What is the difference between a cheque and a debit card?

What is the difference between a cheque and a debit card?

The branding and use of what constitutes a "debit" card versus a "credit" card differ per country and unfortunately, the card associations and banks have utterly confused people about what the difference is and where each can be used etc.

A pure debit card which is not branded Mastercard or VISA and which has no expiry date cannot be used as a credit card. 

These cards are what are commonly issued in South Africa and are termed debit cards (normally branded Maestro).

These cards cannot be used as credit cards:

example of debit card PayFast knowledgebase

There are however other cards, also termed debit cards, which are actually credit cards under a different guise, often referred to as cheque cards. These have expiry dates and will have Visa or Mastercard branding and can be used online.

These are what are typically issued in the US and the UK etc. as debit cards:

Example of cheque card PayFast knowledgebase

example of cheque card PayFast knowledgebase


    • Related Articles

    • Can debit cards be used on PayFast?

      Visa or Mastercard branded cheque cards can be used on PayFast, as well as normal debit cards (Visa Electron and Maestro) using the debit card payment option. However, debit card is a bad term as it means different things in different countries and ...
    • Why is my refund reflecting as a pending debit?

      Credit and cheque card refunds can take up to 7 and 10 business days, and Instant EFT refunds between 2 and 3 business days, to reflect in your account due to risk checks that are performed by banks. If you bank with FNB then the refund may reflect ...
    • What does 3D Secure mean?

      The term 3D Secure comes from Three Domain Security. This is due to the fact that there are 3 "domains" involved in the 3D Secure process: Issuer Domain, Interoperability Domain and Acquirer Domain. The issuer domain is where the cardholder and ...
    • How do I change the card that is linked to a subscription?

      New PayFast Dashboard  To change the card that is linked to a subscription, do the following: Log in to your PayFast account. Navigate to My Buyer Account > My subscriptions. Under My subscriptions history, find the subscription that you want to edit ...
    • What is Masterpass?

      Masterpass is a simple, convenient, trusted digital wallet from Mastercard for faster, safer shopping at online merchants. A digital wallet makes online shopping safer and easy by storing payment information in one secure place. How much does ...