Barely a week goes by where I don’t order something online using my debit card. But am I putting myself at risk by using my debit card instead of a credit card?
Online spending using debit cards has hit £35bn in the UK, according to the UK Cards Association. In fact, debit card spending overtook credit card spending online for the first time last year, by more than £1bn.
It makes sense that debit card transactions are taking over online, particularly when you consider that 91% of the UK population have debit cards while only 61% have credit cards. Personally, I prefer to use my debit card because it takes the money straight from my bank account, helping me to budget from day-to-day. When we talked about cash vs plastic, Melanie explained why she uses her credit card:
‘I tend to use credit cards for just about everything because of the rewards, convenience and security. […] There is one main consideration to always keep in mind: if you use a credit card for a purchase, will you pay off your balance in full each month?’
A growing sense of security
The increase in debit card use online suggests that people are starting to become more comfortable putting their payment details into websites. But does it actually make a difference what type of cards we use to make our purchases, online or offline? Well, as it happens, it can make a difference to your rights as a consumer.
When it comes down to it, you’re afforded a little more protection if you use your credit card to shop online instead of a debit card. For example, if you bought something from a business which then folded before sending you the item, you should be able to claim the money back from your credit card issuer under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. However, this only applies if the item costs between £100 and £30,000.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t any protection at all for debit card users. If you found yourself in the same situation but had paid by debit card, you may be able to claim the money back using Chargeback. There’s no minimum limit on how much you have to have spent, but you will have to register your claim within 120 days of discovering the issue. However, there’s no guarantee that the Chargeback will be successful as it depends on whether there’s money there to be clawed back.
How to shop safely online
If you’re worried about using your payment cards online, you can run a few simple checks to make sure the site is safe. For example, check for a padlock sign in the browser window, which indicates the site is secure. You should keep all of your passwords for extra verification safe and secure, and always log out of a website after making a purchase. Finally, make sure you regularly check your statements for unexpected debits.
I use my debit card to make online purchases, but I do try to stick to well-known brands I know I can trust. Do you use your debit card to make purchases online, or have you stuck with a credit card? Or do you avoid making purchases online altogether?
What type of card do you use to shop online?
Credit card (45%, 552 Votes)
Debit card (21%, 260 Votes)
Either debit or credit card (20%, 244 Votes)
Online payment services eg Paypal (12%, 146 Votes)
I don't shop online (3%, 39 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,240