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Debit Card

ATM Card, Debit Card, and ATM-cum-Debit Card

atm card vs debit card

There are different types of cards we use on a daily basis; credit cards, debit cards, international debit cards, ATM-cum-debit cards and so. Considering the ATM and debit cards that are easily available with a normal bank accounts, we never think they are different from each other. Although, from a practical stand point they are not, they have their own definition and specific usages. This article discusses the difinitional difference between ATM cards, Debit cards and ATM-cum-Debit cards in India.


ATM Card: Issued by banks to let the customers withdraw money and transfer funds from their accounts through an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

Debit Card: Issued by banks to let the customers perform cashless financial transaction. The payment is made online or by swiping the card in the machines at Point of Sales.

ATM-cum-Debit Card: Issued by banks to let the customers use it for both the purposes mentioned above. It can be used for ATM transaction as well as online shopping and payment. As the name suggests, it’s ATM and debit card all bundled in one.


ATM Card: the function is limited since it is used in ATMs only. However it still serves in many ways that includes,

  • Cash withdrawals and deposits
  • Account statement
  • Inter-bank Fund transfer
  • Mobile recharge

Debit card: this acts as a prepaid tool that enables cashless transactions. This is really useful for those who are prone to mismanagement of money. It limits their expenses since it depends on the availability of cash in the account. It’s more versatile than ATM cards. It’s mostly used for

  • Online shopping
  • Money transfer using net banking
  • Payments of goods at PoS through card swiping machine

ATM-cum-Debit Card: since it’s a combination of both ATM and debit card, it can be used for a wide range of financial transaction. The usages include,

  • Cash withdrawals and deposits at ATMs
  • Account statement
  • Fund transfer via internet banking
  • Payment of utility bills and tax
  • Online shopping
  • Payment through card swiping machine at point of sales

How They Work

The cards are linked to your bank account. whenever you use them for withdrawal or payment, the value of your transaction is immediately deducted from your account.

PIN is Compulsory

Earlier, the use of PIN was mandatory for ATM transactions alone. Making payments by swiping the card was possible without entering the PIN.

But keeping in mind the rising cases of financial frauds, use of PIN has been made compulsory for all debit card transaction as a safety measure. No debit card transaction is possible without entering the PIN.


The usage charges of cards mostly depend on the number of transaction you make during a specific period of time. It may also depend on individual merchants who provide the payment platform.

As per the current guidelines, ATM transaction fees are applicable when the number of transaction in a month exceeds the stipulated number. While making payments through card swiping machine, the concerned merchant establishment may apply additional charges in terms of service charges.

All the differences I’ve mentioned above are only meant for their typical individual definitions. Practically, the ATM-cum-debit cards are now widely referred as debit cards. When we say we have a debit card, we invariably mean that it allows ATM transactions as well as cashless transactions online. Considering the convenience of account holders, banks are mostly offering ATM-cum-debit cards to the regular account holders and encouraging them to use cards for their financial transactions.

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  2. I don’t use any of the online facilities. Just wanted to know how caniuse it as I only have a atm card with me

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