Can I Use an ATM Card to Buy Things Online?

ATM cards or debit cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo work like credit for purchases, even when the store is online. However, there are safety concerns one should consider before giving the debit card to an online seller.

People who buy online from unknown sellers have no idea who they are allowing to debit their bank account. Credit card companies offer insurance against fraud. Banks offer less protection. Losses due to theft of a credit card are limited to $50. Identity thieves often continue using debit cards until they empty the account. If a consumer does not have a credit card, a prepaid card limits the seller's access to funds.