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Can using a debit card online be dangerous
Posted by: Curtis Stevens on December 3rd, 2009

I saw an article by a woman named Mary.  There are a few things I would like to say about her comments.  She goes into details about using a debit card when making a purchase online.   A reader asked if it was ok to use a debit card to buy something online.  Mary explains that debit cards are simply that, the funds always come directly from your checking account.  Do not confuse them with a credit card that is tied to a line of credit.  So when a retailer asks you debit or credit, they are simply asking if you want to process the card by pin debit using your pin number or to sign for it using the Visa/MC networks.

I have always been a fan of using a credit card for signature purchases and the main reason is this.  If you buy something online using your debit card, the number is now out there.  If someone gets a hold of it, they could drain your checking account. You then have to report the fraudulent transactions, deal with your bank and hopefully get all of your money.  But then every other transaction or check you wrote could bounce, creating a lot of havoc for you.  With a credit card, you don’t have those issues since it is going against a line of credit that isn’t tied to the rest of your finances.  However, many consumers still make purchases online with their debit card.  The good news is for merchants as the Interchange rates are less for debit cards and that should result in lower credit card processing fees with their merchant provider.



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