About Debit Cards

A debit card is a card that allows the cardholder to transfer money electronically from their bank account when making any kind of purchase. You can enjoy electronic access to your bank account anytime and anywhere using a debit card. It is similar to a credit card, but unlike a credit card, the money for the purchase must be in the cardholder's bank account at the time of purchase and is immediately transferred directly from that account to the merchant’s account to pay for the purchase.

Debit cards are used mainly in two forms:

  • Like an ATM card for immediate withdrawals of cash
  • Like a cheque when buying an item. The money used to pay for the transaction is usually deducted from your account within a day or two depending on when the retailer presents the transaction for payment.

How does Debit Card work?

When you use your Debit Card offline, you usually make the payment using a card machine. Payments using Debit Cards are very swift and convenient. Once the merchant inputs the amount, all you have to do is input your unique PIN to complete the transaction, and you will receive a notification of your completed payment. Your bank processes the request made by the merchant using the Debit Card and releases the required amount.

When you use your Debit Card online, you need to enter the 16-digit Debit Card Number, the expiry date, and the three-digit CVV number (found on the reverse side of the Debit Card) to make a purchase. Once the details are entered, there is an OTP triggered (One Time Password) to your registered mobile number which needs to be entered at the merchant’s site to complete the transaction.

Types of Debit Cards

Visa Debit card:

Enjoy the convenience of paying directly from your account, with all the security that Visa provides. It works like cash, only better. They are issued by your bank or other financial institution and one can use funds directly from your bank account. Accepted worldwide, Visa Debit cards offer quick, secure, and convenient access to your money in person, online, overseas, and over the phone. Visa’s significance in the global financial markets is tremendous. There are more than 1.46 billion Visa debit and credit cards in circulation, across the globe, which generate in excess of over $4.3 trillion in sales, accepted in about 200 countries.

Mastercard Debit Card:

Debit Mastercard is a brand of debit cards provided by Mastercard. They use the same systems as standard Mastercard credit cards, but they do not use a line of credit to the customer, instead of relying on funds that the customer has in their bank account. MasterCard Debit Cards have gained huge popularity all across the world since it came into being. Customers swear by the swift service, impeccable customer care, and lucrative benefits and rewards provided by the same.

Contactless Debit Cards:

Contactless cards work a lot like mobile wallets. The transaction is completed by simply holding or tapping the card on a contactless-enabled card reader. Using this card, the customer can make payment by only tapping a card or waving the card near PoS terminals. These cards make electronic payment safer using the Near Field Technology (NFC). It’s up to 10 times faster than swiping, inserting, or using cash. Plus, it keeps your info secure and your hands off the card reader.

RuPay Debit Card:

RuPay is an Indian multinational financial services and payment service system, conceived and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It was created to fulfill the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) vision of establishing a domestic, open, and multilateral system of payments. RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions. RuPay cards have emerged as a strong contender to VISA and MasterCard in India.

Benefits of using a Debit Card

Convenient to Use 

Debit Cards are extremely simple to use. Since the payment is deducted directly from your bank account, a place where the money already exists, it can be done instantly. It is much quicker than having to wait for a credit transaction to go through or having to worry about having an adequate amount of cash in the account, to cover your expenses. 

Works as an Emergency Fund 

Debit Cards have the ability to give you cash. They double up as ATM cards and allow you to withdraw money from an ATM. Therefore, working as an emergency fund for you. In addition to the ATM use, a majority of stores offer cash back options at the checkout. You can shop conveniently and reasonably using your Debit Card.


Debit Cards are protected by a four-digit pin number or PIN (Personal Identification Number) which you set yourself. This PIN is essential when making almost any purchase with your Debit Card. It gives you a great deal of safety against theft. You also receive a notification every time a transaction goes through, double verifying the transaction. 

Easy to Obtain 

The only and most important thing that you must have, in order to have a Debit Card has a bank account. Anyone can open a bank account with a minimum deposit. So, you can use a Debit Card with the only pre-requisite being a bank account that is linked to your card. Worldwide acceptance. Use your debit card globally to withdraw cash and make payments at merchant outlets and POS machines.

