Debit cards have been around since the mid-1970s, introduced decades after credit cards came on the scene. For consumers, carrying a debit cards in their wallets is a simple and convenient alternative payment method to cash, checks and credit cards.
At TransFirst®, we believe that debit cards should be one of many payment options — including credit and prepaid cards — that merchants should offer their customers because of the many benefits they deliver on both sides of the counter.
Debit vs. Credit Cards
Debit cards can be used interchangeably with credit cards in most locations, but there are some significant differences between the two payment cards.
While credit cards basically offer the consumer a loan of the credit card issuer’s money that allows them to buy now and pay later, debit cards are linked directly to the cardholder’s bank account and an automatic deduction is made for each purchase made.
Another important difference between the two cards is that debit cards typically come in two different types. PIN debit cards require that the cardholder enter a personal identification number at the point of sale to complete the transaction. Signature debit cards, like credit cards, require the signature of the cardholder on the sales receipt to validate the purchase.
Benefits of Debit Cards
Accepting debit cards at your business has key benefits for your customers:
- Debit cards are a convenient alternative to carrying cash or a check book, and have become the first payment choice for many consumers.
- Debit cards can be used to shop online or in brick-and-mortar locations.
- Debit cards purchases are deducted directly from the customer’s bank account, making it easy for them to keep track of where and how they’re spending their money.
- Debit cards limit cardholders’ spending to the balance in their accounts, making it easier to stick to a budget.
Merchants who accept payment cards — including debit cards — also benefit in a variety of ways:
- By accepting debit cards, merchants are meeting their customers’ expectations to pay with plastic, which helps build a loyal following.
- Accepting plastic reduces the merchant’s expense and time spent billing and collecting, as well as trips to the bank.
- Debit and other payment cards enable businesses to compete more effectively in the marketplace.
- Accepting payment cards can contribute to an improved cash flow, boosting the all-important bottom line.
Get Started Accepting Debit Cards
A TransFirst representative is standing by to answer all your questions about accepting debit cards. Just complete the form on this page and we’ll get back to you with information about the many payment solutions we offer to help you grow your business and achieve success in the marketplace.