If you’re tired of carrying hard cash with you always while you travel or if you want to access your account using any ATM machine that accepts VISA or if you want to make payments online or maybe purchase stuffs at a supermarket, getting a VISA Debit card would be a good idea. In this post you will understand what VISA is, how it works and most importantly, how to get one.
What is VISA?
VISA is an American multi-national financial service corporation. It facilitates electronic funds transfers throughout the world, most commonly through Visa-branded credit cards and debit cards. VISA does not actually issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit and debit cards to their customers.
Difference Between VISA Debit and Credit Card
A debit card is linked to your bank account, purchases or cash withdrawals made with a debit card is automatically taken from your current or savings account when you spend it, so you can’t spend more than what’s in your account.
A credit card, is not linked to your current or savings account, is a credit facility that enables you to buy things immediately, up to a pre-arranged limit, and pay for them at a due date. The cost of the purchase is added to your credit card account and you get a statement every month.
You then have a choice of paying off the bill in full by a set date with no interest or repaying it by installment over a period of time. You’ll have to pay interest if you do this, therefore, the quicker you pay off your balance, the less interest you’ll pay. The interest rate and repayment method varies by different financial institutions.
How to Acquire a VISA Debit Card
To get a debit card with VISA first you need to open an account with a bank or financial institution offering VISA cards. If you already have a current or savings account with a bank, ask your bank whether they offer VISA debit cards. If the answer is yes, then you can go to the bank and fill an application form or an online form from their website. Card issuance fee and annual maintenance will be charged (with GTBank Gambia the fee is GMD 1,350) which will be debited from your account and then they will give you a time period to pick up your debit card (usually 6 weeks or less with GTBank, Gambia). If the fee amount is not in your account your card will not be processed.
When you receive your card, the bank will give you a 4 digit secret PIN (Personal Identification number) which you can change when you insert it to an ATM cash machine. The card will contain an expiration date (with GTBank Gambia, the card validity is 2 years) after which you have to request for a new card.
How to Use Your VISA Debit Card
You can use your VISA debit card with any ATM machine worldwide that accepts Visa or pay for goods at a store or supermarket using your PIN. If you withdraw money with another bank’s ATM cash machine the charges per transaction will be different from when you use it with your bank’s ATM cash machine. To make online payments, you will need to enter the 16 Digit number on the card, the expiration date, and the 3 digit secret code at the back of the card.
To easily make online payments, you can create a PayPal account for free with an email address, which will require you to add your debit card details once and use your email and password anytime you want to make payments online. During checkout you just need to look for the PayPal option.
You should secure your card details at all cost. Take security measures whenever you’re making online payments with your card. Check out this post to learn how to safely make payments online.
Ousman Faal [Digital Vigilante] is a Tech Entrepreneur & Digital Skills Trainer who teaches both in the classroom and online. He has experience in various technologies and likes sharing it with others. Ousman has published 144 articles on this blog. He is the CEO of Faalen Technologies and Skills.gm.