You might be among the tons of people wondering and asking, “Do I have to sign my debit card?” After all, it’s just a common signature.
With your debit card, you can make a purchase online and in person. You don’t need to move around with hard currencies if you have a valid debit card.
Now here’s a relevant question.
Do I have to sign my debit card?
Well, the short and straightforward answer is yes. Not signing your debit card is synonymous with issuing a check without signing it. Your bank won’t honor such a check.
You may even find it clear on the card that it’s not valid until signed. Appending your signature on the debit card would activate it. It’s a confirmation that you’re the card owner and accepts the issuing company’s terms and conditions.
You also have to sign your debit card if you have plans to use it for purchases. Merchants will turn down your card if not signed.
It doesn’t matter the value of what you’re buying. Without the signature, it would be illegal and risky to accept a card.
Alright, that’s the answer to the question. But bear in mind that there’s more you need to know. So, continue reading from start to finish.
What It Means To Sign A Debit Card
A signature surely looks good on the debit card. Check any already signed card; you’ll understand why.
However, your card issuing company isn’t requesting you to sign the debit card for aesthetics. It’s for something more important.
Every company has terms and conditions, which customers must agree to before using their services or products. And card issuing companies request the same thing.
Signing on your debit card means you completely agree to the card-issuing company’s terms and conditions.
Once you append your signature on the card, it becomes valid and usable. Merchants can now accept it.
A Handy Tip: You can use the Superfine Tip Permanent Marker (Black) 0.4mm pen to sign the debit card.
Signature Debit Card Vs. Pin Debit Card: What’s The Difference?
Two debit cards exist, such as the signature and pin debit cards. You can make purchases with both cards. That is, funds are transferred from both accounts during payments.
So, what’s the actual difference between both debit cards? It’s in their verification process. They both differ in how a customer’s identity is verified.
If you were using the signature debit card to make a purchase, your signature would be verified on the sales receipt.
If you choose to use a pin debit card, you need to provide a personal identification number.
Authorization and balance checks also differentiate both types of debit cards.
If you were using a pin debit card, all your transactions would require formal authorization. This means that you need to have enough funds on that account for your transactions to be successful.
Things are quite different with a signature debit card. If you’re using such cards, keep in mind that balance checks aren’t done.
What does this imply? If your account is overdrawn, you won’t get your funds. That’s how the signature debit card works.
Signature Debit Card And Pin Debit Processing Fees
The comparison between signature and pin debit cards continues. The processing fee is another area that differentiates both cards.
Firstly, keep in mind that debit cards are all connected to debit networks. These include STAR, Interlink, and Maestro.
Now, here’s what you have to understand about both debit card processing fees.
Let’s start with the pin debit cards. These cards are classified as online transactions. Therefore, when you use such cards, you need to pay debit network fees to merchants. Such fees are deducted from the account.
You need to understand that debit network fees consist of lower percentage fees than interchange fees. But then, fixed per-transaction fees are higher.
Now here’s the thing. If you were using a pin debit card for larger transactions, it would be less costly for you. But if it involves smaller transactions, avoid using pin debit cards.
Now, let’s discuss signature debit cards.
You need to know that signature debit cards function via credit card networks such as Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.
Furthermore, if you use a signature debit card, your card processor will charge you for makeup and credit card interchange fees.
However, the interchange fees boast a higher percentage fee. But have in mind that per-transaction fees are much lower.
So, it’s best to use signature debit cards for smaller purchases as it’s usually less expensive.
A Handy Tip: Many stores allow customers to choose a debit card payment option. You can choose either signature or pin debit, depending on the card you’re using.
Is Providing Debit Card Detail Over The Phone Safe?
You probably would have read several fraud cases over the past few years about providing card details over the phone. Shockingly, such still happens to this day.
These criminals are also not resting or ready to quit. As you read this, they may even be devising newer means of stealing customer’s debit card details.
If your card details, such as CVV (card verification value) number, fall into the hands of criminals, they could empty your account within the twinkling of an eye.
The CVV is a 3 to 4 digit number printed on the card to provide added security. This number should only be known to you.
Now back to the question. Is providing debit card details over the phone safe?
Well, you need to pay attention to several factors when doing such. Let’s run through them quickly.
- If you’re buying a product or paying for a service online, don’t provide your debit card details on any random website. Ensure the website is credible. An easy way is to conduct thorough research and read reviews about the platform.
- Protect your debit card details in public places. Please don’t allow the next person sitting or standing by you to see them.
- CVV numbers for online purchases alone. Don’t provide them when asked over the phone or when processing payment in person. A request for your CVV over the phone is a sign that the person wants to scam you. Be careful.
- Check your bank statements every single month. If you see charges you don’t understand, approach your bank for clarification.
Do I have to sign my debit card? That’s the question. And we hope you have seen the reason why you shouldn’t be afraid to sign your debit card.
Chip and pin give debit cards an additional level of security. But then, having a signature on the back of the card is still important and valid.
Signing your debit card will give you extra peace of mind in the area of security. It will also protect merchants from initiating fraudulent transactions.
So, if asked to append your signature on your debit card, don’t hesitate to do so. The cashier is only trying to protect your hard-earned money.