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How to use a debit card for online payments

You can use your Australian debit card to make transactions online from local websites as well as overseas websites. Here's how to use your card to make online payments.

To make a payment online with your debit card all you will usually need is the card number, expiry date and the three-digit CVV number on the back of the card. If you have all of these details available, you should have no trouble using your debit card when checking out. In some cases, you might be required to verify the transaction via your banks online platform or app.

How to use your debit card online

  1. Select the card type. You'll need to select the card type (usually Visa or Mastercard) and sometimes classify if it's a credit or debit card.
  2. Enter the card number. Enter the 16-digit number that's printed on the front of your debit card. This is not your account number.
  3. Enter the expiry. Underneath the card number you should see the card expiry date expressed as 4 numbers. For example 04/28 means your card will expire in April 2028.
  4. Enter the CVV. This is a 3-digit number that's usually found on the back of the debit card, to verify the card.

Tips for using your debit card online

If you're planning to use your debit card online, here are some tips to ensure you keep your money safe and you don't get stung with fees.

Check your account balance.

Unlike a credit card, you'll only be able to use your debit card for online purchases if you've got enough money in your account to fund the purchase. If you don't have enough, even if it's a few dollars short, your transaction won't work. Don't forget to think about extra charges such as shipping fees when calculating the cost of the purchase.

Check if your account has an overdraft.

Some debit cards have overdraft facilities attached to the account, although this is not very common. If you do have an overdraft facility on your account, you may be able to let your balance go below $0, however you'll likely be hit with a fee for this.

Avoid international transaction fees.

If you plan to use your debit card online to buy things from overseas, it's a good idea to get a debit card with no foreign transaction fees. This is a fee that's charged when a currency conversion is required, and it can be as high as 3.5% of the transaction value each time.

Make sure the website is legitimate.

Avoid using your debit card online from websites that don't look legitimate, and never give your debit card details out via social media or online forums.

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What about credit cards?

Credit cards, and debit cards are the main forms of online payment methods. Although in the early days the credit card was the most commonly used form of payment, it would now seem that debit cards are rising in popularity.

One of the main reasons is because using a debit card for online transactions can potentially be a much cheaper way of making purchases.

Like anything that you spend on your credit card, your purchases will be subject to an interest charge if your balance is not fully repaid at the end of your interest free period. In a very short space of time your balance can increase, and reach a level where you will not be able to pay your full balance in time, and so will begin amassing interest.

This means anything you paid for using your credit card could start going up in cost to you!

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