An ATM card is a card issued by a bank, credit union or building society that can be used at an ATM for deposits, withdrawals, account information, and other types of transactions, often through interbank networks.
Some ATM cards can also be used:
at a branch, as identification for in-person transactions
at merchants, for EFTPOS (point of sale) purchases
ATM cards are typically about 86 × 54 mm, i.e. ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 size.
Unlike a debit card, in-store purchases or refunds with an ATM card can generally be made in person only, as they require authentication through a personal identification number or PIN. In other words, ATM cards cannot be used at merchants that only accept credit cards.
In some countries, the two functions of ATM cards and debit cards are combined into a single card called a debit card or also commonly called a bank card. These are able to perform banking tasks at ATMs and also make point-of-sale transactions, both functions using a PIN.
A debit card (also known as a bank card or check card) is a plastic card that provides an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. Functionally, it can be called an electronic check, as the funds are withdrawn directly from either the bank account, or from the remaining balance on the card. In some cases, the cards are designed exclusively for use on the Internet, and so there is no physical card.
In many countries the use of debit cards has become so widespread that their volume of use has overtaken or entirely replaced the check and, in some instances, cash transactions. Like credit cards, debit cards are used widely for telephone and Internet purchases and, unlike credit cards, the funds are transferred immediately from the bearer’s bank account instead of having the bearer pay back the money at a later date.
Debit cards may also allow for instant withdrawal of cash, acting as the ATM card for withdrawing cash and as a check guarantee card. Merchants may also offer cashback facilities to customers, where a customer can withdraw cash along with their purchase.