When using debit cards to shop abroad, it can either provide forex to the tourist through the Automated Teller Machine or pay for items in shopping malls through the Point of Sale machine.

Debit cards allow the owner access to only the balance available in his account.

Jibike Igbayiloye was on a visit to the United Kingdom and had plans to buy some items while on holiday.

She had visited some boutiques and paid for many things she bought with cash until she had no more forex; so, she continued her shopping, using her debit cards on the PoS.

Because she might need some cash to pay for certain items, Igbayiloye decided to enter into a banking hall in the shopping mall to withdraw some forex from the ATM.

Unfortunately, the ATM swallowed the only debit card she took with her to the UK without giving her the required cash.

Igbayiloye went to the complaint desk of the bank to present her problem. She was told to go to her bank to get the card.

She complained that her bank was in Nigeria and there was no way she could reach the bank, but the bank official insisted that she should send an email or call the bank.

Igbayiloye said she would be stranded without the debit card because she had no cash with her and that it was the only card she was using to do everything in the UK.

She pleaded with the bank to open their ATM machine and bring out her debit card as she had no other option to get money.

The bank official decided to consider her plea and took her to an office where she was attended to by another employee.

After several efforts to get it out for her, the employee asked her to provide her means of identification, which she did not hold with her.

Igbayiloye had to rush to the train station and she used her oyster card to enter a train back home to pick her international passport before the bank would close for the day.

When she got back to the bank, she showed her passport and her debit card was returned to her.

Many tourists’ debit cards had been swallowed by the ATM abroad but were not as lucky as Igbayiloye, especially when they used the ATMs that were not within the banking hall where anyone could promptly lodge a complaint.

If a tourist must use his debit card to withdraw money from an ATM abroad, it is advisable that he should have another debit card usable abroad as a substitute.

While the use of debit card can give easy access to purchase anything the buyer wants, it can also cause some headache when things go wrong.

Depending on where a person is using the debit card, the selling firm may put a hold on the money, which can take the bank some days to free.

Again, if a person buys an item abroad with his debit card and returns it to the store, the store can only return his money to the debit card. In some instances, the money hangs and he may not get it back when he returns to his country. This may require him lodging a complaint to his bank to rectify the problem.

An online report by http://mycwcu.com gives some tips on how to use a debit card.

You can be devastated if your bank account is emptied. The online report suggests that you should open a second account and tie your debit card to it.

It adds that you should fund the second account only with money that is used for debit card activity so that your principal account won’t be at risk in the event of a breach.

According to BankRate.com, there are four places people should be wary of using their debit cards:

  • Independent ATMs – People run the risk of falling for the tricks of scammers. Scammers are less likely to be found around an ATM within a bank premises because of the presence of security officials and surveillance cameras.
  • Pay at the pump – Scammers are not the only danger to wallet. The filling station will put a big hold on an account that could cause cheques to bounce. If a person must pay with debit card at filling station, he should go inside and pay at the cashier.
  • When buying online – Credit card is a much better option. If a person doesn’t get his goods, he can do a chargeback during a 60-day window.

At a restaurant – Because there is such high turnover at restaurants, a person does not want a dishonest employee to get hold of his digits.