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Difference Between Debit and ATM Card

Debit vs ATM Card

Debit and ATM cards are cards used in the realm of banking. Both ATM cards and debit cards are issued by a bank or a credit union to their clients when they make a bank account with these institutions.

Both ATM and debit cards work by linking and accessing the cardholder’s account electronically with a plastic card. The plastic card is used to execute the cardholder’s transactions via an ATM machine at any time of the day or a POS (point of service) system of selected merchants.

The main requirements to have a debit card or an ATM card are to have an existing bank account and a personal identification number to secure a transaction. Both the debit card, and in special circumstances the ATM card, can be used as alternative methods for making purchases. These actions can only be done if there is a sufficient balance in the cardholder’s account.

The ATM card is mostly used for electronic transactions like cash deposits and withdrawals, balance information, and other types of transactions using an ATM (automated teller machine). Cardholders usually use the ATM card and machine to make cash withdrawals. This convenience leads to 24-hour banking service for banks and a solution for emergency withdrawals.

ATM cards can also be used to make purchases like the debit card, but not all merchants accept the cards as an alternative to cash or other types of cards (debit or credit cards). The ATM card lacks the logo of MasterCard or Visa (or other transaction processing companies). The deduction from the checking account, whether for withdrawal or purchasing purposes, is also immediate and automatically updates in the transaction.
There are also two ways to make purchase with an ATM card. In–store purchases have to be made in person while online transactions like payments of telephone or electricity bills (and other services) as well as online banking and online purchases can be done from the ATM machine.

On the other hand, the debit card doesn’t need an ATM machine to function. In fact, a debit card is an extension of the ATM card. It can be used to make cash withdrawals but also be honored to use for purchases without using cash. A debit card can act as a credit card in making purchases due to the logo on the debit card. The logo is usually of a transaction processing company (MasterCard or Visa). The logo enables the debit card to function as a credit card at merchants who honor the transaction processing company.

If the debit card is used for purchases, the amount of expenses is a deducted from the account of the cardholder. In contrast to credit card processing, expenses incurred during debit card processing can take days to authenticate a transaction. Debit cards as an alternative payment method can occur as debit processing or credit processing. If debit processing is used, there is a need to input the PIN number. If used as credit processing, there is no need to input the PIN number. There is also no grace period in the billing system when it comes to the credit processing system using a debit card.

Summary:

1.ATM cards and debit cards have the same elements: a bank account, a PIN number, and the ability to be used for cash transactions like withdrawals and deposits. Both cards can also be used in making purchases. However, the debit cards are usually honored more compared to ATM cards.
2.Both ATM cards and debit cards are reliant on the remaining balance of the cardholder’s accounts.
3.The debit card has more functions than an ATM card. It can be used for the ATM functions as well as a credit card for purchases.
4.The debit card and the ATM card are also different in terms of appearances. The debit card has a logo of an international transaction company that allows it to be used as a credit card. The ATM card doesn’t have this logo.


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