Is Making a Purchase Online with a Debit Card Safe?

Many people don’t like using credit cards for their purchases, one of the reasons being because it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending. Coupled with high interest rates, if a person isn’t careful then they can end up spending beyond their means and end up with substantial debt.

Unfortunately, credit cards are the easiest way to make payments, especially when it comes to making online purchases. Online shopping has become incredibly popular for its convenience, and credit cards make it all the more easier.

But if you’re money conscious and worried about using your credit card too much, you might want to use your debit card instead, that way you are using money that you actually own and are not just borrowing.

Typically in the past, debit card transactions relied on third-party platforms to make purchases online. Lately, though, major banking institutions have implemented online debit card options such as VISA Debit. This is great news for peoplewho want to make fast and easy purchases online. All they have to do is sign into their bank account and make a purchase directly on the website they are visiting.

With companies like Swift Payments it’s become even easier for businesses to accept debit purchases online. They offer industry-leading payment processing and ecommerce gateway solutions that make shopping easier for both buyers and sellers.

But Is It Safe?

Using a debit card to make online purchases is nearly identical to using a credit card, and generally both are safe to use. As with any online transaction, though, there is always the risk of financial information being used fraudulently.

That’s why websites should be secure and encrypted in order to protect your personal and financial information. When you go to check out your online purchases and you need to hand over your personal information, you’ll be able to tell that the site is secure if:

  • The website address (URL) changes from http to https
  • If there is a lock icon next to the website URL

The problem with making online purchases with a debit card is that if you do ever run into a situation where your financial information is stolen, then they will have access to your personal funds. Having your actual money stolen (vs. just credit) can put a huge financial burden on you, especially if you need to make payments on the regular like mortgage or insurance payments.

It doesn’t help that fraudulent activity on your chequing account can leave you in a messy situation. Issues with your credit card are fairly easy to solve: simply report suspicious activity to your credit card company and they will charge-back any payments you didn’t make, investigate, as well as issue you a new credit card with different infoso that it can no longer be used fraudulently.

With your debit card, though, it’s typically trickier to get your money back, and your bank will have to freeze your account if fraudulent activity is reported. The whole process can be incredibly inconvenient, and instead of being short on credit, you’ll be short on actual money – which is definitely a worse situation to be in.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Whether you use a credit or debit card, make sure you are frequently checking your banking and credit statements in order to keep an eye out for suspicious purchases. The sooner you report an unauthorized payment on your debit card, the easier it’ll be to sort the problem out.