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ATM Card / Debit Card

What is ATM Card?

An ATM card is any card that can be used in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for transactions such as deposits, cash withdrawals, obtaining account information, and other types of transactions, often through interbank networks. ATM cards are part of a payment system issued by financial institutions, such as a bank, to a customer that enables its owner (the cardholder) to access the funds in his designated bank account(s).

What is Debit Card?

A debit card is any card that can be used to make a purchase and funds are withdrawn directly from the cardholder's bank account.

The use of debit cards has become widespread in many countries and has overtaken use of cheques, and in some instances cash transactions, by volume. Like credit cards, debit cards are used widely for internet purchases.

ATM-cum-Debit Card

Most Banks issue ATM-cum-Debit Cards, which can be used for withdrawing cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) by debit to the cardholers account with the card issuing bank and also to make a purchase online or otherwise.

ATM-cum-Debit card is usually a smart card that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date with a magnetic strip on the back enabling various machines to read and access information. The card can be used as an ATM card, enabling transactions at automatic teller machines or as a debit card, linked to the client's bank account and can also be used for making purchases at the point of sale.

Technical features

Payment cards are usually plastic cards, 85.60 mm x 53.98 mm and rounded corners with a radius of 2.88-3.48 mm.

They usually also have a unique embossed card number, the cardholder's name and the card expiry date, in addition to other security features.

ATM (Automated Teller Machines)

All ATM machines, at a minimum, permit cash withdrawals of customers of the machine's owner (if a bank-operated machine) and for cards that are affiliated with any ATM network the machine is also affiliated. They will report the amount of the withdrawal and any fees charged by the machine on the receipt. Most banks permit routine account-related banking transactions at the bank's own ATM like checking the balance of an account, changing card PIN, cheque and cash deposit etc. The facilities offered differ from bank to bank.

Precautions while using an ATM Card

  • Memorise your PIN. Do not write it down anywhere, and certainly never on the card itself.
  • Your card is for your own personal use. Do not share your PIN or card with anyone, not even your friends or family.
  • "Shoulder surfer" can peep at your PIN as you enter it. So stand close to the ATM machine and use your body and hand to shield the keypad as you enter the PIN.
  • Do not take help from strangers for using the ATM card or handling your cash.
  • Press the 'Cancel' key before moving away from the ATM. Remember to take your card and transaction slip with you.
  • If you take transaction slip, shred it immediately after use.
  • If your ATM card is lost or stolen, report it to your card-issuing bank immediately.
  • When you deposit a cheque or card into your ATM, check the credit entry in your account after a couple of days. If there is any discrepancy, report it to your bank.
  • If your card gets stuck in the ATM, or if cash is not dispensed after you having keyed in a transaction,call your bank immediately.
  • If you have any complaint about your ATM/Debit/Credit card transaction at an ATM, you must take it up with the bank that issued the card to you.


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Updated : June 03, 2019