A plastic card is a record of information that allows the bearer to charge goods and services to an account rather than paying cash.
Plastic cards are issued by financial institutions such as Banks, Building and Saving Societies, and various others organisations and stores.
People use cards rather than carry around large quantities of cash because of the reduced security risk.
There are numerous forms of card, though the Market is dominated by a dozen or so major Brands.
Credit Cards enable the holder to borrow money to purchase goods and services. The money deducted from the account acts as a loan on which the holder has to pay interest and can repay in monthly installments. Examples of credit cards are Visa and Mastercard
a Visa Card
Debit Cards enable the holder to charge the goods and service to their own account, often a current bank account, in the same way a cheque would be used.Examples are Switch, Maestro, Cirrus, Link, Connect, Delta etc.
a Switch card - debit - note this card can also act as a cheque guarantee card
In most cases to accept a card the customer must simply produce a matching signature, unless the amount of the payment exceeds the card or floor limit. This will show the upper limit to which the card can be drawn. In other words the bank or financial institution will not make payment unless a special authorisation is made.
Suggested procedure for taking a card payment:
Suggested procedure for dealing with an invalid or suspicious card transaction:
There are risks involved in any form of payments: cheques are no exception. These can be minimised by:
Checking the identity of the drawer
Checking the card and account are valid
Following the procedures for accepting cheques
Asking the customer to write their name and address on the back of the cheque - in some cases customers may be allowed to pay higher amounts than the guarantee card allows in which case this procedure is particularly advisable.
If the cheque card or account shows up on a withdrawn list then follow procedures usually:
1. Retain the invalid card
2. Inform your supervisor
3. Tactfully inform the customer or if fraud is suspected contact the police attempting to detain the client without arousing suspicion.