask you for the expiration date of the plastic. 

In addition to your zip code, date of birth or address. Which should match your bank record 

  • Unlike when you purchase in person (as we will teach you shortly so that you know how to differentiate the processes), you will not have to enter the PIN of your debit card.

The transaction is carried out as if it were a credit card.

There is a reason why you have to be highly cautious with debit cards and not allow access to the card if you are not someone of extreme confidence.

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How to use a debit card to make an online purchase

It is possible that specific platforms require a credit card and do not allow you to complete the transaction, but there are a few exceptions, such as hotels, car rental or other similar ones.

But don’t worry, if you want to pay for your streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney Plus, Spotify, or buy in an eCommerce portal like eBay or Amazon, you can do it with your debit card. 

It is recommended to have antivirus or security software that allows you to protect your information and use safe sites with excellent reputations, where there is less risk of having problems. 

Most web browsers integrate a function that tells you if the connection is secure or not. It is essential that before making any purchase, you make sure you are in a secure connection.

The most extensive use of a debit card: At ATMs

The most frequent use of debit cards, in addition to purchases at points of sale, is to make cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, transfers or management of card keys at ATMs (automated teller machines). 

Some multifunctional ATMs may allow other debit card operations, even an online purchase.

Some businesses install an ATM service linked to the point of sale to manage yourself with your debit card.

The process to complete the transaction is simple:

  • You enter the card. It is recommended that you ensure that no one can see the data you enter. If you don’t know how to enter it, a diagram should appear explaining the position of entering the debit card. 
  • When the ATM has read the debit card, it will ask you to enter the PIN or password (remember to be careful that someone can copy it).
  • Then, according to what you want to do, you must follow the instructions on how to complete an online purchase under the steps that we already explained before. 

How to stay safe using your debit card?

If you follow these recommendations, you will reduce having security problems.

First: Make sure to carry out the transaction on secure sites; Take advantage of browser tools on connection security.

You can usually identify it as a padlock near the address bar, and you can press it to get more information. In addition, it will be accompanied by “HTTP s: //“, verify that the “s” goes to the end of HTTPS.

Second: Stay aware of the status of your account through online platforms. It is recommended that you check it periodically to see any movement without authorization.

You can also configure alerts to notify you when a charge is made. 

Third: Use secure network connections. Be careful with free Wi-Fi connections; public accesses are not recommended when you have access to accounts and enter credit or debit card details or fill out a form. 

It would help if you did it from the comfort and safety of your home or work, where web traffic is more secure.

BBVA tells us that buying a debit card online is feasible by adding the CVV code.

When is it better to use a credit card?

Although you can make purchases online with your debit card, it does not mean that you should or is the most recommended.

Online shopping comes at a risk, especially regarding information theft.

A risk exists even when you carry out the transaction in physical stores, but it is a little more difficult for those who engage in these misdeeds. The problem is that your debit card is connected directly to the checking account, and from there, you have access to your available funds.

If you are a victim of information theft and make fraudulent transactions with your data, they will drain all the money in your checking account.

What will complicate things much more is that they have access to your credit card and fully take over the quota of your available credit. There is always legal protection for these cases, but the process can extend while you have an answer. 

It is said that the credit card will create debt, but it does not give a direct link to taking the money you have in your checking or savings bank account. 

The credit card limit may be lower, and much more of your checking account could carry through access to the debit card.

Debit card protection 

You are protected by federal law if you are a victim of fraud to your checking account. If it happens to you, report it as quickly as possible. 

Faced with any cruel practice by third parties when you use your debit card to buy online, the time it takes to notify the bank is against you.

In such a way that if you notify the bank that you are a victim of fraudulent use of your checking account, in the two business days following the loss, you will only be liable for up to the US $ 50. But if you delay up to 60 days, you could be responsible for up to US $ 500.

If you take more than 60 days to report fraudulent use of your checking account, you could be liable for up to one hundred per cent of the amount of fraud or fraud.

How to use a debit card to make an online purchase
How to use a debit card to make an online purchase

There are debit cards with extra protection by whoever issued them to be safer than what the law stipulates.

But you will always have the problem of waiting to get your money back, even if the debit card issuer has a “zero liability” policy in your favour for fraudulent acts.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains how to recover money after discovering an unauthorized transaction or money missing from my bank account?

The use of prepaid cards

Prepaid debit cards usually have less protection in comparative terms regarding debit cards. Both options are a great tool if you want to keep costs, fees and sound money management low, according to the official website. 

They are options that do not carry hefty monthly fees as if it happens with credit cards. It will not allow you to get into debt.

Prepaid cards are similar to traditional debit cards issued by banks. The main difference is that they do not have a direct link to your bank account; this is how the CFPB sums it up. 

Prepaid cards spend or consume a balance on money that you load onto the card before using it.  In most cases, you can use a prepaid debit card like any other card, including when purchasing online.

As long as you have sufficient funds available, no one will care that the online purchase is carried out with a prepaid card as a means of payment.

Eventually, you can use all the funds available on your prepaid debit card. At that point, some cards allow you to “reload” and add funds to the card account. 

