Paying with a card
Debit, credit and prepaid cards can be used to make purchases at a business in several ways. To understand the difference between debit and prepaid cards and credit cards, visit these pages. Online, you can purchase something by inputting your card information (the card number, expiration date, CVC or security code, billing address and your name). In person, these cards are enabled with magnetic strips, microchips and tap to pay technologies. The magnetic strip is the stripe on the back of your card; it is used by swiping your card through the reader. Newer cards may have a microchip, which can be seen on the front of the card. To use the microchip, you can insert the card into the card reader. Microchips were introduced because they are faster and more secure than the magnetic strip.
Some credit, debit and prepaid cards may also have a “Tap to pay” functionality that is enabled through near field communication. This technology, which is similar to Bluetooth, can also be used in key fobs, mobile phones and smaller cards to enable payments or other exchanges. Tap to pay can be faster and more hygienic than other payment methods, but it is not always available.