If you have a debit card, you are in good company. By 2019, Bank of America had issued debit cards to 18 percent of the American population. Of course, that is not as significant as the 365 million credit accounts that exist in the country. But considering that debit cards utilize the money people have in their account, instead of debt, it is worth noting.
However, debit cards have some disadvantages, and their primary downside is that they expose users to higher risks of losing money if identity theft or fraud occurs. For that reason, you may want to consider adding a photo ID to your payment card to add another layer of security.
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How Debit Cards Work
Unlike credit cards, you need to have money in your account to use debit cards. In addition, your spending is limited by the amount in your account.
Typically, you will be required to present your debit card at the point of purchase so that your purchase can be charged against it. Also, you must input your PIN to authorize the transaction.
However, some debit cards work as credit cards. In such cases, you could use them to pay for purchases on credit, thus providing a lag time of about three days before the money is deducted from your account. Should you choose this option, you don’t have to include your PIN to authorize your transactions.
The beauty of debit cards is that they make your credit history irrelevant. So long as you have money in your account, you can purchase whatever you want up to the limit in it. Also, if you struggle to keep your spending under control, debit cards can help you with that since you can only use what you have.
However, one of the biggest challenges with debit cards is the potential for loss if there is identity theft.
Read More: How to Run a Debit Card as a Credit
Securing the Debit Card
Debit cards require PINs for activation. But that could be an issue if someone knows it or hacks into your account. These kinds of payment cards usually have a lower level of protection than credit cards.
And if someone makes an unauthorized transaction, it affects money in your account. On the other hand, for credit cards, unauthorized access affects the lender’s money, whose balance you would have to pay at the end of the month. And lenders tend to deal with the issues faster.
It is for these reasons why you should get a debit card with a picture. Doing so would add an extra layer of security for the account associated with your card, making it more difficult for identity thieves to steal your money.
Read More: How Does a Debit Card Work?
How to Get a Debit Card with a Photo ID
Below are tips you can implement to get a debit card with a picture.
- Determine if your local bank or credit union offers a debit card with a picture for its clients. Some may do so right from the beginning for new customers, while others may require clients to request such features if they want to customize their debit cards.
- If your financial institution does not offer such services, you may need to find another one in your locale whose debit cards you could use.
- If the services are available in your bank or credit union, ask for the requirements. Each institution may set its own photo standards, including the size of the photos and what is an acceptable background or not. Also, your photos may be needed either in physical or digital forms.
- Find an experienced or professional photographer to take the required photos of you. And ensure that they adhere to the set standards.
- Inquire whether there are any documents you would need to fill. You may need to complete them online or download and print them. There may also be the option of getting physical copies from your bank.
- Find out about the payment terms for getting a new debit card or a replacement one. The fees may be different for each category.
- Complete the application paperwork digitally or physically and review them for any mistakes. And then, submit digital or physical copies, depending on the instructions. For example, the Garrett State Bank in Indiana requires digital applications and photos. And the images you upload must be 840 x 840 pixels and less than 10MB in size. On the other hand, the Security First Bank of North Dakota enables you to customize your debit card with your photo ID or other images in the bank website’s gallery. In this case too, the application is online and the service is free to get the card right from the start. For replacement, you would need to pay a fee.
- Wait for the application for a debit card with photo ID to be processed. The waiting period will vary by bank or credit union.
- When you receive it, follow the instructions to activate it. If you had an old debit card, it will likely be inactivated at this time.
- Begin to use your debit card with a picture of yourself.
I hold a BS in Computer Science and have been a freelance writer since 2011. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, watching cooking and lifestyle shows, and fantasizing about world travels.