Spend Smarter with These Debit Card Facts

You may swipe your debit card daily, but how much do you know about it? Learn some debit card facts to spend wisely!

Spend Smarter with These Surprising Debit Card Facts

Millions of Americans use their debit cards every day, but not everyone knows exactly how this high-tech payment works. Swipe your card, and data transmit rapidly from merchant to bank to checking account. The whole process takes just fractions of a second, so you never even notice it occurs. But, what else is going on when you break out the plastic?

Unexpected Fees

The banking process is filled with different fees, and debit cards are no exception. Be alert for the following fees before you make your transaction:

• Overdraft fees can occur when you try to withdraw more money than you have in your account.

• ATM fees are tacked onto your transaction if you use an out-of-network machine.

• Foreign transaction fees may be applied when you withdraw non-U.S. currency.

Strips vs. Chips

While you may be used to swiping your card, the invention of the chip has changed the way we pay. The debit card chip is a more secure form of payment, generating a unique payment code with every transaction. This helps prevent against potential bank fraud and counterfeiting. So, remember to skip the swiping if your card has a chip instead of a strip!

Debit Card Fraud

Debit cards were engineered with plenty of security measures in mind, which is why it remains such a popular form of payment. In fact, 1,500 transactions occur every single second in the United States alone! While banking technology has come a long way, banking fraud still happens. Federal data reports that nearly 14 million incidents of debit card fraud are reported every year. Be vigilant and check your bank statements frequently to ensure that everything is correct.

Consumer Protection Laws

What do you do if your debit card is compromised? There are plenty of consumer protection laws in place to protect you, though the process may not be quite as swift as you'd like. Why?

• You need to report fraud promptly. The faster you report your fraud, the less liability you have. For example, your liability is around 50 dollars within two days of reporting the incident. After two months, you may have to cover everything.

• Debit cards work differently than credit cards, so you won't get your money back immediately. While credit card companies can sever the transaction, scammers can get money out of your account immediately.

• If your bank disputes your claim, you may have to head to court. Suing your bank may be the only way to get your funds back.

If you find yourself waiting for your missing funds after a fraud occurs, consider applying for a cash advance or personal loan from Cashmax to make ends meet. 

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