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Debit Cards: Will That be Debit or Credit?

August 25, 2021 | Tips, Tricks and Member Safety. Share this article: ShareDebit Cards: Will That be Debit or Credit? on Facebook Share Debit Cards: Will That be Debit or Credit? on Twitter

Debit Card Payment Article

Debit Card Payment Options. What’s the Difference?

When you make a purchase using your COPFCU Mastercard debit card, you’re often given the choice between “debit” or “credit.” What’s the difference between the two?

When you choose debit, you’ll be prompted to key in your PIN (Personal Identification Number), and an online transaction begins.  The money is immediately deducted from your account and sent to the merchant. In most cases, you are also allowed to withdraw cash along with making the purchase. Some merchants may not require a PIN if the transaction is small.

When you choose to run your debit card as credit, an offline transaction is initiated. In the past, you were asked for a signature to complete your purchase, but with improved security of today’s EMV chip cards and contactless payments, a signature may not be needed. A hold is placed on the money while the transaction is sent through the credit card processing network, which can take 2-3 days to complete.

In a nutshell, here are the differences between the two kinds of transactions:

Debit transaction

  • Uses a PIN to complete the transaction.
  • Hits your account immediately, making it easier for you to know in real time how much is left in your account.
  • Allows you to withdraw cash.

Credit transaction

  • Doesn’t ask for a PIN but may ask for a signature to complete the transaction.
  • Can take 2-3 days for the transaction to appear in your account.
  • Does not allow you to withdraw cash.

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