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Is Visa Platinum the right debit card for you?

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Is Visa Platinum the right debit card for you?

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Here’s a quick few facts about debit cards. As of April 2022, Debit Cards in India account for about ₹53k crores in monthly transaction volume. Also, did you know that over 100 crore cards were in circulation in 2021 in India? 

Now on to something more specific - Visa Platinum Debit Cards - a class of debit cards that are currently being issued by Visa, the American financial services company. With debit cards, credit cards, and UPI, cash is slowly but surely seeing a decline in usage. Let’s dive in to some facts:

Debit card vs credit card: What’s the difference?

Let’s take a moment to address the basics here. At first glance, a debit card and a credit card look alike. Both have a 16 digit number, an expiration date engraved on them, a magnetic strip, and an EMV chip. In addition, both usually come with VISA or Mastercard services and can be used for shopping and cash withdrawal. 

So, what’s the difference? 

Is there any upside of using a debit card?

Here’s a fun fact. Debit cards hold 93% of the market share in the total cards circulated in India so far. India, at large, is a credit-starved economy - which means, most people don’t have access to credit cards. This is largely due to not having a credit history or a credit score. 

Debit Cards on the other hand, are given out by banks much more easily because it’s linked to the actual savings you hold in your account. Here are some advantages of using debit cards:

  • Better finance management: You pay from what is available in your bank account with a debit card. This means your finances can be planned and managed, and you’re less likely to make impulse purchases.
  • No debt: Since you’re paying directly from your bank account, there is no question of paying back or the risk of accruing interest on any bill.
  • Ease of use: Almost any big or small place of business accepts cards these days, so you need not carry wads of cash if you’re going out shopping. At the same time, withdrawing cash using your debit card is hassle-free from the ATM. 
  • Online Use: Debit Cards can just as easily be used to carry out online transactions on domestic and international merchant sites. And they’re secure as they employ security features like one-time-password (OTP) etc.

What are the types of debit cards available in India?

There are two major global service providers that most Indian banks utilise to provide financial services and cards to their customers – VISA and MasterCard. While these two still have a  stronghold, RBI introduced its own payment network in 2012 – RuPay. The low transaction costs and wider reach have grabbed the masses' attention, giving some competition to its international counterparts.

Being a part of any of these three payment networks, debit cards in India come in 3 types:

  • Physical/Chip Based: These traditional debit cards need to be dipped into the machine, and a PIN entered to complete the transaction. All cards being issued since January 2019 are chip-based, as mandated by the RBI.
  • Contactless: Based on Near Field Communication Technology (NFC), these debit cards do not require swiping and PIN to be entered and can be used for transactions up to Rs. 2000. You just need to tap the card on the machine.
  • Virtual Debit Cards: These cards are issued without any charge when one opens a digital bank account. No physical card is provided and can only be used for online transactions.

Does Fi have a VISA Platinum card? What are the features?

Apart from the fact that the VISA Platinum card is accepted worldwide in millions of merchant outlets and ATMs, there are additional advantages of having one. Here are a few:

  • VISA Platinum concierge: This 24x7 service assists with various activities such as flight reservations, trip planning, car rental reservations, hotel reservations, restaurant reservations, etc. 
  • Secure network: VISA’s secure network infrastructure is built with multiple security and authentication protocols layers, ensuring safe transactions across physical stores and online e-tailers. 
  • Global customer assistance: This round-the-clock service is especially handy when travelling abroad and if you lose your debit card, or it stops working or any other related concerns. 
  • Deals, Discounts and Offers: You can expect to receive regular offers and discounts across various categories such as lifestyle, shopping, dining, online services, hotel and airline ticket bookings, among others. 

To top it off, Fi is PCI-DSS compliant. It follows the requirements of the global forum: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Essentially, it’s the 'gold standard' compliance scheme to secure credit and debit card transactions.

How do I get a Fi VISA debit card?

If the VISA Platinum debit card features have lured you, then you’ll need to open a bank account with Fi to get one. The process will take lesser time than reading this article. With an entirely online and paperless process, the account is opened in a jiffy and your debit card is sent to you at your physical mailing address. 

What if I lose/misplace my debit card?

Don’t worry! Take out your smartphone and open the Fi app. With one tap, you can freeze your debit card so no one can misuse it. With another tap, you can inform Fi’s customer care team regarding this mishap, and they can quickly issue you a new one. In case you found it, well then, tap again and unfreeze it. It couldn't get easier.

FAQs

1. What is a Platinum debit card?

‘Platinum’ is a category of Debit Cards issued by Visa. Visa is a globally recognised payments platform that issues debit and credit cards. The Platinum Debit Card is among the most widely accepted card types around the world, which lets you withdraw cash from almost any ATM.

2. Who qualifies for a platinum debit card?

Different issuing banks have different criteria for Visa Platinum Debit Cards. With Fi, the criteria are quite simple to meet - you only need to have a full-KYC account on Fi and a physical card will be couriered to your registered address. A full-KYC account means that your PAN and Aadhaar details are available in the Central KYC Registry. In case it isn’t, a minimum-KYC account will automatically be opened for you on Fi, following which you will get a virtual debit card. The virtual card has the same features as the physical card, except, you won’t be able to pay at a store. You can upgrade your minimum KYC account to a Full-KYC account with a video call on the Fi app, after which you will get your Visa Platinum Debit Card for free!

3. What is the benefit of using platinum debit card?

‘Platinum’ is a category of Debit Cards issued by Visa. Among its main features are:

  • Globally accepted
  • Customer assistance anywhere in the world
  • Access to a global ATM network 
  • Offers

These benefits aside, you the card also gives you a tap-to-pay feature, making your payments pretty much contactless. 

Fi’s Visa Platinum Debit Card gives you the additional benefit of no forex charges on your transactions. This means, you can swipe your card anywhere in the world and pay no extra charges other than the conversion rate.

Time to switch to Fi. Smart banking and only that.
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