In an ever changing world of technology, everything gets faster, more convenient, and more technologically advanced. The debit card has now been main stream in most financial institutions for almost 20 years now. The first debit card network began in 1984, and by 1998 the use of debit cards outnumbered the use of checks worldwide (according to http://www.brighthub.com/money/personal-finance/articles/42073.aspx). Yet some customers are still leery to even attempt using a debit card at all, especially due to all the media hype around fraud and scams. Let me tell you about both the advantages and disadvantages of a debit card.
- Convenience- A debit card can be convenient in so many ways. If you need access to cash and are either far away from your bank or after bank hours, you can still get cash if you need it. That is perfect for people who work the same hours the bank is open. You are busy, give yourself options. Not only do you have access to cash for convenience, but you also have purchasing options too. Using a debit card speeds up lines at any place of business by saving you from having to write a check; just swipe and your purchase is completed. Most debit cards have the VISA or Mastercard logo which is accepted almost anywhere, worldwide.
- Protection- there are several ways that a debit card offers protection. First, if your cash is lost or stolen, it cannot be replaced, it is gone. A debit card on the other hand can be cancelled and a new one ordered. If someone did get the card or card number before you realize it is gone, it has preset limits. Usually there is a daily limit of $500 for cash or $3000 for purchases. In addition, you are not liable for fraudulent purchases. An unauthorized transaction can always be disputed and refunded. It is much easier to replace a debit card number in the event of fraud versus closing and reopening an entire account with the bank.
- Budget- When a debit card is used appropriately, it can help you budget much more than a credit card. Most debit cards stop allowing transactions once your balance is at zero, which also can save on fees such as overdrafts. Every financial institution has different policies regarding debit card approvals. At Denmark State Bank, the card would be declined when there is not enough of a balance in the account to cover the purchase.
- No cash- if you find yourself needing cash, for example the Girl Scout cookies you need to pay for, or your child’s lunch money, you can’t pay for them with the card. But again, you can access your cash quickly and conveniently at an ATM.
- Fees- If you are not careful and use ATM’s not owned by your bank, the ATM fees can add up quickly. Denmark State Bank has a solution for our customers who regularly use their debit cards and online banking with our new What We Do For You Checking account. (Please call any of our convenient branches for details)
Debit cards are a huge convenience in the ever changing banking world, but they are not for everyone. You need to decide if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for you. I personally love my debit card and I use it all the time.
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