what are debit cards

What are Debit Cards

Debit cards are plastic cards used to access an account holders funds in the bank. The card can be used instead of taking cash to pay for goods and services and many outlets.

Types of debit cards

Proprietary debit cards

what are debit cards

what are debit cards


Debit cards given by a bank to access just that banks accounts and are known as proprietary card. The cards are sometimes also called ATM cards since they are used just at the banks ATMs. Is the bank has merchants or outlets where they have connected their systems, then these ATM cards can be used to access those merchants. In some instances the banks come together and form a common network of ATMs especially. After membership, the proprietary cards from various banks can be used in these common outlets. Charges are agreed amongst the members.

Co-branded debit cards

When a bank works with another company and they come up with a card that would suit both the institutions members and customers, these are known as co-branded or affiliate cards. The cards may be proprietary or they may be association debit cards. Co-branding is usually done with hotels, clubs, malls and airlines. Both institutions work together to give their customers more convenience and to grow their customer base. Both institutions gain from the partnership.

Association debit cards

Banks may sign up with associations like mastercard and visa to give out their branded cards. The association debit cards are widely used globally. The networks for associations are very well networked and use modern and sophisticated technology to ensure cards so branded are acceptable and create convenience for the financial institutions and their customers. There are stringent rules and regulations for those financial institutions wanting to join associations. Joining fees, annual fees and transactions are some of the charges levied by members. The associations have rules not just for joining, but after joining there are rules of engagement between the associations and other members.

Prepaid debit cards

The prepaid debit cards are used by financial institutions to collect funds before the funds are used. Unlike many other cards, the prepaid cards are paid for before the money is used. There are many kinds of prepaid cards like: gift cards, travel cards, store cards, and payroll cards. The prepaid cards are used as a way to control funds and help in financial management.

The choice of which debit cards financial institution or potential cardholder should get depends on which card is most convenient for them.

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