2.1.3 Card services

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Most financial institutions offer you an electronic card, usually called a debit card or bank card, that lets you do transactions at a cash machine. You can use it in two main ways:

  • You can make deposits, withdraw cash, pay bills, transfer money from one account to another and view your account at your financial institution's automated teller machine (or ATM, also called an automated banking machine or ABM). You can also use it to withdraw cash from another financial institution's ATM.
  • You can pay for purchases at a store or other merchant that offers debit card payment services. You can also ask the merchant to take out more than you need for the purchase and give you the extra cash back. When you use the merchant's card reader, the bank sends money from your account to the merchant's to pay for what you bought.

Often, you type in a secret personal identification number, or PIN, to use the card. Some cards, as well as tags, cellphones and other devices, allow payments for small amounts without using a PIN. The PIN is your password to your account, telling your financial institution that you want them to take money from your account. Keep the PIN secret to prevent anyone from using your card improperly. (Read more about debit card protection in the Your rights and responsibilities and Banking and fraud sections.)

A credit card is a different type of card service, which is described in the Loans section.

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