A debit card is similar to a credit card: it is a plastic card embossed with a name and account number, with a magnetic stripe on the back. It differs from a credit card by taking money for a purchase or cash advance from a checking account instead of charging against a line of credit.
The debit card allows a merchant to immediately withdraw the funds for an authorized transaction from your checking account. You provide authorization by presenting the card and entering a PIN (personal identification number) in the terminal at the store.
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