Bank Card


Bank cards are cards, similar to the ID card, issued by banks. These cards are linked to different types of accounts opened and held in the bank by the customer.

Typically, a bank card will contain a combination of a card number, sometimes the account number, the type of account it belongs to, a CVV or security code, its expiration date, the issuing bank, the bank’s registration number and some contact details. Most cards are associated with either Visa or MasterCard.

Visa and Mastercard are payment networks that process transactions. These two are the biggest networks, found in over 200 countries. Neither of them issue any cards, instead, they work with financial institutions, including banks, to process financial transactions with backchannels that get funds from your credit or debit card, to the merchant.


The main purpose of a bank card is to simplify financial transactions ranging from making purchases and paying bills, to making cash withdrawals and being able to travel cashless. A lot of cards also come with some version of a reward system, whether it’s points, discounts, cashback, freebies or other benefits.


There are many different bank cards one can get, depending on the account you need and hold. These include:

  • Debit cards that are linked to checking or savings accounts. They let you withdraw money from an ATM or make purchases in-store or online using funds you actually have in the account.
  • Credit cards let you borrow money up to a set limit. This money can be used to make purchases or withdrawals and needs to be repaid with interest.
  • Business credit cards that are designed to manage the expenses a business incurs. These come with special features and benefits that a business needs.
  • Travel cards for international travel with good exchange rates, lower fees and other benefits that a person travelling would usually find helpful.
  •  Fleet cards that are beneficial to a business that has to manage a fleet of cars, trucks, buses or any other vehicles. The cards can be used for maintenance and fuel.
  • Prepaid cards which let you load money onto the card before you use it and ATM cards which only work to withdraw money at the ATM.


The convenience of having a bank card comes with some expenses, typically known as fees. They vary from bank to bank and across the different types of accounts that one holds. The less perks and benefits a card comes with, the less you pay in fees. The more frequently you use the card, the more costs you could have. Some of the fees that having a bank card come with are:

  • Initiation fees for opening the account
  • Service or monthly fees for maintaining it
  • ATM fees for withdrawals and balance inquiries
  •  Overdraft fees when you spend or withdraw more money than there is in your account
  • International transaction fees when you use your card in foreign countries
  • Transfer fees when you send or receive money
  • Excess transaction fees when you make more transactions than the stipulated limit or Regular transaction fees for every transaction you make if the account doesn’t come with free transactions.

Every account comes with a fee schedule with all the costs related to holding it. Most accounts come with a combination of these and more fees.


The most obvious reason for getting a bank card is for the convenience it offers. If you ever need to use money, a bank card is probably the most convenient way to receive and use it. Whether you are employed and need an account to get paid or need family to send you money, having an account, which will come with a bank card, will provide a lot of ease. Yes, there are ways to receive money without a bank card, but there are also places that only accept card payments and thus making a bank card a necessity in some instances. Bank cards also provide a level of security. Carrying cash comes with the risk of losing it and a lot of the new cards come with a security chip to avoid fraud.

A security chip is the little gold or silver metallic square or rectangle found on the front of your card. It is encrypted with important information that card readers use to process and authorise payments. This chip also enhances security by creating a unique, one-time code every time a transaction is processed – this creates an obstacle for criminals who want to use stolen card information or manufacture their own fake cards. Cards with this little chip are accepted by most merchants around the world and are what enables contactless transactions.

There are many uses for a bank card, depending on your needs. Again, the greatest benefit of a bank card is the convenience it comes with. Whether you are an employee, have a business or need to use money in any other capacity, a bank card means that firstly, you have an account where all your money is kept and secondly, a bank card that will help you use your money seamlessly. Safety is another issue worth considering when deciding whether to get one or not. Instead of carrying large sums to make deposits or from withdrawals, you can simply get a card and use that instead. If you want to trade and  invest with BROKSTOCK, you’ll also need a bank card to set up your account and receive your profits.

Different banks have varying offerings that come with particular costs. Be sure to find one that works for you, both in terms of what you need and can afford to spend on fees.


What is CVV and what does it stand for?

CVV stands for Card Verification Value and refers to a 3-digit number found on the back of the card, usually next to the signature strip. This number provides an added layer of security when making online purchases.

What happens if my bank card is lost or stolen?

In the event of a lost or stolen bank card, your money will still be safe if you immediately report it lost or stolen to the bank. If you have an app linked to your bank card on your phone, you can also block your card. This will keep anyone from using it for fraud or making any transactions.

How do I actually use my bank card to make transactions or withdrawals?

For in-store purchases, you would usually swipe or insert your card and be prompted to enter your pin. Be sure to have a strong pin to avoid someone correctly guessing it. Do not use your or your loved ones birth date, house number or anything similarly predictable. Some paypoints also need you to approve the payment, choose whether you are using a credit or debit card, and whether you are making a straight or budget payment.

For withdrawals, you will usually have to insert your card and navigate from a list of prompts, such as the language you want to use and the transaction you want to make. For instance, you can simply make a withdrawal, make a deposit or get your statement. It’s important to keep your pin safe in these instances as well.

Online, you’ll need to enter your card details and, increasingly, have to approve the payment on your phone or app for the transaction to go through.

What is the difference between a card number and an account number?

The card number is typically a 16-digit number (can range from 13 - 19) visible on your card. Depending on your bank, this number can either be embossed or printed on either side of your card. While this number is linked to your account, it is a unique identifier for the card itself and is usually required for online transactions.

An account number is a special number that identifies your particular bank account and helps the bank keep track of all the transactions that take place in your account. All accounts held in the bank have a number associated with them, whether it’s a debit, credit, business or any other kind of account. These also vary in length and can be found on your banking app, statement or other such formal communications from your bank.

What is a statement?

A statement is a record of all the transactions that happened on your bank account. This includes any deposits, withdrawals, all the fees you’ve paid and any other transactions. Statements are typically for a month and you can get them from the ATM with your bank card or get them on your banking app. Sometimes banks will send them to consumers on a regular basis.

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