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Learn how debit cards work in online transactions

Debit cards are fast becoming one of the most popular ways to pay for online transactions. Why the change and what is the difference between this and the EFTPOS system?

In the early days of Internet shopping people would use either credit cards or the EFTPOS system. Although you can still in come cases use EFTPOS to make online purchases, very few companies accept this form of payment.

One of the big reasons vendors do not like this system is because it can only actually be used by Australians. Therefore any companies abroad would have to jump through many hoops in order to accept this kind of payment method.

Something that also hindered the use of the EFTPOS system, was that many websites use special shopping cart software in order to accept online transactions, and most of the software available was not compatible with the system, meaning many vendors stopped using it.

Compare debit cards today

Rates last updated June 24th, 2018
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
NAB Classic Banking
Visa
$0
$0
Impressive digital perks.
$0 monthly account fee.
Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.
ING Orange Everyday Account
Visa
$0
$0
$75 cash bonus.
$0 monthly account fees.
Receive a $75 cash bonus if you open a new Orange Everyday account, enter the promotional code and deposit at least $1,000 within a calendar month and make 5+ card purchases (T&Cs apply). Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with an ING Savings Maximiser.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies.
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
Visa
$0
$0
$10 cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 monthly account fee.
Receive $10 cashback when you spend $1000 on contactless purchases. Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria.
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
Mastercard
$0
$0
No ATM fees when using a major bank ATM Australia-wide
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements. Upgrade to a Platinum Debit Mastercard when you deposit $4000 per month to enjoy exclusive benefits including 24/7 Platinum concierge service, Worldwide Purchase Security Protection and Extended Warranty.
AMP Bett3r Account - Pay Account
Visa
$0
$2,000
Manage your budget effectively with a bundle of accounts.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month from a source that is not another AMP bank account. Enjoy linked individual Pay, Spend and Save accounts to reach your savings goals.
HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
Visa
$0
$0
Open an account and easily switch your regular payments over from your current bank.
$0 monthly account fee.
Through your linked Visa debit card, you can access exclusive shopping, travel and restaurant deals here and abroad through HSBC's home&Away Privilege Program.
MyState Everyday Account
Visa
$0
$2,000
A flexible option for day-to-day spending.
$6 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month or are 23 years or under. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay available.
Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
Visa
$0
$2,000
$50 cash back bonus.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.
Open a new account by June 29, deposit $500 in the first 45 days ($250 for students & under 21s) and get $50 cash back. T&C's apply.
St.George Complete Freedom Account
Visa
$0
$2,000
$50 cash back.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.
New customers get $50 cash back. Open a new account by June 29 & deposit $500 within the first 45 days ($250 for students & under 21s). T&C's apply.
ANZ Access Advantage
Visa
$0
$2,000
Pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay & Samsung Pay.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 25 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Visa
$0
$2,000
Get $50 cash back.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under 21 or if you meet other eligibility criteria.
Get $50 cash back when you open a new account by June 29 and deposit $450 within the first 45 days ($250 for students and under 21s). T&C's apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

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!

Learn more about credit cards.

Why debit cards?

The beauty of the debit card is that it is linked to your bank account and you are only ever able to spend what is available to you in your account.

Unless you have an agreed overdraft with your lender, any purchase you attempt to make with your debit card will be refused if there is not sufficient funds available, and an alternative form of payment will be asked for.

This makes it much easier to stay in control of your spending.

Credit giants Visa and Mastercard are both in charge of processing both credit and debit card transactions, so whichever you use should have the same security benefits as the other.

One thing is for certain, when compared to the EFTPOS system, and credit cards, the debit card is becoming the most common way to pay for your online transactions.

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