The world has evolved from a barter system to moneyless methods for doing transactions and purchasing goods and services.
The phases that came in between included using metal coins, gold, and paper money. Paper money is still used as a mode of transaction, but now the trend of paperless money is also increasing.
Debit and credit cards are the most common way to carry money without keeping paper money. The idea of cards became popular in 1950 after the first store card by Diners Club was issued for the customers.
However, metal plates were common in many department stores during 193. The use of credit and debit card was not common until the last decades of the 20th century and the start of the 21st century.
If we talk about the first bank card, the Bank of America issued BankAmericard for customers with a pre-approved limit of $300 to 60,000.
However, the name was changed to Visa in 1976. The first interbank card was also issued after BankAmericard in 1966 due to the partnership formed between a group of California banks.
The card was named an Interbank card, and the name was changed to Mastercard in 1979.
In today’s article, we will talk about debit & credit cards by understanding the important parts and information these cards carry. So let’s get into it.
What Is A Debit Card?
When we say credit card or debit card, it is called plastic money, not cash, coin, or bill.
A debit card can be defined as a bank card that can be used as an alternative to cash when making payments.
The debit card is also called a check card, as it is issued against your checking account or bank account.
The other reason why a debit card is called a check card is that you can use the card to withdraw money, and the money for purchases made with a debit card is withdrawn from the available balance of your bank account.
You can not spend more than the available balance when using a debit card for purchases.
What Is A Credit Card?
A credit card is similar to a debit card, but it is a payment card that can be used for making purchases and paying the price based on your accrued debt.
The card issuer, a bank or credit union, guarantees the debt or line of credit. It implies that the cardholder can borrow cash advances from the card issuer and make purchases.
Credit cards are usually divided into two categories: consumer credit cards and business credit cards.
Every credit card has a limit allowed, which is decided based on the cardholder’s creditworthiness, his requirements, and the nature of the credit card(consumer or business).
What Is A Credit/Debit Card Made Of?
Although it doesn’t matter what the material of a credit/debit card is, it will be a good idea to understand what it is made of.
Plastic money is used for debit cards and credit cards because these cards are made of plastic.
The cards are made of polyvinyl chloride acetate, popularly known as PVC or PVCA. The cards also have a metal chip containing the cardholder’s information and data.
The Front Side Of the Debit/Credit Card
Let’s discuss the front side of the debit or credit card and all the information it contains:
Bank Name and Bank Branding
The first thing you will notice on the front side of a debit or credit card is the bank branding. Some banks use the bank logo containing the initials of the bank name.
At the same time, many credit card issuers and banks choose to print the bank’s name. If we talk about the retailer-issued cards, the name of the retailer or reward program by the retailer might be printed instead.
The credit card number is the second thing you will see on the card. This number will be required whenever you want to make an online payment or transaction.
The number of digits on a credit card can be 14, 16, or 19. However, 16-digit credit card numbers are the most common ones.
The name of the person who applied for the credit or debit card is also printed on the card. The cardholder’s name is printed on the line below the card number.
The next line of the credit or debit card has the card issuance date. It usually contains the month and year of the card issuance.
The next thing printed on the credit or debit card has the card issuance date. It usually contains the month and year of the card expiry. The expiry date is usually printed parallel to the issuance date.
Payment Network Logo
Depending on whether you use a Mastercard, Visa, Western Union, etc., the payment network logo is also printed on the card.
The front side of a credit and debit card also contains a smart chip that is scanned to extract the information while making the transaction.
The previous technology used in credit cards was a magnetic stripe, but smart chips are more common nowadays.
The Back Side Of Debit/Credit Card
If you look at the back side of your debit or credit card, you will find the following information:
The black magnetic stripe has information about the cardholder and the card, which card readers can scan.
The card readers at merchant stores will extract the information via the magnetic stripe of the card when you swipe it, and then you can enter the MPIN to authorize the transaction.
A mirror-like area that looks like a 3D image is called a hologram. It can also appear on the front of the card. The presence of holograms allows the merchants to recognize if a card is real or fake, as holograms are hard to fake.
The three-digit security code is also printed on the back of your credit and debit card.
The signature area is on the line below the magnetic stripe, and the card can only be used once you have signed your name in the area.
However, advanced technology has made the latest cards more secure, and you don’t need to put in your signatures before using the card.
Bank Contact Information
The contact information of the customer support or complaints helpline is also printed on the back of the debit and credit cards.
The 5 Most Important Parts Of A Debit Card
We have already mentioned all the information your credit and debit card carries. However, the five most important parts of your card are as follows:
The most important and basic information or part of your card is the 16-digit credit card number printed on the front of the card. The card number is the primary information you need when shopping online or making transactions.
However, the cardholder’s name and security code are equally important. A card number is very important because hackers or thieves can steal the numbers and make purchases from your checking account.
Therefore, we advise you to keep it private and never share it with unauthorized persons.
The cardholder’s name is also one of the most important parts of the credit or debit card. The cardholder’s name is not necessarily the same as the one who applied for the card.
The credit or debit card can also contain the name of the person who is authorized to use the card for making payments. For instance, a wife might have a debit card in her husband’s checking account.
As already mentioned, the 3-digit security code is printed on the back of the credit or debit card. It is also the most important part of your card, as online payments can’t be authorized without entering the correct CVC code.
The expiry date of the credit card or debit card is also important so merchants know that you are not trying to pay with an expired card.
Smart chip technology has made the probability of scams very low. With these smart chips, thieves can’t use stolen credit card numbers.
The technology adds a single-use code to authorize every transaction. Even if your card number is stolen, it can’t be used to authorize payment until the one-time code is provided for completing the transaction.