We often encounter situations in which giving our debit card to children becomes inevitable. They may have to pay something at school and we run out of cash. Or we send them to buy something and we want to buy without cash. And where they need to make a payment online.
Today, banks can obtain additional or complementary cards for family members for a nominal fee. However, everything that our family members spend is debited from a single account.
Unless all family members know about it and keep a cunning check about excessive spending, the home can run out of money long before payday.
Therefore, what should your children know before using their debit card? There are several things you should teach them before handing over your debit card.
What Kids Should Know About Debit Cards
There are several things that your children should know about their debit card before handing it in to use it. These involve safe use, expenses and much more.
Features of Your Debit Card
Teach your children about the various features of your debit card. Tell them that the built-in chip contains your personal information. Therefore, that is the most important part of your debit card. The chip should not be damaged due to rough use.
The following is the magnetic strip on the back that merchants usually slide to make a debit when paying for purchases. This magnetic strip also contains encoded information.
Damage the magnetic stripe can disable the debit card. That is, you will have to spend some money to replace one.
Numbers on Debit Card
The typical 15 to 19 digit number on your debit card contains a lot of information. The first six digits indicate the issuer, such as Visa, MasterCard or Discover, among others.
These are known as the Issuer Indication Number or IIN. The remaining digits identify your bank and personal account number. However, these are encrypted.
Therefore, if a debit card falls into the wrong hands, the chances of someone knowing your account number are almost zero.
The most important are three digits that appear next to the magnetic stripe on the back of your debit card. They are known as the Card Verification Value (CVV) number or the Card Security Code (CSC).
Even if someone copies your debit card number, it cannot be used for online purchases without CVV. The CVV or CSC is printed on the back of the card, often on the signature strip.
Since the CVV / CSC is extremely important, tell your children to handle the card carefully and make sure someone does not copy the three-digit code.
Radio Frequency Identification Cards
Radiofrequency identification cards or RFID cards are also known as contactless cards. This means that they work in radio frequency to connect to a point of sale (POS) machine or ATM. It is not necessary to slide or insert. These cards are generally safer to use since contactless cards must be kept close to the machines for any transaction.
However, these cards are not free from fraud, such as theft of card numbers and CVV / CSC.
At the same time, leaving an RFID or contactless card near a point of sale can result in an illegal debit of your account. If another customer pays with a normal card and their RFID card is close to the reader, the amount is likely to be billed to their account. Unless the cashier is alert enough to detect the error.
Therefore, inform children to save an RFID card at the time they complete a transaction. As I mentioned earlier, these are fairly safe cards to use.
Proper Card Handling
Many cards are damaged due to improper or poor handling. These include carrying in the pockets without cover, exposure to moisture, food and beverage stains, as well as heat. A chip in the debit card and the magnetic stripe are more prone to such damage. Also, a debit card will not work if it is bent or has cracks.
Incorrect insertion into ATMs and swiping quickly also damage a debit card. All of these factors can disable a debit card and would need to be replaced. Therefore, teaching children how to handle a debit card with care is also as important as informing about spending limits.
Give a Spending Limit
Regardless of whether you are delivering your personal or supplemental debit card to children, always limit the amount they can spend. Some banks offer the possibility of setting a daily spending limit and even temporarily blocking a debit card to avoid excessive use.
If your bank has that facility, set the limit for daily spending and cash withdrawal. This ensures that your finances remain intact and that a single expense does not unbalance the family budget. A debit or charge card is not a credit card. Therefore, everything you spend is instantly debited from your account.
Online spending on debit cards is more common. Understandable, since we live in the era of Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, among others. While spending online alert children to look for hidden charges for using a debit card. Some merchants charge a fee when using debit cards from specific issuers.
Also, never use a public computer debit card to buy online. If you forget to log out of a particular account, debit card details, including CVV/CSC, may be exposed to unauthorized persons.
At the same time, look for discounts that companies like Amazon provide to use specific debit cards from specific issuers. If your debit card qualifies, you can get a discount and save money.
Charges & Fees
Debit cards come with different charges and fees. For example, many banks charge if you use a debit card more than three to five times at ATMs of other banks.
Such charges are applicable to all transactions, including printing a receipt or balance inquiry. Therefore, find out where your debit card will not attract usage charges and indicate the children accordingly.
And ask them to be extremely cautious when buying abroad with their debit card. Unless you are aware of currency exchange rates, you could end up spending much more than things might cost when you buy locally.
The best way to teach children about a debit card is to know several features and proper use. Replacing debit cards can be expensive and also takes time. You can also opt for prepaid or gift cards to give to your children.
You can recharge them with a certain amount of money when they need to use a debit card. That way, you will be protected from many unwanted risks and expenses.