The reloading process varies from card to card. In the worst case, you may have to go to a retail store or kiosk and reload with cash, or you can transfer funds from your bank.

If you’re using a prepaid debit card to make an online purchase, pay special attention to the fees you pay. These cards are typically more expensive than bank-issued debit cards, although exceptions exist.

10 tips for buying online safely

Why do we buy online? The answer is simple: for a majority, the COVID-19 pandemic has promoted the practice of shopping online since it is a way of taking care of health by not being exposed to the virus in stores and public spaces. But also for convenience, because perhaps it is easier to decide when we read the online reviews or compare the products. Then there are the coupons and discounts.

Let’s see the advantages:

  • We can buy at any time and from home. Shipments are at home. In addition, we avoid crowds, lines, and having to search for parking.
  • Online reviews allow us to verify the opinion of others before buying.
  • We compare and find the best products and prices.
  • Coupons and discounts are easily found on most commercial sites.

3 Ways To Attack From Cyber ​​Hackers

1. They focus on vulnerable computers – Since they have no protection against viruses or other malicious software.

2. They create fraudulent sites and send messages that appear legitimate – Charities can also use to deceive in this way, especially after a natural disaster or during holidays.

3. Interception of insecure transactions – An attacker can intercept your information when transmitting it if a merchant does not use encrypted messages.

   To Use and maintain antivirus, firewall, and anti-spyware software.

  • Use antivirus software and a firewall to protect your computer against viruses and Trojan horses that can steal or modify the data on your computer and leave you vulnerable.
  • Install your antivirus so that it updates automatically.
  • Use an anti-spyware program to scan your computer for hidden malware.

   b. Keep your software updated

  • Install software and system updates so attackers cannot exploit known problems or vulnerabilities.
  • Many operating systems offer automatic updates – if this option is available, you must enable it.

   c. Make sure the site you visit is safe

 Before entering your personal and financial information and conducting a financial transaction, look for signs that the site is secure.

  • A closed padlock in the address bar of your internet browser
  • A URL address that begins with HTTPS indicates that the site is encrypted or secure.
  • Never use insecure wireless networks to make an online purchase.

4. Learning to use Wi-Fi hotspots will only make purchases in public Wi-Fi areas with security.

  • Please do not share personal or financial information on an insecure network (that is, a connection that does not require a password to access it).
  • Use well-known networks, even if they are free, like the ones you get at Starbucks or at Barnes & Noble stores that AT&T provides.

5. Protect your personal information

  • Make sure the information requested is only necessary to complete the transaction. Remember that you only have to fill in the * required fields * on a merchant’s purchase form.
  • It’s okay to leave the site or go to another merchant’s site if you don’t feel comfortable sharing all the required information.
  • Before providing personal or financial information, check the site’s privacy protection policy to understand how your information will be used and stored.

6. Use secure payment options.

  • Pay by credit card
  • The Fair Credit Billing Law will protect the transaction.
  • You can claim charges made on your card fraudulently.
  • Payment may be temporarily withheld while the creditor investigates the disputed charges.
  • Your liability is limited to $ 50 or less.
  • Some cards offer additional guarantees, exchanges and purchase protection benefits.
  • Use Paypal
  • Linked to your credit card: it provides you with the protection granted to credit card transactions.
  • Linked to a debit card: This allows you to apply the protections of debit card transactions.
  • If you use your PayPal balance, you will get PayPal’s protections for these accounts.

7. Stay alert

  • Print or save the records of your online transactions

– Including product description, price, an online receipt, terms of sale, and copies of email exchanges with the seller.

  • Check your account statements.

– Go online regularly during the holidays and review the electronic statements of your credit card, debit card and checking accounts.

– If you notice something wrong, call your bank or the issuer to deal with the matter quickly.

– In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only once you make sure that all your charges are correct.

You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer about the problem; you could be responsible for the charges after that date.

8. If you have doubts, discard them.

  • Think before you act. It could be a fraudulent message.

– Be suspicious of communications that offer incredible offers that sound too good to be true or pressure you to make an immediate decision – even those related to a problem with an order or payment.

– Do not provide confidential information by email.

– Be cautious when clicking on links in emails.

9. Take advantage of security features.

  • Use strong passwords

– Use a combination of UPPER CASE and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.

– Avoid using personal information.

– Be unique, do not repeat – Never use your last name or the names of your pets, your favourite colour, like passwords.

– Keep passwords private – Avoid sharing your passwords by email or phone.

10. Help the authorities to combat cybercrime.

  • What happens if your credit card is used fraudulently?

– Notify your credit card company immediately to cancel your credit card and get a new one.

  • How to report online shopping fraud.
  • If you have problems during a transaction, try to resolve them directly with the site’s seller, buyer, or operator.

– If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with:

  • Federal Trade Commission at
  • Your state Attorney General, using the contact information at
  • Better Business Bureau at
  • The US state consumer protection offices.

– Report financial or identity theft and other cybercrimes to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at or the appropriate local authorities or the state attorney general, as appropriate.

How to use a debit card to make an online purchase

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