Types of debit card
Debit MasterCard is a debit card, linked to your current account and accepted globally anywhere the MasterCard brand is displayed. It provides a safe, secure and convenient way to pay face to face, online or over the telephone. You can also use it to access money directly from your bank account either at ATMs or as cashback with a purchase at some retailers and other locations. Debit MasterCard also allows speedy, contactless payments for transactions £20 or less at participating merchants.
Having a Debit MasterCard means you can also pay for everything from hotels to restaurants, souvenirs and sightseeing tours and access to local currency at ATMs around the world, so you don’t have to worry about taking large amounts of currency with you when you travel abroad. (Check with your bank about any charges for using your card abroad).
Visa Debit is issued through Visa by a financial institution. Visa debit gives you the convenience of a credit card but accesses funds in your current account rather than having a credit card.
Visa Debit cards can be used to purchase goods or get cash in all types of merchant environments, from typical retail transactions to mail or telephone orders to online transactions.
Cardholder authorisation can take place with a personal identification number (PIN), and with or without electronic point-of-sale authorisation.
Having a Visa Debit card means you can get cash out of ATMs abroad too, so you don’t have to worry about taking large amounts of currency with you when you go abroad; although do check with your bank about charges for using your card overseas.
Maestro is the debit card from MasterCard that might be offered as a facility on your bank account. It provides PIN-based, direct cash access from your bank account in the UK as well as abroad. Maestro offers a highly secure and convenient access to their current accounts in over 100 countries across the world.
Having a Maestro card means you can get cash out of ATMs abroad too, so you don’t have to worry about taking large amounts of currency with you when you go abroad; although do check with your bank about charges for using your card overseas.
Visa Electron was introduced by Visa in the 1980s and is a sister card to the Visa Debit card. The difference between Visa Electron and Visa Debit is that payments with Visa Electron require that all the funds are available at the time of the transfer, i.e. you cannot have an overdraft with a Visa Electron card. As a comparison, Visa Debit cards may allow you to have an overdraft.
Visa Electron is ideal for customers with newer banking relationships.
In different regions, the card is issued with different specifications. For example, in the UK Visa Electron is issued only as a debit card, but elsewhere in the world it can be issued as a credit card – ensuring the user does not go over their credit limit.
In the United Kingdom, the card is not as widely accepted as the sister Visa Debit card, but is often issued by banks as a debit card for those under aged 18. There’s no chance that you will become overdrawn, because each time you use your card, your funds will be checked, to see if you have enough to pay for the transaction. Therefore banks will issue a Visa Electron card to customers who may not qualify for another type of card – such as those under 18, or those with a poor credit history.