Jemma Smith (Head of PR - APACS) gives expert video advice on: Can I be charged a handling fee by retailers when I use my debit card?; Do debit card transactions have the same consumer protection as credit card transactions? and more...
When I make a debit card transaction, does the money leave my account straight away?
When you make a debit card transaction, the money does not necessarily leave your account straight away. It will depend on the retailer. It may happen straight away, or it may take a couple of days. It really will depend on the processing of your debit card payment at the retailer end.
When I make a debit card transaction, when does the money reach the retailer?
When the money from a debit card payment reaches the retailer depends on the retailer concerned. It can take a few hours, or it can take longer than that. From the customers' point of view, that shouldn't make any difference to any one of us. In terms of the kind of protection you get when you use your debit card, it makes no odds.
Can I be charged a handling fee by retailers when I use my debit card?
You can be charged a holding fee by retailers when you use your debit card. However, unlike a credit card where they will charge you a percentage of the cost to use your credit card, on a debit card you can only be charged a flat fee. Of course, you'd expect to be to be told what that fee was upfront, so you can decide whether you are prepared to pay the fee on your debit card or to use another payment method.
Do debit card transactions have the same consumer protection as credit card transactions?
You get full consumer protection on your debit card in the same way as you do with a credit card, and that applies to all cards. You don't get the same protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which does give you additional protection on your credit card. However, we do know that some card companies and banks, may offer a similar type of protection on the debit card, but the only way that you can check that is by looking at the terms and conditions of your debit card provider.
Why was chip and pin introduced?
Chip and PIN was introduced to protect us all from fraud. Its purpose is twofold: to make it more difficult for a thief to actually steal your physical card and use it, and secondly, to cut down on counterfeit fraud, which is where fraudsters had been stealing magnetic stripe information, for use in shops and at cash machines.
Who is liable for card fraud, the consumer or the retailer?
It is not the cardholder who is liable for debit card fraud. We, as customers, get protection from any liability for fraud on our debit and credit cards. It will always depend on the type of transaction when it comes to the retailer, but by and large, when you do PIN transactions, it will be the card company that takes the losses for fraud.