Top banks that are offering debit cards in India

State Bank of India Debit Cards:

State Bank of India has designed multiple debit cards to offer convenience to its customers. Using SBI debit cards, one can enjoy a host of benefits like exciting rewards points and cashbacks for spending on shopping, dining, fuel, travel bookings, or online spending.

HDFC Bank Debit Card 

Using this card, users enjoy hassle-free cashless shopping with secure online transactions. It can be done with Visa and MasterCard Secure Code platforms. Eleven debit card alternatives are offered by HDFC to Indian customers.

ICICI Bank Debit Cards:

Carry your bank account in the comfort of your wallet with debit cards from ICICI Bank. Choose from our range of debit cards to experience the advantage of quick and easy payments. Shop online or offline, withdraw cash from ATMs, pay your bills and earn rewards in the process. ICICI bank is having 31 types of debit cards categorized under Premium, Personal, Business, Expressions, and Unifier.

Axis Bank Debit Cards:

Axis Bank offers various types of debit cards that cater to the specific needs of their diverse base of customers. The bank also provides a rewards program for its debit cardholders which allows customers to gain reward points with every purchase. Axis Bank also offers debit cards for women and the youth.

Punjab National Debit Cards: 

PNB has designed the debit card in collaboration with the RuPay and MasterCard companies. The cards of PNB are enjoying worldwide acceptance. Customers can choose from 5 different types of debit cards along with an add-on card if required.

Bank of Baroda Debit Card: 

The Bank of Baroda has designed six different types of personalized debit cards in association with Visa, MasterCard, and RuPay to suit the lifestyle requirements of customers.

HSBC Debit Card:

HSBC India Debit cards can now be used for shopping online at websites where Visa cards are accepted. Whether it is travel or movie tickets, hotel reservations, shopping for luxuries or just everyday things, paying utility bills, or making investments - you can do it safely from the comfort of your home.  Your online transactions are secured by 3-D Secure (3DS) technology, which is an added layer of security for online debit card transactions.

IndusInd Debit Card:

The IndusInd bank has designed a mix of international and platinum debit cards on the Verified by Visa platform along with adding of exciting rewards program for customers. The bank offers have designed 4 different types of debit cards depending on the account held by the customer.

Citi Bank Debit Cards

Experience the best of what the world has to offer with an exclusive range of Citibank Debit Cards. Designed with your needs in mind, each of these cards provides maximum benefits and unmatched privileges on every spending. So, go on and explore the possibilities with the wide range of Citibank Debit Cards.

Standard Chartered Debit Cards

A range of attractive rewards and offers with easy access to your cash all over the world with Standard Chartered debit cards. Makes you enjoy 24x7 access to your funds.

Kotak Bank Debit Cards:

Kotak bank is known for offering need-based debit cards to their clientele. Not only do they remove the need to take hard cash or cheques to handle funds or purchases, but they also come with several incredible perks. 

DCB Bank Debit Cards:

The DCB bank debit cards came into the market with a slogan- Convenience meets simplicity’. One of the easy to apply and use debit cards in India. The debit card from DCB Bank works its wonders across all Visa-enabled ATM and POS outlets, in India and across the world. Read here in detail about the features and benefits of DCB bank debit cards in India.

Here is the list of the top 10 Debit Cards in India

Now that you know the meaning of the Debit Card, its features, and how it works, you can now reap its immense benefits by using it safely and securely. In today’s economic juncture with a bright future for digital payments, it is imperative that customers understand plastic money such as Debit and Credit Cards prudently and use it optimally to gain maximum benefits from it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we link multiple accounts with one debit card?

Yes, some banks are offering customers the option of linking several bank accounts to a single debit card.

Can a bank block the debit card if customers enter the wrong PIN during cash withdrawals?

Yes, any bank could block a customer’s debit card after three unsuccessful attempts at an ATM as a protective measure.

Is the overdraft facility available with debit cards?

Overdraft facility is available with the savings account associated with a debit card but is not applicable on a particular debit card.

What are the different costs associated with a debit card?

Some banks might charge issuance fees, ATM withdrawal charges, and annual fees for the use of debit cards.

In India, what are the two types of debit cards generally issued to users?

Indian Banks are offering personalized and non-personalized variants to debit card users. Personalized debit cards include the user’s name and photograph. Non-Personalized cards will just have the bank logo, card details, and the payment platform logo without any user-related information.