A debit card allows cardholders to make payments and cash withdrawals from their deposit accounts through an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) or Electronic Funds Transfers at Point of Sale terminal (EFTPOS).
In Singapore, debit cards can be broadly categorised into two groups: PIN-based debit cards and signature-based debit cards. NETS EFTPOS (a designated payment system under the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act 2006) is an example of a PIN-based debit card while VISA Debit and MasterCard Debit are examples of signature-based debit cards in Singapore.
Debit cards can be used to make payments for goods purchased or services availed at merchant outlets, for online shopping and transacting at ATMs. Here are some of the main ways in which you can pay for your purchases with your debit card:
▪ If you are using a Visa- or a Master-branded debit card you can use your card at Visa/Master-enabled retail outlets or at Visa/Master-supported ATMs.
▪ Your debit card can be used for Card Not Present (CNP) transactions; CNP transactions include online shopping and telephone and mail orders at accepting merchants.
▪ MasterCard Debit Cards can be used on the secure MasterCard® PayPass™ reader to pay for purchases of S$100 and below at over 30,000 merchant acceptance points in Singapore with no signature being required.
▪ Similarly, Visa Debit Cards can be used at all Visa payWave contactless point-of-sale readers for purchases of S$100 and below.
▪ Both Visa and MasterCard Debit Cards can be used for contactless mode of payment at NETS FlashPay outlets. You can top up your Debit Card from a minimum of S$10 to a maximum of S$500 at a large number of ATMs, MRT Stations, TransitLink Ticket Offices, Add Value Machines, General Ticketing Machines, Top Up Machines and SMRT/SBST Passenger Service Centres. Then pay for your rides in MRT/LRT, public buses, Comfort and CityCab taxis and for your ERP gantry and carpark charges.
Debit Cards carry an EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) Dynamic Data Authentication Smart Chip that makes the card more secure and protects the cardholder from potential identity theft and fraudulent activity; skimming the magnetic strip for data is no longer possible as there is no magnetic strip!
Prepaid cards are cards that have a pre-loaded value attached to them. They work just like debit cards but unlike debit cards they are not linked to the cardholder’s bank account. This provides added security to the cardholder in the event of loss or misuse of the card as the card can only be used up to the loaded value.
Prepaid cards may be used at merchant outlets, for online shopping and also at ATMs. Some examples of prepaid cards are Mastercard’s FEVO Prepaid Mastercard, the first non-bank prepaid card in Singapore with Ez-link, Maybank’s Zodiac Series Card, the Imagine Card issued in association with American Express etc.